The Reading List: Aliens

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The Independent Culture


'War of the Worlds by H G Wells', Penguin Classics £8.99

Variously interpreted as a commentary on evolutionary theory, British imperialism and Victorian fears and prejudices, War of the Worlds tells the nail-biting tale of one man's struggle to track down his wife during an alien invasion. Included are some of the most vivid scenes of London in literature.


'The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy' by Douglas Adams, Pan £7.99 (Volume 1)

First published in 1985 following a successful radio series of the same name, Adams' series of Hitchhiker books remain a pop-cultural phenomenon, spawning multiple spin-offs on stage and in comic books. The laugh-out-loud tale follows Arthur Dent, a hapless Englishman, as he travels through space.


'An Uncensored History of America's Top Secret Military Base' by Annie Jacobsen, Orion £20

Jacobsen's riveting, behind-the-scenes look at America's most enigmatic military installation, Area 51, addresses the persistent conspiracy theories about UFOs, while also taking an historic look at the government's long-buried secret weaponry and espionage programs. Controversial and captivating, it poses as many questions as it answers.


'The Eerie Silence: Searching for Ourselves in the Universe' by Paul Davies. Penguin £9.99

For 50 years the Search for extra-terrestrial intelligence has been vigilantly scanning our skies in the hope of detecting alien activity. As well as being an engaging writer, Paul Davies is also head of the group's Post-Detection Task Group. Here he addresses the issue of ET silence, examining ways in which we might be able make contact, as well as the form that alien intelligence would take.

Graphic Novel

'Cowboys & Aliens' by Scott Mitchell Rosenberg, Fourth Estate £12.99

Recently adapted into a film starring Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford, Rosenberg's comic sees a pair of gun slinging cowboys – Zeke Jackson and Verity Jones – joining forces with a group of Apache Indians who are led by Chief Medicine Crow. Their aim is quite straightforward – to defeat a group of invading aliens who are intent on world domination. Naturally.