A Journey in Other Worlds

Best–selling books written by very wealthy people are usually along the lines of “The Secrets of My Success” ― but this is a space–travel story!

A Romance of the Future

John Jacob Astor IV (1894)

  • HNtW 092 (2021–08–13) : Author’s Preface, Book I Chapters I―IV
  • HNtW 093 (2021–08–17) : Introduction by SM Stirling for a reprint edition (following the main content of the show, which is Chapter II of The Castle of Otranto)
  • HNtW 094 (2021–09–02) Book I, Chapters V―VII
Continue reading “A Journey in Other Worlds”

The Warlord of Mars

Edgar Rice Burroughs

This further sequel to A Princess of Mars and The Gods of Mars has no preface to explain how the author came into possession of Captain Carter’s story. Rather, it picks up directly where the previous book left off.


Continue reading “The Warlord of Mars”

The Gods of Mars

Edgar Rice Burroughs

This is the immediate sequel to A Princess of Mars, relating the further adventures of John Carter after his death on Earth.


Continue reading “The Gods of Mars”

By Air Express to Venus

or, Captives of a Strange People

Roy Rockwood

Everett Bleiler, in his monumental Science Fiction : The Early Years suggests that the “Great Marvels Series” of juvenile scientific-adventure novels, in which this was the eighth and next–to–last volume, was the first cloth–bound SF series in any language. The first instalment, Through the Air to the North Pole, or, The Wonderful Cruise of the Electric Monarch, appeared in 1906, and this one dates from 1929.

According to Bleiler, publishing magnate Edward Stratemeyer provided the plots to be fleshed out by writers under the Rockwood pseudonym, and for the first six books, the writer can be identified as Howard R Garis, but for this one it is unknown. Several of the other books in the series are available on Project Gutenberg, but not this one. Copyright is Cupples & Leon Co.


Continue reading “By Air Express to Venus”

Auf Zwei Planeten

Kurd Lasswitz

First half read 2019-02-03 ; about half of what remained, 2019-02-17, and finished 2019-03-03. (Video livestream recordings are available for two weeks.) This is a long one, for all that it represents an abridged edition. No unabridged version exists in English.


Continue reading “Auf Zwei Planeten”

Across the Zodiac : The Story of a Wrecked Record

Willy Ley encountered this Mars story in a German translation, and, failing to find the English original (possibly hampered by looking for it under the title Beyond the Zodiac, but Percy Greg was apparently a well-known English author), considered that it might be actually German.  The confusion was not helped by the fact that author Greg presents himself as translating a found manuscript.  Sam Moskowitz considers it the genesis of the Mars romance so characteristic of the early period of modern science fiction.

Continue reading “Across the Zodiac : The Story of a Wrecked Record”

Armageddon 2419 AD

Philip Francis Nowlan

This novel was edited together from two novelettes (one with the same title, the other entitled The Airlords of Han) which appeared in 1928—29.  The first part, in fact, was published in the same issue of Amazing Stories as the first part of The Skylark of Space.  And that’s why I’ve chosen to read it now, rather than later.

There is also a 1978 version available, “specially revised and updated for the modern reader” (or rather, heavily rewritten) by of all people “noted science fiction critic and Hugo Award winning author Spider Robinson”. I missed my chance to ask him about this at the Kansas City Worldcon, where he was Guest of Honor.


Money is the sincerest form of flattery.

The Skylark of Space

Edward Elmer Smith, PhD
and Lee Hawkins Garby

There is a sense in which Skylark is the science fiction novel.  Its influence on the whole genre cannot be overstated.  It launched the writing career of “Doc” Smith, and pioneered any number of things which became cliche later.  As a result, I’m really pleased to have read it for you — and not at all pleased by the technical problems which left the recording sounding as though I was at the bottom of a well the whole time!


Continue reading “The Skylark of Space”


Various Authors

In 1933—34, a “round robin” novel, with each successive chapter by a different author, was published in the fanzines Science Fiction Digest & Fantasy Magazine.  I first encountered the chapters by A. Merritt and Doc Smith in anthologies of their respective works.  It so happens that Doc’s chapter is a direct sequel to Merritt’s, which made it obvious to see what was going on, & led me to suspect the existence of more stories. Continue reading “Cosmos”

The Moon Pool

Abraham Merritt

I have now recorded The Moon Pool, by Abraham Merritt.  It was a gruelling effort, requiring more than 10 hours.  But that means plenty of shows!


  • 2017-02-17, HNtW 008, Foreword, Chapters 1—4 (no show on the 14th owing to my error)
  • 2017-02-21, HNtW 009, Chapters 5—8
  • 2017-02-24, HNtW 010, Chapters 9—11
  • 2017-02-28, HNtW 011, Chapters 12—15
  • 2017-03-03, HNtW 012, Chapters 16—18, plus introduction by Silverberg to U. of Nebraska Press edition
  • 2017-03-07, HNtW 013, Chapters 19 & 20, plus New York Times book review
  • 2017-03-10, HNtW 014, Chapters 21—23, plus beginning of Part 3 of Citadel of Lost Ships by Leigh Brackett
  • 2017-03-14, HNtW 015, Chapters 24—26, and remainder of Citadel of Lost Ships Part 3.
  • 2017-03-17, HNtW 016, Chapters 27—29, and a brief discussion of Auf Zwei Planeten by Kurd Lasswitz, courtesy of Willy Ley.
  • 2017-03-21, HNtW 017, Chapters 30—33, and a brief discussion of the powers of two.
  • 2017-03-24, HNtW 018, Chapters 34 & 35, concluding The Moon Pool, and Parts 4 & 5 of Citadel of Lost Ships, which thus also concludes.
  • 2019-04-02, HNtW 058, Chapters 1—3 of the novelette The Moon Pool, as published in All–Story Weekly, 22 June 1918 (rebroadcast 2020-04-21 to correct order of segments)
  • 2019-04-05, HNtW 059, Chapters 4—7, completing the novelette

Continue reading “The Moon Pool”