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The War of the Worlds (Paperback)
The narrator is at an observatory in Ottershaw when explosions are witnessed on Mars, causing interest among the scientific community. Later a "meteor" lands on Horsell Common, southwest of London, close to the narrator's home in Woking, Surrey. He is among the first to discover that the object is a space-going artificial cylinder. When the cylinder opens, the Martians - bulky, octopus-like creatures the size of a bear - briefly emerge, show difficulty in coping with the Earth's atmosphere, and rapidly retreat into the cylinder. A human deputation moves towards the cylinder, but the Martians incinerate them with a heat-ray weapon, before beginning the construction of alien machinery.