"...across the gulf of space, minds that are to our minds as ours are to those of the beasts that perish, intellects vast and cool and unsympathetic, regarded this earth with envious eyes, and slowly and surely drew their plans against us."
Found - a review slip or pre-publication publicity (a flier) in a first edition of H.G. Wells The War of the Worlds (Heinemann, London 1898) one of the greatest Science Fiction novels of all time. The novel had previously appeared in serialized form in 1897, published simultaneously in Pearson's Magazine in the UK and Cosmopolitan magazine in the US. The reviews are from magazines and newspapers of the time including one from a French paper Mercure de France which says that Wells surpasses Jules Verne.
The scheme of the story is tremendous – no less than attack made upon our world by the dwellers on Mars grown desperate by the contemplation of the fate in store for them when the cooling of their own planet is complete.
The immediate pressure of necessity, says Mr Wells, has brightened the intellects of the dwellers on Mars, in large their powers, and hard and their hearts. "And looking across space, with instruments and intelligences such as we can only dream of vaguely, they see it at its nearest distance, only 35,000,000 miles sunward of them, a morning star of hope, our own warmer planet, green vegetation and grey with water, with the cloudy atmosphere elegant of fertility, with glimpses through its drifting cloud wisps of broad stretches of populous country and narrow navy-crowded seas."
The story must be read by everyone who esteems thrills. His calm, merciless method – too often a manifestation of the scientific mind – his convincing trick of verisimilitude, his dispassionate accumulation of terrifying evidence – these gifts, allied to a very remarkable imagination, make any work of Mr Wells notable and worthy of attention.(The Academy.)
Astonishing power of illusion. – Daily Chronicle
Mr H.G. Wells, the novelist has made such notable use of the scientific imagination as applied to fiction, is at the present moment enchanting the readers of Pearson's Magazine with an account of an invasion of the Earth by the inhabitants of Mars. – Spectator.
'Curieux…et original: supérieur aux fantasies de Jules Verne: aver les qualités brilliants et les préoccupations sérieuses de R.L. Stevenson, avec dans le bizarre et terrible quelquefois des aspects d'Edgar Poe." (Mercure de France.)