The War of the Worlds (1898) is a science fiction novel by H. G. Wells. It describes the experiences of an unnamed narrator who travels through the suburbs of London as the Earth is invaded by Martians. It is one of the earliest stories that details a conflict between mankind and an alien race.
The novel is narrated by a writer of philosophical articles who throughout the narrative struggles to reunite with his wife, while witnessing the Martians rampaging through the southern English counties. Part one also features the tale of his brother, who accompanies two women to the coast in the hope of escaping England as it is invaded.
The plot has been related to invasion literature of the time. The novel has been variously interpreted as a commentary on evolutionary theory, British imperialism, and generally Victorian fears and prejudices. At the time of publication it was classed as a scientific romance, like his earlier novel The Time Machine. Since then, it has influenced much literature and other media, spawning several films, radio dramas, comic book adaptations, a television series, and sequels or parallel stories by other authors.