Saturday, May 24, 2014

Free Classic Science Fiction Download - H.G.Wells Star Begotten As Fodder For Your Old School Post Apocalyptic Campaign

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Imagine that at the end of War of The Worlds and the supposed Martian Invasion that the Martians didn't die and that they were actually delivering a biological legacy to mankind. We really are the Martians and they are right now living among us.
Well's Star Begotten addresses this very idea. The book is a 1937 science fiction book which might be loosely and I do use the term loosely Well's sequel to The War Of The Worlds.
The plot goes something like this : 
Star-Begotten is a 1937 novel by H. G. Wells. It tells the story of a series of men who conjecture upon the possibility of the human race being altered by Martians to replace their own dying planet.
The protagonist of the story Joseph Davis, who is an author of popular histories, becomes overtaken with suspicion that he and his family have already been exposed and are starting to change. 
There are even other over arches with the Star Begotten in recent books like The Sherlock Holmes War Of The Worlds book from 1975.

Much of the material in the book is a weird take on the War Of The Worlds. The Martians are completely unstoppable and almost a force of nature in the books.
Wiki goes into it :
At the end of Sherlock Holmes's War of the Worlds, Professor Challenger indicates that the "Martians" (not really from Mars in the story) from The War of the Worlds are the same Martians from Star-Begotten, and hints at the start of the Martian alteration-program.
The connection to the 'Star Begotten' and 'Quartermass and the Pit'  is even stronger and the two books have certain parallels. Wiki goes into it thus: 
In Nigel Kneale's 1957 BBC television serial, and its later 1967 British science fiction movie adaptation Quatermass and the Pit (of the Professor Quatermass series), a discovery of strange fossils reveals that human evolution was altered by a dying race of Martians, in order to leave a legacy behind. This may have been inspired by the tale of HG Wells.

Using The Star Begotten As Fodder For Your Old School Post Apocalyptic Campaign 


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At the end of War of The Worlds the narrator is left with a sheer sense of dread and doubt. He even suffers a complete mental breakdown. The final chapter which is one of the most dire. It reads like a post apocalyptic adventure. The narrator encounters a couple of deranged characters, hides out in the ruins of London, scouts for food, witnesses the fifth cylinder crash, the final horrors of the Martians, etc.
Yet it all seems like a final gesture by a dying race of alien monsters. But there might be more happening happening in War of the Worlds
A good overview right HERE
And a solid resource HERE
 The Star Begotten gives a DM another whole take on these events. The invasion could take place in A Mutant Future style world and the Martian war machines etc are actually on Earth to deliver their final blow to mankind. A legacy of  viruses designed  to change the human population into something 'else'.Perhaps this is where the the mutants come in as the Earth changes completely and a second wave of the invasion begins. Could there be more to the Mars seen in Well's Crystal Egg? If this world was Mars at all. There is far more going on in The Star Begotten then simply an invasion and changeling like plan of these creatures. The Star Begotten makes these alien far more cosmic and weird then simply the whole sale destruction seen in War of the Worlds. This is an invasion on a micro cellular scale with changes that will effect generations of humans for the rest of this planet's life.
Simply put the Star Begotten changes everything that we've seen in War of the Worlds and turns it on its ear. The book is a really different take on events of War of the Worlds however loosely and it could be used as a compelling campaign maybe even during the so called Shadow Years of a game like Mutant Future or Gamma World. 


  1. Nice timing on this post--I've re-written the old entry for the Crystal Egg, and made pretty much the same connection to the Star Begotten as you just did here. Great minds and all that, I suppose. I like the way that Wells opened the door for the 'Martians' to be a bit more than they at first appeared. I have not read Wellman's book yet, but combining Holmes with the War of the Worlds sounds like a great idea. The Star Begotten has a nice resonance with HPL as well...

  2. I forgot to add that there's also a nice potential cross-over in the Star-Begotten with the Fantastic Four, in that there is a lot of talk about 'Cosmic Rays' early on, and one could then bring in a bit of that sort of thing, if so desired...

  3. I always thought that the 'Martians' were quite a bit more then their classic invasion origins suggest Garrison. Beware that the Holmes book makes the humans pretty helpless in the face of the Martians. Even more so then in the Well's classic origin. The Star Begotten is very HPL in many of its themes. They include some of the laid out ideas that we get in Lovecraft's At The Mountains of Madness.
    The Wold Newton universe material has quite a bit of Star- Begotten/Fantastic Four stuff happening in a few of their entries over at their website. Since much of that material is being turned into published works now. I've tried to stay away from it. I think that Trey from The From The Sorcerer's Skull talked about the Wells/Fantastic Four angle a long time ago.Don't quote me on that though. Some of these thoughts, blog entries, webpages,etc. blur together on occasion.

    1. I missed the Star-Begotten/FF stuff. I haven't had much opportunity to go digging around the WNU site(s). I've been reading a lot of old books instead. I really like how this book opens-up the 'Martians' and how it offers some interesting/disturbing implications well worth exploring. It has been quite influential on my own efforts. As to the blogs all blurring together, I know what you mean!

  4. The Star Begotten/FF crossover goes into the Jack Kirby 2001/Eternals saga stuff as well. There's some really interesting crossover potential with Arthur C.Clark's 2001 material. The whole thing has some very Lovecraftian resonances and there's further evidence when we get into Well's take on history, politic, and the world governmental theories. All this really ties into not conspiracy theory (but it can) but The Shape Of Things to come. Wells was a master of interweaving his material to suit his opinions ( some of which I agree with and others of which stink). The Shape of Things to Come dovetails in with his The World Set Free.


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