Friday, April 12, 2013

War of the Worlds Book Cover Collection

Ever go for a walk with someone, maybe your brother, and start talking about something crazy, like what if aliens or zombies descended on the scene. What would you do? Where would people hide? How would you survive? H.G. Wells had just that sort of walk, actually with his brother, and it resulted in The War of the Worlds (1898).

It's so fun to think that idle talk about martians landing in Surrey resulted in a book that has never been out of print and is one of the most inspirational novels of all time. The book cover collection is a testament to that fact, which is sincerely worth a look (click here). Here are just a few of my favorites:

Folio Society, London, 2004, English

Gong Ye Chu Ban She, Hong Kong, 2004, Chinese

Editora Sextante, Brazil, 2000, Portuguese

Khudozhestvennaya Literatura, Moscow, 1983, Russian

Marvel Comics, Editora de PeriĆ³dicos S.C.L. (La Prensa), 1981, Spanish
1976 Marvel Classics edition 
Contact, 1971, Dutch
Lancer Books, Inc., 1967.
1960 cover by Edward Gorey.
Some of Gorey's illustrations are here.

Molodaya Gvardiya, Moscow, 1956, Russian

Editora Latino Americana, Mexico, 1951, Spanish

State Publishing House of the RSFSR People's 
Commissariat of Children's Literature, 1945, Russian

1927 reprint in Amazing Stories.

Again, for the complete collection, visit:

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  1. My favourite is the 1978 Pan Books cover. This could have everything to do with the fact that I own a copy of the book, published in 1978 by Pan Books. It really is the best novel. I know that a lot of stuff ("heat rays") seems pretty corny now, but back in the day nobody had ever heard of this stuff. Truly great.

  2. I like the 1980s Russian version best because of the space ship with tentacles.

    What I really like about this collection is the story it tells about how publishers thought the reading public would respond to the book, what aspects of it they thought were most appeal and how they felt Wells would be viewed.

  3. I'd like Surrey to look more like Surrey. ;-)