H.G. Wells Responds to War of the Worlds Broadcast

Since the Immortal Writers have trusted me with their story, William Shakespeare has also entrusted me to post his and other writers' responses to adaptations of their work, fan fiction, and other material. Here is H.G. Wells' response to the famous 1938 War of the Worlds radio broadcast. -Jill

When I first wrote War of the Worlds, I stated that "no one would have believed...that this world was being watched keenly and closely by intelligences greater than man's," and at the time, I thought that, indeed, no one would believe it.

Then, in 1938, my friend Orson Wells broadcasted a radio adaptation of War of the Worlds on his show Mercury Theatre on the Air. To my delight and great amusement, many people that listened to the broadcast really believed that Earth was being invaded by aliens.

In 1938, I already knew that I was an Immortal Writer, but I hadn't gotten around to faking my death yet...I waited until 1946 for that. So I was delighted to still be legally alive to witness the mass panic that ensued when this broadcast first aired.

What an epidemic panic can be! It was beautiful, glorious, and hilarious. Who would have known that anyone would have truly believed that we are watched by intelligences? That aliens would, indeed, take over the world?

There have been other interpretations of my novel, but my favourite remains this broadcast. Not every author is pleased with what their work becomes, but I remain satisfied with this excellent show.

H.G. Wells


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