Balladeer’s Blog continues its examination of Garrett P Serviss’ odd sequel to Fighters From Mars, his blatant imitation of War of the Worlds.
The newly-arrived Martian spacecraft set down on the asteroid where the Earth’s forces had won their initial skirmish with the beings of the Red Planet. From within the craft emerged another squadron of the 15 ft tall aliens with oversized heads. Edison had made all of the Earth ships refrain from firing on the Martians before they could land, hoping that this show of mercy might open the possibility of peace.
Edison was to be disappointed, as the Martians used their heat-ray guns to open fire on the Earthlings. The Terrans returned fire with their disintegrator guns and the battle was on.
At first it was a disaster for the army from Earth as 18 men were killed before 1 Martian could be put in its grave. Many Earth soldiers paniced and fled but Serviss and Edison rallied the troops before an all-out rout could begin. The tide turned in the Terrans’ favor and as the number of Martian dead rose the Red Planet forces retreated into their spaceship and opened fire on the Earthmen with the vessel’s large heat-ray cannons.
Before those deadly weapons could force the Terran army into a retreat one of the circling Earth spaceships came to the rescue and trained their disintegrator rays on the Martian spacecraft, riddling it with holes and killing every last living being inside.
As the Terrans examined the ruined craft the sight of Martian corpses that had been only partially disinegrated sickened them all. While the fleet regrouped search parties rounded up the soldiers who had ignominiously fled the enemy. Lord Kelvin and other Science Officers took advantage of the delay to conduct various experiments in the low gravity of the asteroid on which two battles had just been fought.
At length the Earth’s forces secured their Martian prisoner from the first firefight and the entire fleet resumed the journey to Mars. +++
I WILL EXAMINE ADDITIONAL PARTS SOON. CHECK BACK ONCE OR TWICE A WEEK FOR UPDATES.
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/
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