This was the question that struck me last night as I tried to process the jalapÃ©no peppers in my pizza.
When is WotW: Earth set? (and for that matter, when am I going to get a better name for it?)
The way I see it, there are several options
- 1898 – this was when the book was written. This would allow us to bring a lot of estbalished background, real and fiction alike. This was the era of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Wells himself, Jack the Ripper, Spring Heeled Jack. For fiction, we can turn to the tales of Sherlock Holmes, Fu Manchu, “League of Extraordinary Gentlemen”, Victor Von Frankenstein, Dracula and of course, Van Helsing. In a post-invasion world, would you want to meet some of these luminaries? Would Dracula ally or fight against the Martians (considering both of them are technically vampires, would Dracula want to protect his “cattle”?)
- 1938 – the date of the Orson Welles radio broadcast. In the real world we had the beginnings of World War II, the work of Robert E Howard and H.G. Wells was still alive. Crowley was moving from latest madness to the next big fad. In fiction we had the birth of Batman, Superman was in his adolescence. We had Zorro, Flash Gordon, Buck Rogers. Lots of options for heroic player characters.
- 1953 – the year of the film which depicted them as flying swan-necked machines. Not long after Roswell, the US gripped by McCarthyism, Winston Churchill in his third cabinet – the era of Johnny Cash, Buddy Holly, Humphrey Bogart, the beginnings of Hammer Horror. In fiction we had the birth of James Bond in 1952.
- Modern Day – well, wouldn’t that be easy?
At this point, I don’t know quite where to start. I have some more “martian-related” stuff to post, but I think the “When” question will decide a lot of things. My gut feeling is to go for either 1898 or 1938….
My vote is for 1938, but to have the Martian technology feel more modern day. I love the idea of seeing how the Martian invasion might have affected the pre-WWII political climate.
This was also an interesting time in science: quantum physics had been “discovered” in the 20s, the modern computer was just around the corner (although WWII definitely accelerated its development – would the Martians do the same?).
Also, I like that society was connected but separate in those days. There were still national ideals that didn’t spill across into other people’s countries – we could communicate easily enough (via the ‘phone) but not too easily to other countries and certainly not cheaply enough for the common citizen. This meant that there was considerable culture shock between different locales, whether separated by a few hundred miles or a few thousand.