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The Map of the Sky

Cover of The Map of the Sky

The Map of the Sky

The Map of Time Series, Book 2
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The fate of the earth hangs in the balance as H.G. Wells' The War of the Worlds is transformed from the work of one writer's imagination into a terrifying reality for all mankind.
1898. New York socialite Emma Harlow agrees to marry well-to-do Montgomery Gilmore, but only if he first accepts her audacious challenge: to reproduce the Martian invasion featured in H. G. Wells's popular novel The War of the Worlds. Meanwhile in London, Wells himself is unexpectedly made privy to certain objects, apparently of extraterrestrial origin, that were discovered decades earlier on an ill-fated expedition to the Antarctic. On that same expedition was an American crew member named Edgar Allan Poe, whose inexplicable experiences in the frozen wasteland would ultimately inspire him to create one of his most enduring works of literature.

When eerie, alien-looking cylinders begin appearing in London, Wells is certain it is all part of some elaborate hoax. But soon, to his great horror, he realizes that a true invasion of Earth has indeed begun. As brave bands of citizens converge on a crumbling London to defend it against utter ruin, Emma and her suitor must confront the enigma that is their love, a bright spark of hope even against the darkening light of apocalypse.

Palma dazzled readers with his instant New York Times bestseller The Map of Time. In The Map of the Sky, he embarks on an even more thrilling speculative journey, one that links the earth and the heavens, the familiar and the bizarre, the impossible and the inevitable.
The fate of the earth hangs in the balance as H.G. Wells' The War of the Worlds is transformed from the work of one writer's imagination into a terrifying reality for all mankind.
1898. New York socialite Emma Harlow agrees to marry well-to-do Montgomery Gilmore, but only if he first accepts her audacious challenge: to reproduce the Martian invasion featured in H. G. Wells's popular novel The War of the Worlds. Meanwhile in London, Wells himself is unexpectedly made privy to certain objects, apparently of extraterrestrial origin, that were discovered decades earlier on an ill-fated expedition to the Antarctic. On that same expedition was an American crew member named Edgar Allan Poe, whose inexplicable experiences in the frozen wasteland would ultimately inspire him to create one of his most enduring works of literature.

When eerie, alien-looking cylinders begin appearing in London, Wells is certain it is all part of some elaborate hoax. But soon, to his great horror, he realizes that a true invasion of Earth has indeed begun. As brave bands of citizens converge on a crumbling London to defend it against utter ruin, Emma and her suitor must confront the enigma that is their love, a bright spark of hope even against the darkening light of apocalypse.

Palma dazzled readers with his instant New York Times bestseller The Map of Time. In The Map of the Sky, he embarks on an even more thrilling speculative journey, one that links the earth and the heavens, the familiar and the bizarre, the impossible and the inevitable.
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    I

    HERBERT GEORGE WELLS WOULD HAVE PREFERRED to live in a fairer, more considerate world, a world where a kind of artistic code of ethics prevented people from exploiting others' ideas for their own gain, one where the so-called talent of those wretches who had the effrontery to do so would dry up overnight, condemning them to a life of drudgery like ordinary men. But, unfortunately, the world he lived in was not like that. In his world everything was permissible, or at least that is what Wells thought. And not without reason, for only a few months after his book The War of the Worlds had been published, an American scribbler by the name of Garrett P. Serviss had the audacity to write a sequel to it, without so much as informing him of the fact, and even assuming he would be delighted.

    That is why on a warm June day the author known as H. G. Wells was walking somewhat absentmindedly along the streets of London, the greatest and proudest city in the world. He was strolling through Soho on his way to the Crown and Anchor. Mr. Serviss, who was visiting England, had invited him there for luncheon in the sincere belief that, with the aid of beer and good food, their minds would be able to commune at the level he deemed appropriate. However, if everything went according to plan, the luncheon wouldn't turn out the way the ingenuous Mr. Serviss had imagined, for Wells had quite a different idea, which had nothing to do with the union of like minds the American had envisaged. Not that Wells was proposing to turn what might otherwise be a pleasant meal into a council of war because he considered his novel a masterpiece whose intrinsic worth would inevitably be compromised by the appearance of a hastily written sequel. No, Wells's real fear was that another author might make better use of his own idea. This prospect churned him up inside, causing no end of ripples in the tranquil pool to which he was fond of likening his soul.

    In truth, as with all his previous novels, Wells considered The War of the Worlds an unsatisfactory work, which had once again failed in its aims. The story described how Martians possessing a technology superior to that of human beings conquered Earth. Wells had emulated the realism with which Sir George Chesney had imbued his novel The Battle of Dorking, an imaginary account of a German invasion of England, unstinting in its gory detail. Employing a similar realism bolstered by descriptions as elaborate as they were gruesome, Wells had narrated the destruction of London, which the Martians achieved with no trace of compassion, as though humans deserved no more consideration than cockroaches. Within a matter of days, our neighbors in space had trampled on the Earth dwellers' values and self-respect with the same disdain the British showed toward the native populations in their empire. They had taken control of the entire planet, enslaving the inhabitants and transforming Earth into something resembling a spa for Martian elites. Nothing whatsoever had been able to stand in their way. Wells had intended this dark fantasy as an excoriating attack on the excessive zeal of British imperialism, which he found loathsome. But the fact was that now people believed Mars was inhabited. New, more powerful telescopes like that of the Italian Giovanni Schiaparelli had revealed furrows on the planet's red surface, which some astronomers had quickly declared, as if they had been there for a stroll, to be canals...

About the Author-
  • Félix J. Palma has been acclaimed by critics as one of the most brilliant and original storytellers of our time. His devotion to the short story genre has earned him more than a hundred awards. The Map of Time, his first book published in the United States, was an instant New York Times bestseller and received the prestigious 2008 Ateneo de Sevila XL Prize. It has been published in more than thirty countries. He is also the author of the critically acclaimed The Map of the Sky. Palma lives in Spain. Please visit FelixJPalma.es.
Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from July 23, 2012
    Having used H.G. Wells’s The Time Machine as the starting point for 2011’s The Map of Time, Palma now takes The War of the Worlds as the basis for this top-notch sequel. In 1898, shortly after the publication of that tale of a Martian invasion of England, Wells accepts a lunch invitation from Garrett Serviss, an American writer who has penned a continuation in which Thomas Edison leads a contingent of Earth space ships to the red planet to seek revenge. Serviss, who believes that Martians are real, claims that he saw a Martian corpse—a specimen ostensibly recovered during an expedition to the Antarctic about 60 years earlier—in a secret area of London’s Museum of Natural History. Curious to verify Serviss’s improbable account, Wells embarks on a complex quest that includes a tip of the hat to John W. Campbell’s Who Goes There? Fans of intelligent science fiction as well as historical thrillers will be rewarded. Agent: Tom Colchie, the Colchie Agency.

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The Map of Time Series, Book 2
Félix J. Palma
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