It is a story told many times in the century since the Great Martian Invasion — of a devastating and irresistible assault, of Mankind in panicked flight, and of humanity’s miraculous salvation. Every man and woman, girl and boy across the globe knows the tale and hears it with reverence and gratitude. And yet —
— is that the whole story? Did the Invaders have all the advantages? All the technology?
Not all the brains were on their side. Not all the guile. Certainly not all the ruthless determination. Listen and find out what really happened after the Cylinders fell to Earth and the Tripods strode forth. This is —
The small English town of Iping is just a waystation on the main road to Port Braddock. Nothing ever happens in Iping. Not in the dead of winter with the snow thick and crisp on the ground. Not with the wind howling and the ice crunching underfoot. Not until the Stranger came with his thick dark glasses and his head wrapped in bandages. Not until the Invisible Man arrived.
H G Wells’ The Invisible Man is one of the true classics of science fiction, as frightening and fresh now as it was when it was first written. For there is terror in doors that open with no one behind them, in footsteps in empty halls, in a touch in an empty room. And for Griffin, the Invisible Man, in the discovery of what it is to be both powerful — and powerless.
Steven Silk has a bit of a dilemma on his hands. He’s a junior diplomat with the Solar League and he’s got a new job. He’s being sent to Capella IV, or as it’s colloquially known, “New Texas,” as the new ambassador, what with the previous ambassador having been assassinated, and he’s got quite the to-do list. First, find out who assassinated poor Cyrus Cumshaw, second, express to the local government that the Solar League finds the situation totally unacceptable, and third, convince the New Texans that they need a treaty with the Solar League. Oh, and there’s also a little matter of a potential invasion by the alien Z’Srauff. Can Silk unravel the mystery of Cyrus Cumshaw’s assassination? Can he stave off the Z’Srauff? Can he, in fact, find his way around New Texas at all, even with the help of the lovely Gail Pepperdine?
Moreau, misunderstood and hounded by the London medical community, retreats to a Pacific island to continue his experiments. The goal: Nothing less than to surgically rebuild animals into the shape of men — and to teach them the meaning of humanity.
What is the law? Not to eat flesh or fish, that is the law; are we not men? What is the law? Not to chase other men, that is the law; are we not men?
As castaway Edward Prendick learns, Moreau is a feared, wrathful “god” to his beastmen. And in comparing Moreau to his lumbering, gentle servant M’Ling, it is sometimes difficult to tell which is the man, and which is the beast.
Wells’ classic shocker raises the question of what it means to be human. “Pain… is such a little thing…”
Award winner! – The Mark Time Award – The Silver Mark Time Award for Best Science Fiction Audio Production, 1996.