Wells, H.G.

'Yet across the gulf of space, minds that are to our minds as ours are to those of the beasts that perish, intellects vast and cool and unsympathetic, regarded this earth with envious eyes, and slowly and surely drew their plans against us.'

    — H. G. Wells (1898), The War of the Worlds

H.G. Wells is considered one of the fathers of science fiction and certainly ‘The War of the Worlds’ verifies that by being one of the most popular novels written having never being out of print since publication and spawning a number of films, tv series, an album (brilliantly done), plays adaptions and of course radio series. Wells himself led a very , one might say colourful life, and he is noted for stating that his epitaph should be: "I told you so. You damned fools”.

A special mention at this point - Jeff Wayne’s musical version of Wells’ classic is probably the single most influential reason for our passion of SF. We so fondly remember listening to the album and reading the lyrics in the booklet that came with the double album (back in 1978 folks), not to mention the great art particularly Geoff Taylor’s paintings


'Jeff Wayne's Musical Version of The War of the Worlds’  was created by composer Jeff Wayne based on the 1898 novel by H. G. Wells. It features Academy Award nominated actor Richard Burton, Justin Hayward (of The Moody Blues), Chris Thompson (of Manfred Mann's Earth Band), Phil Lynott (of Thin Lizzy), Julie Covington (of Evita and Rock Follies), and David Essex (Evita, The China Plates). Wayne conducts what would come to be known as the Black Smoke Band and the ULLAdubULLA string orchestra.

The two-disc album remains a bestseller, having sold 15 million copies worldwide. In 2018, it was named the 32nd best-selling studio album of all time in the UK

"Forever Autumn" was a UK Top 5 single, sung by Hayward. In Canada, it only managed to reach No. 73 and fared only slightly better in the US, peaking at No. 47. The album itself spent 290 weeks in the UK album charts. It was in the top 10 in 22 countries and reached No. 1 in 11 countries. In Canada, the album reached just No. 76.

The album was one of the first recorded on 48 tracks, using two synchronised 24 track Studer A80s at Advision Studios in London. It was engineered by Geoff Young, who brought the recordings together with only a 16 channel desk. He later worked with George Michael to record "Last Christmas" and "Careless Whisper" using the same studio and equipment.

The repetition of "Ulla!", the cry made by the Martians, and certain musical refrains throughout the musical act as leitmotifs.

The official album comes with several paintings by Peter Goodfellow, Geoff Taylor and Michael Trim that illustrate the story. Here are some of them...




Ok, back to the books:

Here we have the Easton Press deluxe illustrated edition which is a fitting tribute to this great story.




                                                                                                                                      Easton Press Editions


                      Heinemann - First Edition                                                                   Castle - First Editions                                                                             Castle - Later Edition 


                   Collins - First Edition                                       Heinemann - First Edition                                       Octopus - Reprint Edition

                           Platt - Reprint Edition



                                                                                                          TPB                                                                             B - Format