Tripod - Kevin O'Neill
Herbert George Wells wrote The War of the Worlds in 1898, one of the very first novels to visualize an invasion by an alien race with superior technology. The U.S. military/industrial/movie complex is extremely fond of this meme, especially recently, the latest being Battleship 2012, somehow turning the children's game into yet another story of alien invasion.
Alan Moore's The Watchmen visualizes a faked alien invasion that is really more of a subconscious mind bomb - dropped on NYC, created with the help of artists and writers, trapped on a mysterious island, who weave a subconscious horror together with tales of every monster from the Id they could imagine.
The thing that is interesting is that Orson Welles (curiously echoing the name of the original author) achieved a very similar affect with his infamous 1938 radio broadcast of The War of the Worlds:
"The first two thirds of the 60-minute broadcast were presented as a series of simulated "news bulletins", which suggested to many listeners that an actual alien invasion by Martians was currently in progress. Compounding the issue was the fact that the Mercury Theatre on the Air was a "sustaining show" (it ran without commercial breaks), adding to the program's realism.So really, another mind bomb. In The Watchmen, the bomb is terribly destructive, millions die. The only thing fake about it was the media's attribution to an alien attack, when in truth the destruction was entirely home grown.
In the days following the adaptation, however, there was widespread outrage and panic by certain listeners who had believed the events described in the program were real."
This reminds me of the mind bomb of 911, that was quickly attributed to a certain crazy Arab.
In H. G. Well's The War of the Worlds, earth prevails with unintentional bio-warfare, the Martians defeated by the common cold. However, in Moore's LOEG2, it really IS a bio-weapon that is unleashed on the Martians, the common cold being merely the official cover story.
"Officially, the Martians died of the common cold. Any humans died of Martians."
While personally a fan of H. G. Wells' fiction, I note that he was a supporter of eugenics:
In 1904 he discussed a survey paper by Francis Galton, co-founder of eugenics, saying "I believe ... It is in the sterilisation of failure, and not in the selection of successes for breeding, that the possibility of an improvement of the human stock lies"In my ongoing conspiracy novel, The elite, secure in their belief in the superiority of their genetics, develop a sort of eugenics weapon, that is capable of achieving a "sterilisation of failure", to put it nicely. They've already tested it on certain undesirable classes, but they can't very well deploy it planet-wide without suspicion, so they invent a handy scapegoat - an alien invasion.
"We had no choice".
I just wonder what it would be like to be reincarnated in an animal whose species had been so reduced in numbers than it was in danger of extinction. What would be its feelings toward the human species whose population explosion had denied it somewhere to exist... I must confess that I am tempted to ask for reincarnation as a particularly deadly virus. ~Prince Philip
"Out of our regard for them (i.e. two Indian chiefs) we gave them two blankets and a handkerchief out of the smallpox hospital. I hope it will have the desired effect."~Smallpox Immunization of the Amerindian