Thursday, 8 June 2017
That is a quotation from English literature. It is the sound made by Martians dying in London. See HG Wells, The War Of The Worlds, Chapter 8.
The following coincidence is probably of no significance. When Poul Anderson's Merseian character Brechdan Ironrede speaks to his newest grandcub, he croons:
"'You will have stars for toys...Wudda, wudda, wudda.'" (Ensign Flandry, end of Chapter Three)
- and, in SM Stirling's The Scourge Of God, when an enemy assesses the Mackenzies before a battle, he refers to their war-paint and the "'...wudda-wudda-wudda stuff. It's like something out of ancient history.'" (Chapter Eleven, p. 292)
A familiar phrase resonates even when there is probably no implied cross-reference.
Stirling's battle scenes are intense. All those arrows in the air at once. Is this what it was like?