All in all... We're pretty resilient. Heck, mankind has survived terrible plagues, a whole bevy of natural disasters, self-inflicted World Wars, genocides by the hands of madmen, and much, much more.
And they say cockroaches are hard to kill.
But what would happen if the unimaginable happened. What if Mars attacks?
Find out in these Best Alien Invasion Books!
If you want to check out any of these titles for free, you can do so with Audible's one month free trial.
The War of the Worlds
No alien invasion book list would be complete without the addition of this classic 1898 H.G. Wells novel. It is considered by many to be the progenitor to all modern Alien Invasion Books. This novel follows a defines what happens for the 12 days following a Martian invasion. If you're looking for Earth's near annihilation by large robotic Martian sentinels... Then look no further.
Arthur C. Clarke
What if aliens invaded and didn't destroy Earth? What if they came and turned it into a complete Utopia? With us under their colonial rule of course. Despite the colonization, we could have everything we ever wanted. But, is that really what we want? To hold all of our dreams and desire? In Childhood's End, it turns out we're not really into having a perfect world. And when we rebel against our alien overlords... Things tend to get a bit more dangerous.
The Puppet Masters
Robert A. Heinlein
This controversial Heinlein novel has all the elements of an alien invasion novel with the charm of a love-struck rhinoceros. In this story, slug-like beings have invaded Earth and its residents via flying saucer. They are parasitic creatures that need their human hosts to survive. Somehow, they have managed to invade the US Treasury and are working their way to the President of the United States. It's up to Sam--a misogynistic secret agent-- to return from vacation and team up with Mary--a beautiful redhead government official--to stop the threat.
The Word for World is Forest
Ursula K. Le Guin
Who said that aliens had to invade Earth to be an Alien Invasion story? What if we were the invading aliens on another planet? Here, humans have turned Terra (Earth) into a now-desert planet stripped of all its resources. They venture outward to Athshe, a forest world to conquer. However, this planet is inhabited by natives which rely on the forest environment for their own culture. Captain Davidson--the leader of Terra's expedition--sees this native species as savage and primitive. Now, it's up to a Terran anthropologist and Athshean dreamwalker to preserve the planet and its inhabitants.
Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle
Footfall is an interesting take on alien invasion. The invading Elephant-like species does not want to outright destroy Earth but to assimilate humanity into their herd. Now, in their culture, this means that there must be a battle. The loser then becomes accepted as part of the victor's clan. But the good people of Earth welcomed the invaders with open arms leaving themselves relatively defenseless to the visitors.
The Kraken Wakes
John Wyndham's The Kraken Wakes is an interesting take--if not relatively realistic-- on alien invasion. In his story the aliens come not from Mars, but Jupiter. As we all learned in school, Jupiter is a gas planet and the largest in our solar system thus exerting an extremely high pressure environment. So when Wyndham's aliens arrive, they find the low pressure environment on Earth to be less than optimal. The invaders then retreat to the depths of our ocean trenches to begin their worldly conquest.
A Hymn Before Battle
Despite winning my own personal awards for "One of the Worst Book Covers Ever", this John Ringo novel is actually pretty awesome. It first covers the idea that we are not alone. First contact is made with a species known as The Galactics. And while this first meeting is peaceful, it comes with a heavy foreboding. That another species known as the Posleen are coming. And that they have every intention of destroying Earth. The Galactics offer aid to the people of Earth with the return of command of Earth's military forces. In this first book of Ringo's Legacy of the Aldenata series, humanity is given the tough decision on who can and should be trusted.
Invasion of the Body Snatchers
Jack Finney's novel is a testament to the true nature of mankind and how our innate stubbornness, defiance, and perseverance can fight to overcome all odds. When sleepy California town Mill Valley finds itself under a subtle invasion from Pod People, it's up to Dr. Miles Bennell and his teen crush Becky Driscoll to save the day. This novel has been remade for the Silver Screen a total of 4 times already with another supposedly in development by Warner Bros.
The Three Body Problem
Chinese Science Fiction is on the rise partly in thanks to this Hugo Award winner from Cixin Liu. The Three Body Problem is set during the Chinese Cultural Revolution. In the story, disillusioned Chinese scientists receive a message from an alien pacifist from Trisolaris. The alien informs the scientists of the conditions and culture of its planet, but not to reply lest Earth be invaded. One of the scientists--Ye Wenjie--tired of the occupation and corruption of the Chinese government responds to the message against warning.
Alan Dean Foster
Prepare for one of the most adorably dangerous alien invasions of all time in Quozl! Extraterrestrial rabbits come to Earth in search of a solution to their homeworld's issue of overpopulation. Unfortunately for Earth, these non-violent lovers go back to their ways while on Earth.
The Mote in God's Eye
Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle
Humanity has discovered faster-than-light travel and have used this tech to go forth and colonize remote parts of known space. However, in-fighting begins and humanity goes through its own civil war. Afterwards while in recovery, an alien spaceship has been spotted near the Mote in God's Eye--a yellow sun within the visual vicinity of a red giant. Upon investigation, the alien species--come to be known as the Moties--seem to be wanting to trade technologies with humanity. At first, events seem all fine and dandy, but things don't always turn out like they seem.
The Forge of God
The trouble starts when one of Jupiter's moon goes missing. It's not hiding behind the planet or out of sight... but missing. Soon after, random geographical oddities start appearing around Earth. A mountain here that wasn't before or a cinder cone there... And in Death Valley, an actual alien life form. And this ET comes with a message. That a world eating species has decided to make Earth its next meal.
Ring of Charon
Roger MacBride Allen
When Larry Chao, a junior scientist, figures out a way to control artificial gravity via the ring and unauthorized surrounding Charon, he makes a grave mistake. He allows an otherwise unknown alien race called the Charonians to disappear the Earth via a created wormhole. This story is masterfully told in two separate perspectives. The remaining humans not located on Earth and Earth's destroyers, the Charonians.
If we knew of an imminent death of our civilization, would we be prepared to stand against it? This is exactly what Chris Berman questions in The Hive. When Earth finds out in three years time that an alien species is coming to conquer, humanity must stand together to defeat a technologically advanced foe or die trying.
In the Balance: An Alternate History of the Second World War
This is the first part of Harry Turtledove's alternate history/alien invasion saga. It takes place in 1941 just as the world is torn apart by World War II. Invading aliens have arrived. Now, the countries must set aside their differences and band together for the greater good of humanity. How will this alien race hold up against some of Earth's greatest generals of the time?
What the deal with Alien Invasion Science Fiction Books?
If you were asked this question, most likely you would response..."They're about aliens invading, duh."
And you wouldn't be wrong. But there are many underlying things behind these best alien invasion books including politics, war, immigration, and even race.
For example, Wells' The War of the Worlds is believed to have stemmed from the military hegemony and societal ills of the time.
Alien Invasion stories tended to spike during the Cold War. Invading aliens became a metaphor for foreign invaders like those from the Soviet Union and communist bloc. The all-too-present reality of looming nuclear annihilation became displayed through writers' plot device of world destruction.
So much so that, Presidents Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev agreed to put an immediate halt to the Cold War if ever the event of an alien invasion.
Alien Invaders... Alien or Nah?
The majority of alien invasion books are just as they seem. An extraterrestrial entity comes to Earth and commences the process of global genocide. It's a great formula for a great story. These aliens can be humanoid in nature or be extremely varied such as the dual-trunked elephant creatures from Footfall. (Imagine Hannibal riding those over the Pyrenees.)
But sometimes... Those dastardly invaders are us. Even Neil Tyson Degrasse feels that we as humans may pose just as much of a threat to ET life as they do to us.
That's right. Some of the most interesting stories come when humankind are the invaders. It really makes the reader look inside themselves and see their own morals and confront what could be their own xenophobia. Normally, these stories are driven by humanity's lust for resources for general greed.
The Real War of the Worlds from H.G. Wells to Orson Welles
In 1938, the country was brought to its knees in the wake of an alien invasion. Well, maybe not the whole country. And quite possibly... the aliens weren't real. But... this invasion did stir up a real life panic and crisis.
It was Orson Welles radio broadcast adaptation of H.G. Wells' The War of the Worlds. Wonder how the world became so shook? Have a listen for yourself.
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