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 Earth fleet departed from the asteroid and resumed course for Mars. To pass the time the flagship’s linguists began working with the 15 feet tall Martian captive in an attempt at communication. Some progress was made, enhanced by the captive’s possession of a book, thus giving the linguists a look at the written language of the Red Planet.
After 23 days the Earth fleet at last reached Mars. Edison commanded the Terran ships to observe and map the planet below so that an overall strategy could be outlined. Mars featured several continents, all criss-crossed with the canals people were convinced Mars possessed back then.
The grass and trees were all various shades of red, with the trees varying in height from 100 feet to around 1,000 feet. The lesser gravity of the Red Planet permitted this type of growth.
At one point the fleet dropped too close to the surface and was spotted by the Martians. Immediately aircraft camouflaged to blend in with the red vegetation began rising by the dozen. Soon the Earth fleet was in danger of being surrounded, so Edison commanded all the ships to rise up to a height of several miles.
Once it was apparent that the Martians could not rise that high above the surface (their spacecraft had been fired at Earth like missiles and were not piloted from on-board) the Terran forces resumed mapping the planet below, planning to strike the major population center around what Earthlings called the Lake of the Sun.
To their horror the Martians again launched multiple air-vessels and, though they could not reach the Earth ships each Martian craft released a chemical smoke that soon hid them from the Terrans. All of the Earthmen tensed, prepared for a potential surprise attack now that the air force of the Red Planet had hidden themselves from view. +++
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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