Ep. 6: Worlds at War

Before H.G. Wells penned War Of The Worlds, the alien invasion genre as we know it didn’t exist. And perhaps more than any text in this series, his landmark science fiction novel focused readers deliberately on the monster in the mirror: the British Empire’s civilizing, Christianizing mission, refracted through his technologically enhanced Martian colonizers. But 120 years later,

War of the Worlds

and its central premise have been coopted by the forces of nationalism, and Christian nationalism in particular. Today we’re going to talk about how

War of the Worlds

captures the tension between two visions of the future amidst escalating crises today: a world that moves beyond the hallowing of blood and soil, and a world that

violently, defiantly, embraces it. 

With Dr. Sarah Cole of Columbia University

Written, produced, and narrated by Lucas Kwong 

Voice acting: Christian Young-Valdovinos, Lucas Kwong

Special Thanks to Pixabay’s audio artists for public domain FX clips

Clips from various films and news used under fair use laws

Theme song “Lair” by The Brother K Melee (brotherk.bandcamp.com)

Closing song “Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence” by The Brother K Melee

Support the podcast at https://ko-fi.com/lucaskwong!

Or leave a review! https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/monster-in-the-mirror/id1654399705

Further Reading

Michael Barkun. A Culture of Conspiracy: Apocalyptic Visions in Contemporary America

Sarah Bond. “Pseudoarchaeology and the Racism Behind Ancient Aliens.” https://hyperallergic.com/470795/pseudoarchaeology-and-the-racism-behind-ancient-aliens/

Jason Colavito. The Cult of Alien Gods: H. P. Lovecraft and Extraterrestial Pop Culture

Jason Colavito. “Review of Ancient Aliens S03E12: Aliens and Deadly Cults.” //http://www.jasoncolavito.com/blog/review-of-ancient-aliens-s03e12-aliens-and-deadly-cults

Sarah Cole, Inventing Tomorrow: HG Wells and the Twentieth Century

Michael Coren, The Invisible Man: The Life And Liberties Of H.G. Wells

John Carlos Frey. Sand and Blood: America’s Stealth War on the Mexico Border

Michael Heiser. “Ancient Astronaut Nonsense as an Interpretive Filter for the Bible.”


Sam Moore and Alex Roberts, The Rise of Ecofascism: Climate Change and the Far Right

A. Brad Schwartz. Broadcast Hysteria: Orson Welles’s War of the Worlds and the Art of Fake News

Alexander Zaitchik. “Close Encounters Of The Racist Kind.” https://www.splcenter.org/hatewatch/2018/01/02/close-encounters-racist-kind

Ben Zeller, Ed. Handbook of UFO Religions.

Full Text of War Of The Worlds: https://www.gutenberg.org/files/36/36-h/36-h.htm

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