Malcolm Taylor’s friends doubt his claim of having invented a time machine, all except for Griffin, a selfish and mean-spirited man—an invisible man, to be precise. When Griffin coerces Taylor for help with his experiments, they end up in the middle of a Martian invasion, soon realizing that the fate of all of humanity, past and future, rests in their hands.

“In the Time of the Martians” appears in Turning the Tied, a charity anthology from the International Association of Media Tie-In Writers, of which I’m a member due to my Star Trek writing. All the stories feature characters from popular works in the public domain. I chose to weave together elements from three iconic H. G. Wells novels: The Time Machine, The Invisible Man, and The War of the Worlds. The excerpt below is from the opening scene of the story.

In the Time of the Martians

Malcolm Taylor stood upon his threshold bidding a subdued good night to his departing dinner guests. Hillyer had appeared nearly convinced by his grim story of the future—all about young Weena, the Eloi, the Morlocks, and then escaping far beyond, to when the Earth itself was in its very death throes—but the rest clearly doubted his sincerity if not his sanity, even those who had attended the previous Thursday’s demonstration of the miniature time machine.
       As his friends gave their final waves and made their way to the station for hansoms, Taylor closed the door and returned to his drawing room. It was nearly one in the morning, but he didn’t feel like sleeping. He tossed another log on the fire, sat, and started making a mental list of the supplies he would take with him when next he used the time machine. He’d been foolish to rush off into the future without so much as a compass, a proper supply of matches, or—
       “Finally, they’re gone.”
       Taylor startled at Griffin’s words; he hadn’t attended dinner, so when had he come in? Turning toward the sound of his unexpected guest’s voice, he said, “After our argument last week, I thought I’d never see you again.”
        “Perhaps you never will,” said Griffin’s voice from thin air, followed by unpleasant laughter. . . .

Cover copyright International Association of Media Tie-In Writers. All text copyright Scott Pearson.
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