kay, since I’m in the middle of a couple of gigantic books with no end in sight, I needed to go back to the shelves and pick something for review. Yes, even thought this isn’t DOG EAR, I must say that I’ve forgotten big chunks of some of my favorites, so much that I’m not comfortable reviewing them. But War in the Air, much like that other Wellsian classic, War of the Worlds, has thoughts and scenes that stick with me.
So were stuck in this world of 191- with Bert, a humble bicycle mechanic. Bert labors through his days and follows his petty concerns (as I recall it) while the great powers are stirring for their final struggle. You see, the airship is all the rage and replacements can be built in small, scattered shops. Once the fleet is aloft, there is damn near nothing that defenders can do it stop it from centering on cities, of bombing them into ruins, of striking and continually striking, even when their home cities are destroyed.
Sounds a little like all the terrifying me technologies we have, of ICBMs and stealth bombers and internet malware and all the ways that a carefully constructed civilization can be turned into rubble, no?
I remember this being a cracking good read, with Bert sweapt up by the German air fleet, of the final battle between an Oriental Fleet and the Germans over Niagara Falls, of the crashing fall of civilization and Bert’s long trip home to his little village in England, and what it has become. And this story still carries one of the most stunning moments that illustrate how situations and adventures may change a man, when Bert returns to find his “shire” run by evil men. This he quickly sorts out in a scene that hangs with me years afterwards.
You’ll have to peck around for this one – possibly your library has it. And, wait, I just checked – available on Project Gutenberg , HERE, so I’m giving you this one for free. It’s a short read. Have at it, and write me to remind me why this was so very good!