In a world where the notion of copyright was yet to involve lawyers, it was quite easy to copy material and pass it off as your own.
And that is what the Boston Evening-Post did in 1898, taking H.G. Wells classic The War of the Worlds and giving it a few geographical tweaks to move the story from London to Boston. The story, more often referred to as Fighters from Mars doesn’t really deviate from the narrative of the original. The readers of the Boston newspaper made the story a big hit and a sequel was produced shortly afterwards which was written as original material.
Edison’s Conquest of Mars had the people of Earth in a counter-attack against the invaders from Mars. Amazingly, the hero of the story, Thomas Edison, was THE Thomas Edison, inventor of light bulbs and all-round American icon at that time.
Whilst the original Fighters’ story is only available as scanned images of the original print, the sequel can be purchased from Apogee Books and looks to be a good read. A 2006 review from Focus magazine can be read here.
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