War of the Worlds: Global Dispatches edited by Kevin J. Anderson

For those who love the classic tale by H.G. Wells, this book expands the story with personal accounts from some of the most famous historical personas of the age. From the eyes of Teddy Roosevelt and Albert Einstein to Jules Verne and Leo Tolstoy, the Martian invasion is given new life for fans of the classics. The caveat, of course, is that in any short story collection, some stories are better than others, and with the similar theme revolving around the one story, most of these tales will run together if you breeze through them. This is a collection best taken slowly, a story or two at a time.

As a fan of the old pulps as well as the original tale that spawned this collection, I have to geek out a bit about the story from Edgar Rice Burroughs. I give no spoilers on how it works out, but suffice it to say, we get to see how these Martians relate to the very different world of John Carter.

All in all, this collection is greater than the sum of its parts, for by the end of it the invasion truly encompasses a far larger scale than the localized glimpse Wells first gave us over a century ago. For fans of the original, this is a gateway to discover some modern writers. For new fans, this is a great way to discover the original by means of a back door. It’s a win-win.

MacLeod Andrews is phenomenal in this audio version. Some of his voices are perhaps a little stereotypical, but there are times I had to remind myself that all of this was the work of one narrator. For a collection capitalizing on the idea of many writers offering many different historical voices, such a narration is not only worthy, it’s required.

4 stars

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