Edison's Conquest of MarsA new serialized feature begins here at Balladeer’s Blog! Plenty of regular readers expressed interest in one of the works of “ancient” science fiction that I touched on awhile back – Edison’s Conquest of Mars by Garrett P Serviss.

That book was the sequel to Serviss’ earlier novel Fighters From Mars (also from 1898) which was, shall we say … reminiscent … of H.G. Wells’ War of the Worlds. Oh, hell, it was basically the same story but was set mostly in Boston, MA. 

Too late Edison learned the awful price to be paid for repeatedly asking if his bikini made him look fat.

Too late Edison learned the awful price to be paid for repeatedly asking if his bikini made him look fat.

Edison’s Conquest of Mars featured the people of Earth reverse- engineering the spacecraft of the defeated Martians. Humanity then constructed a fleet of its own and set off for Mars to kick the Martians’ butts for trying to conquer our planet. 

The lead scientist of the expedition was none other than Thomas Alva Edison himself, accompanied by plenty of other real-life scientists and world leaders. Yes, copyright and personal licensing laws back then weren’t quite what they are today so Garrett P Serviss got away with what amounted to a massive work of fan fiction … if fan fiction was about real-life scientists and political figures. (And no, I’m not counting slash fiction about Stephen Hawking, you perverts.) 

The story began with the revelation that not all of the Martians were dead after all. The most recent spaceship to arrive from the Red Planet sported a crew that was still alive and had not yet been exposed to Earth microbes. The captain of the ship assessed the situation and realized that a hasty retreat back to Mars was called for.  

This final ship was in Boston Common and as a final act of spite against the people of Earth the Martians unleashed a massive explosion to accompany their blast-off. The explosion devastated what was left of Boston and reduced towns for miles around to an equal state of ruin. 

Tens of thousands of people died from that departing act of spite on the part of the Martian invaders. The outrageous blow added to the worldwide anger over the atrocities inflicted on the citizens of the Earth. A certain level of solidarity was felt across the globe and each nation began to help the others in whatever way they could while simultaneously recovering from the damage they themselves had sustained at the hands of the Martians.

Soon elaborate plans were put into effect to build a larger and grander version of Boston where nothing but ruins now stood. Other nations were making similarly optimistic plans for recovery when astronomers from around the globe unleashed terrifying information. Their observations of the Red Planet made it clear that the Martians were preparing another invasion fleet to attack the Earth again. +++


FOR TEN MORE EXAMPLES OF ANCIENT SCIENCE FICTION CLICK HERE: https://glitternight.com/2014/03/03/ten-neglected-examples-of-ancient-science-fiction/

FOR WASHINGTON IRVING’S 1809 depiction of an invasion from the moon click here: https://glitternight.com/2014/05/05/ancient-science-fiction-the-men-of-the-moon-1809-by-washington-irving/

© Edward Wozniak and Balladeer’s Blog 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Edward Wozniak and Balladeer’s Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.    



Filed under Ancient Science Fiction

14 responses to “EDISON’S CONQUEST OF MARS (1898)

  1. Awesome! What a forgotten treasure!

  2. omg what a crazy idea for a novel

  3. Picture Stephen Hawking going into battle! Thats how crazy this is.

  4. Pingback: EDISON’S CONQUEST OF MARS | Balladeer's Blog

  5. Hal

    I respect digging up something this old but it is so unoriginal.

  6. Weird costars for Edison in this story.

  7. Danny-Bob

    Not quite steampunk but close enough.

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