1898: The War of the Worlds
Author/Editor: H. G. Wells, Martin A. Danahay
H.G. Wells’s War of the Worlds is perhaps the first alien invasion story ever.
War of the Worlds continued to have an effect on the 20th century. In 1938, Orson Welles adapted the book to be a radio play narrated as a series of news bulletins, which caused mass hysteria when listeners came to believe that the play was narrating actual events. Later references range from comics like The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, to TV shows, to radio re-adaptations, to feature films. If you’ve enjoyed an alien invasion movie, book, or play…you’ve probably got something to thank Wells for.