The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells:
Science Fiction Inventions, Technology and Ideas

This marvelous novel is one of the classics of science fiction; it can still send a chill down your spine more than one hundred years after publication. The Martians invade a pre-WWI Earth - how can they be stopped? (BTW, even though the book at left has a cool cover, you can read this classic for free here.)

Select an invention:

Autonomous Digging Machine
A mechanical device able to excavate on its own.

Biological Warfare - first use of the concept in fiction
The use of microorganisms to defeat an enemy; this is the first reference in science fiction that I can find to this concept.

Black Smoke - run for your lives!
A smoke or vapor dispensed in canisters.

Heat Ray - concept of the laser
First use of what appears to be a laser weapon.

Quasi-Muscles (Sham Musculature)
A means of giving motive power to robots or machines that is similar to animal musculature.

Red Weed (Terraforming Plant)
A plant brought by the Martians that grew on Earth.

Robot Biomimicry
Endowing robots with an organic-appearing fluidity, rather than mechanical motion.

Robot Spider (Handling Machine)
Multipurpose device used almost as an extension of the Martian's own bodies.

Steel Tentacle
Flexible robotic steel limbs that can both support a vehicle and grasp objects.

Tripod - inhuman robotic ships from Mars!
An enormous metallic robot.

 

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