It’s funny how gadgets come to be in the sci-fi universe and how they envolved over time to what we now know them today. What’s really funny is how a lot of it was invented by rip off to "War of the Worlds" (by H.G. Wells 1898) It was an unauthorized sequel called "Edison’s Conquest of Mars" by Garrett P.
Famed inventor Thomas Edison flys to Mars and kills the aliens from War of the Worlds. It was one of the most revolutionary sci-fi novels ever written. And many elements of science fiction can be traced back to it.
6. First mention of Ray Guns
That’s right, from Star Wars to the Looney Tunes show, no sci-fi story would be complete without a ray gun. Edison’s Conquest of Mars describes the Martianss carrying "hand engines, capable of launching bolts of death." These rays can reduce humans to "heap of Cinder" but what about disintegration? Edison invents a device the size of a pocket mirror, calling it a "disintegrator."
5. First spacesuit and space flight
War of the Worlds was ahead of it’s time but space flight wasn’t one of them. There is no mention at all of space flight through out the book. Wells didn’t write about it until "First Men in the Moon" (1901) but he didn’t mention space suites, zero-gravity, and such. But Garrett, however, did, not only the space suits but he described weightlessness. The space suit is "an air-tight dress constructed somewhat after the manner of a diver’s suit"
The suits were heated via an intricate series of tubes, their own propulsion system complete with built in phones to talk to each other.
Edison’s ship also has a "double-trapped door which gave access to the exterior of the car without permitting the loss of air" A description of the same protective airlock chamber that is found in every movie.
4. First Epic Space Battle
We don’t expect for books to have massive battles, because it wasn’t invented back then. War of the Worlds was the first book to describe an all-out confrontation with alien invaders. But the "war" was one sided with the aliens shooting us.
Edison took it to a new level by having the fleet fight and wipe out the Martians Air Force, inventing the concept of massive ship vs. ship space battles. The battle is described in great detail, featuring swooping, diving and shooting enemies in midair. EX:
"Almost in an instant, it seemed, a swarm of airships surrounded us, wile from what, for lack of a more descriptive name, I shall call the forts about the Lake of the Sun, leaped tongues of electric fire, before which some of our ships were driven like bits of flaming paper in a high wind, gleaming for a moment, then curling up and gone forever!"
3. The phrase "reverse the Polarity"
It's what science fiction characters tend to say when a difficult problem arises. It tends to be in a lot of B movies that are old. the phrase is repeated seven times in the book, that's more than in the original Star Trek series.
2 Space Mining
Mining resources in outer space, usually on asteroid or planets, sounds like something new to the sci-sci world, we've seen it in Alien and Avatar. In the book, Edison lands on an asteroid that turns out to be made of gold. The humans notice there's a mine on the asteroids.
"This must be the great gold mind of Mars," said the president of an Australian mining company, opening both his eyes and his mouth as he spoke. "Yes, evidently that's it. Here's where they come to get their wealth."
1. Aliens building the Pyramids and Abductions
This is another scifi-ish thing we see a lot of. Stargate, Allen's vs Predator, Transformers 2 all reveal that aliens helped to build the Pyramids of Egypt. The first "ancient astronaut" theory was first proposed in 1954. In Edison it suggest that the great Sphinx is a monument to the Martians leader. Also the book mentions of kidnaping people all the way from India to do most of the building of the Pyramids.
So there you have it. Lots of great sci-fi tech all thanks to a book. And in it's time it was considered by many to be poor fan fiction and was ignored.
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