cover image The Map of the Sky

The Map of the Sky

Félix J. Palma, trans. from the Spanish by Nick Caistor. Atria, $26 (576p) ISBN 978-1-4516-6031-9

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. (Sept.)