Edison's Conquest of MarsBalladeer’s Blog continues its examination of Garrett P Serviss’ odd sequel to Fighters From Mars, his blatant imitation of War of the Worlds.


Edison and Serviss, with help from scientists like Lord Rayleigh, Sylvanus P Thompson and Doctor Moissan, oversaw the construction of the Earth’s space fleet. Within six months one hundred space ships were ready for action, all of them equipped with Edison’s disintegrator rays. Those rays could be fired from within the ships by going straight through the windows without damaging them. Their frequency could be adjusted so as not to harm glass but still disintegrate metal.  

In the style of Napoleon’s campaign in Egypt each of the spacecraft would carry not just military forces but archaeologists, artists and scientists of all disciplines. There was a certain level of anticipation regarding the discoveries that might be made in the course of conductng the war on Mars. 

A system of flashing lights would enable the ships to communicate with each other in coded messages, the way flags were used to communicate between ships at sea. At Midnight on the chosen day of departure a display of fireworks preceded the launching of the one hundred space ships. Their first destination was the moon, where they would conduct various military maneuvers to acclimate each craft’s crew to battle conditions in space. 

Enroute to the moon one of the Earth ships was struck by a meteor, and this tradition of encounters with meteors between Earth and the moon would continue in science fiction all the way through movies of the 1950s and early 60s. Several men were killed by the impact but the other 99 ships were able to effect a daring rescue of the survivors and distributed them evenly among the fleet.

That daring rescue was carried out through Extra-Vehicular Activity as the rescue squad donned space suits and went to the aid of their comrades. The rescue squad’s helmets were linked together by long telephone cords enabling them to communicate with each other.

The craft was towed along toward the moon where Edison planned to make repairs to the ship and where a lunar funeral would be held for the men who had died in the impact. +++


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

2 responses to “EDISON’S CONQUEST OF MARS (1898): PART THREE

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

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