Tag: scifi

The Real Life Controversy H.G. Wells’ ‘War of the Worlds’

H. G. Wells died this week in 1946. In honor of his death, we’re taking a look at the fake news broadcast that supposedly panicked many listeners.

 

 

Some people may know that H. G. Wells’ The War of the Worlds was originally released as a radio broadcast in 1938. Played out by a cast of actors and presented as though it were really taking place, The War of the Worlds broadcast caused mass panic, and many people believed aliens were actually invading New Jersey. Or at least that’s how the story goes.

 

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Hg wells | Image via thought co

 

There’s some evidence of this. According to NPR‘s Radiolab, about one in twelve people were listening in, enough to constitute mass panic, and many ran from their homes to see what was happening. This matter is contested, however.

Slate argues that this one in twelve number is just out of those with their radios on, in addition to the fact that Wells’ masterpiece was competing with a particularly popular variety show. In a ratings survey shortly after it aired, most respondents referred to it as a “radio play”. Certainly not as a news broadcast.

Still, contemporary news papers seized the opportunity to discredit radio as an unreliable source, and claimed that masses of people had taken to the streets in panic. Sort of ironic. At least we got a few movies about all that hype. And we finally got to see Tom Cruise running for once.

 

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Gif via Gifer

I kid. Somebody let that man rest. He must have other skills that are being neglected. At least put him on a motorcycle sometimes. Wait.

So was there an actual scare? Maybe. A little. Certainly it occurred to someone that it could be interpreted as real news. Ultimately, though, people knew what it was, and if they didn’t, they dismissed it as a prank. Still, pop culture myths are pernicious, and it’s interesting to imagine a world in which a broadcast could convince a nation that aliens had invaded.

 

 

Featured image via Fandom 

Here Are Our Book Lovers Day Staff Picks!

Colorless Tsukuru Tazaku and His Years of Pilgrimage – Haruki Murakami

 

 

Surrealism

“The themes of finding closure for unresolved personal negativities really resonated with me.” – Nate

 

The Space Between – Brenna Yovanoff

 

 

Fantasy

“This is a book about being deeply flawed, and how even as you’re trying to be better, it’s honest to let those things stay a part of you.” – Kali

 

 

The Last Unicorn – Peter Beagle

 

 

Fantasy/Children’s

“It Reminds me that there’s magic in the world even if you can’t see it.” – Becky

 

The Prisoner of Azkaban – J. K. Rowling

 

Fantasy

“I enjoyed it.” – Richard

 

 

The Old Man and the Sea – Ernest Hemingway

 

 

Literary Fiction

“This is one of Hemingway’s most compelling books due to the religious themes and the focus on minority groups, at a time when prejudice in America was prevalent.” – Kyle

 

The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald

 

 

Literary Fiction

“A good narrative that gives a view into the minds of the characters.” – Lexi

 

 

Gone – Michael Grant

 

 

Science Fiction

“It’s very entertaining and has a mystery you want to solve.” – Heather

 

Ties of Shooting Stars – Keigo Higashino

 

 

Detective

“The mystery keeps you guessing, and the build-up for the plot twist has a great payoff.” – Derek

 

 

The Thief Lord – Cornelia Funke

 

 

Children’s

“I found it really empowering as a child, with these kids taking care of themselves and fighting for good.” – Amy

 

The Lightning Thief – Rick Riordan

 

 

Fantasy

“I like Greek mythology, and the book’s funny, witty humor.” – Tim

 

 

Images via Amazon 

Featured image via Upslash 

Image of a book on a leaf-covered floor.

7 Books You Have to Check Out This Fall!

Don’t worry, you still have time before the end of summer, but it’s never too early for book hype!

Here are some bonkers-sounding page-turners coming to shelves in the next few months.

 

1. The Bedlam Stacks by Natasha Pulley, Aug. 1

The cover of The Bedlam Stacks, which is a blue and gold illustration of monkeys and birds surrounding a lantern.

Image courtesy of Bloomsbury

 

In 1859, Cornish smuggler Merrick Tremayne embarks on a journey into the Amazon to gather quinine. The thing is, every previous mission has met its end at the hands of something mysterious and possibly magical.

 

2. The Walls by Hollie Overton, Aug. 8

 

The cover of The Walls, which is of a chainlink fence and a mysterious silhouette behind it.

Image courtesy of Hachette Book Group

 

Kristy Tucker works on death row as a prison counselor, and is content with her job as it supports her family. However, her home life is filled with a different kind of horror as she deals with her abusive husband, Lance Dobson. The inmates she works with give her an idea for the perfect crime, but she has to decide if it’s worth putting her family at risk.

 

3. The Cuban Affair by Nelson DeMille, Sept. 19

The cover of The Cuban Affair, which shows a red silhouette of palm trees.

Image courtesy of Amazon

 

When Mac is hired for a routine fishing trip in Cuba, he has a feeling there’s more to it than that, and soon finds out his clients are hunting for buried treasure. As relations between the US and Cuba are relaxing, someone is bound to dig it up soon; he just needs to be the first.

 

4. Fool Me Once by Catherine Bybee, Sept. 19

 

The cover of Fool Me Once, which shows a woman in a black dressing sitting in a white room.

Image courtesy of Fantastic Fiction

 

Lori Cumberland is a divorce attorney who’s given up on love. That is, until she meets Reed Barlow, an undercover private investigator who’s been hired by one of Cumberland’s angry clients.

 

5. Paradox Bound by Peter Clines, Sept. 26

 

The cover of Paradox Bound, which is of a car driving on a moebius strip.

Image courtesy of Amazon

 

A time traveler driving a Model-A Ford keeps bumping into Eli Teague, and he can’t wait to meet her again. But when she drives back into his life, she brings with her a sprawling adventure that puts all of Time in danger.

 

6. It Devours!: A Welcome to Night Vale Novel by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor, Oct. 17

The cover of It Devours!, which shows an endless circle of teeth on a yellow background.

Image courtesy of Harper Collins

 

It Devours! follows up the bestselling novel Welcome to Nightvale, and tells the story of scientist Nilanjana Sikdar. Nilanjana must uncover the mysteries of the local cult The Joyous Congregation of the Smiling God, but her plans are complicated when she catches feelings for Darryl, one of the Congregation’s devotees.

 

7. Artemis by Andy Weir, Nov. 14

 

The cover of Artemis, which shows a black and white image of the Moon.

Image courtesy of Nerdist

 

Author Andy Weir stranded Matt Damon on Mars with his bestselling debut, The Martian, and is following it up with Artemis. Jasmine Bashara, or Jazz, like any small town kid wants to escape into something new and exciting. The interesting thing is her small town, Artemis, is located on the moon. When she engages in smuggling, she soon finds herself in a conspiracy endangering Artemis.

 

Featured image courtesy of Favim