Excerpts for Wizard of Mars

Another War of the Worlds?

"You are the wizard's wizard, man! You have turned Mars into New Jersey!"

Even in the general alarm of the moment, Kit had to snicker. Ronan stood there looking as cool as usual, but something in his eyes betrayed the fact that he wasn't sure he was being complimented. "Could have been worse," Ronan said under his breath as he looked around. "I could have done it the other way round."

"This is the place where that old radio version of War of the Worlds happened, isn't it?" Kit said. "The one they did on Halloween way back whenever it was, and they pretended it was happening in New Jersey somewhere, instead of England."

"And it's not even the right New Jersey!" Darryl said. "It's New Jersey now! Look over there--" He pointed. Off to their right, across the street, was a big handsome blue building with a long, peaked roof. On the opposite side of the road in front of it stood a pole with road signs that said ROUTE 629 and TO NJ TURNPIKE. Farther down the pole were posted a laser-printed ad for an Internet café and a faded picture of somebody's lost dog.

Darryl was looking at the big blue building. "Bet you that was the mill once," Darryl said. "Look, I was right! There's the old millstones. They've got 'em

sunk into the ground so cars won't ruin their lawn when they turn the corner. There's where the water came out past the mill. But no Martians!" He started laughing again.

"I wouldn't be too sure about that," Ronan said, very quietly.