Orson Welles' 1938 radio adaptation of The War of the Worlds has done much to obscure the real brilliance of the original work. Written at a time when "science-fiction" did not exist as a genre, The War of the Worlds was a new departure in literature. Author H.G. Wells, deeply committed to social improvement in turn-of-the-century Britain, used extra-terrestrial invasion to predict the results of a not-entirely-impossible violent upheaval in contemporary society: for "Martians" read "bolsheviks." His book is social prophecy of the first order and only coincidentally one of the great works of science-fiction.