"The Crystal Egg", written by H. G. Wells in 1897, serves as a possible precursor to War of the Worlds. A shop owner buys the contents of a bankrupt antiques shop, and in the contents he finds a crystal ball. He thinks nothing of the ball, until one day he notices it emitting a glow. When he looks into the ball, he gets a fleeting view of a landscape. As time passes, the views become more defined, and strange beings appear. The ball becomes a secret part of his rather dull and unhappy life until a customer attempts to buy the ball. Now what? And can those strange beings also see our world through the ball? Remember, in 1897, life on Mars was a very real possibility.
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