The War of the Worlds first appeared in print in 1897. It is perhaps the most notorious of all science fiction works, and one of the first to envision a full-scale conflict between humans and extra terrestrials.
Orson Welles famously adapted the novel for radio in 1938, presenting the drama as a series of simulated news bulletins -- convincingly enough to cause panic among a large portion of the national audience. Many other adaptations have been produced over the years, the most recent of which was the 2005 feature film starring Tom Cruise.
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Often called "the father of science fiction,” British author Herbert George (H. G.) Wells' literary works are notable for being some of the first titles of the science fiction genre, and include such famed titles as The Time Machine, The War of the Worlds, The Island of Doctor Moreau, and The Invisible Man. Despite being fixedly associated with science fiction, Wells wrote extensively in other genres and on many subjects, including history, society and politics, and was heavily influenced by Darwinism. His first book, Anticipations of the Reaction of Mechanical and Scientific Progress Upon Human Life and Thought, offered predictions about what technology and society would look like in the year 2000, many of which have proven accurate. Wells went on to pen over fifty novels, numerous non-fiction books, and dozens of short stories. His legacy has had an overwhelming influence on science fiction, popular culture, and even on technological and scientific innovation. Wells died in 1946 at the age of 79.