Edgar Rice Burroughs
David Innes is a mining heir who finances the experimental "iron mole," an excavating vehicle designed by his elderly inventor friend Abner Perry. In a test run, they discover the vehicle cannot be turned, and it burrows 500 miles into the Earth's crust, emerging into the unknown interior world of Pellucidar. In Burroughs' concept, the Earth is a hollow shell with Pellucidar as the internal surface of that shell.
Pellucidar is inhabited by prehistoric creatures of all geological eras, and dominated by the Mahars, a species of flying reptile both intelligent and civilized, but which enslaves and preys on the local stone-age humans. Innes and Perry are captured by the Mahars' ape-like Sagoth servants and taken with other human captives to the chief Mahar city of Phutra. Among their fellow captives are the brave Ghak, the Hairy One, from the country of Sari, the shifty Hooja the Sly One and the lovely Dian the Beautiful of Amoz.
Lord Dunsany (24 July 1878 – 25 October 1957) was a London-born Anglo-Irish writer and dramatist notable for his work in fantasy. He was influenced by Algernon Swinburne, who wrote the line "Time and the Gods are at strife" in his 1866 poem "Hymn to Proserpine", as well as by the fairy tales of the Brothers Grimm and Hans Christian Andersen. In turn, Dunsany's influence was felt by H. P. Lovecraft and Ursula K. Le Guin. Arthur C. Clarke corresponded with Dunsany between 1944 and 1956. Those letters are collected in the book Arthur C. Clarke & Lord Dunsany: A Correspondence. Time and the Gods, a series of short stories written in a myth-like style, was first published in 1906.
Nesbit, E. (Edith)
Philip and Lucy discover that the city Philip has built using toys, books and household objects, has come alive. This is the account of their incredible adventures in those magical lands, where they meet characters from books and history, mythical beasts, and many other nice (and not so nice) people and creatures.
As with all Edith Nesbit's tales, The Magic City has generous helpings of humour, imagination and interesting ideas, as well as the over-arching story of how a boy and girl who have unwillingly become step-brother and sister eventually learn to like each other.
A story that works on many levels and will be equally enjoyed by adults and children.
This was the last story published by Twain, a few months before he died. The story follows Captain Elias Stormfield on his extremely long cosmic journey to heaven. It deals with the obsession of souls with the "celebrities" of heaven, like Adam and Moses, who according to Twain become as distant to most people in heaven as living celebrities are on Earth. Twain uses this story to show his view that the common conception of heaven is ludicrous and points out the incongruities of such beliefs.
A lot of the description of Heaven is given by the character Sandy McWilliams, a cranberry farmer who is very experienced in the ways of heaven. The heaven described by him is similar to the conventional Christian heaven, but includes a larger version of all the locations on Earth, as well as of everywhere in the universe. Once in heaven, the person spends eternity living as he thinks best, usually according to his true (sometimes undiscovered) talent. According to one of the characters, a cobbler who "has the soul of a poet in him won't have to make shoes here", implying that he would instead turn to poetry and achieve perfection in it.
As Stormfield proceeds through heaven, he learns that his pre-conceptions of "heaven" are all wrong and a good part of the fun of the tale comes from Twain's revealing the "true facts" about what heaven is and how it works.
Jefferies' novel can be seen as an early example of "post-apocalyptic fiction." After some sudden and unspecified catastrophe has depopulated England, the countryside reverts to nature, and the few survivors to a quasi-medieval way of life.
The first part of the book, "The Relapse into Barbarism", is the account by some later historian of the fall of civilisation and its consequences, with a loving description of nature reclaiming England. The second part, "Wild England", is an adventure set many years later in the wild landscape and society.
The book is not without its flaws (notably the abrupt and unsatisfying ending) but is redeemed by the quality of the writing, particularly the unnervingly prophetic descriptions of the post-apocalyptic city and countryside.
Raspe, Rudolf Erich
The stories about Münchhausen were first collected and published by an anonymous author in 1781. An English version was published in London in 1785, by Rudolf Erich Raspe, as Baron Munchhausen's Narrative of his Marvellous Travels and Campaigns in Russia, also called The Surprising Adventures of Baron Munchhausen. It is not clear how much of the story material derives from the Baron himself; however, it is known that the majority of the stories are based on folktales that have been in circulation for many centuries before Münchhausen's birth.
Mystery of the Sea is a novel with elements of adventure, supernatural and romance. Archie Hunter goes on a holiday to relax but finds he sees unusual things like spirits and ghosts. An old woman claims she sees them too and that they are both seers. She convinces Archie to help her solve the mystery of the sea.
Selma Lagerlöf was born in Vaermland, Sweden, in 1858 and enjoyed a long and very successful career as a writer, receiving the Nobel-Price in Literature in 1909. She died in Vaermland in 1940. The Wonderful Adventures of Nils (Orig. Nils Holgerssons underbara resa genom Sverige) is a famous work of fiction by Selma Lagerlöf, published in two parts in 1906 and 1907. The background for publication was a commission from the National Teachers Association in 1902 to write a geography reader for the public schools.
"She devoted three years to Nature study and to familiarizing herself with animal and bird life. She has sought out hitherto unpublished folklore and legends of the different provinces. These she has ingeniously woven into her story." (From translator Velma Swanston Howard's introduction.)
Also known as "A Political History of the Devil"This book is divided into two parts: first, the history of the devil from his fall from heaven up to the time the book was written and second about his private conduct. Partly funny, partly religious, and partly critical of what was written before, the book is purely delightful to read. This is a lesser known work by the author of Robinson Crusoe and Moll Flanders. ( Stav Nisser.)
The Mysteries of Paris (French: Les Mystères de Paris) is a novel by Eugène Sue which was published serially in Journal des débats from June 19, 1842 until October 15, 1843. Les Mystères de Paris singlehandedly increased the circulation of Journal des débats.
There has been lots of talk on the origins of the French novel of the 19th century: Stendhal, Balzac, Dumas, Gautier, Sand or Hugo. One often forgets Eugène Sue. Still, The Mysteries of Paris occupies a unique space in the birth of this literary genre: it entranced thousands of readers for more than a year (even illiterates who had episodes read to them) and was also a major work in the formation of a certain form of social consciousness. One often hears that the 1848 revolution was partly born in the pages of the Mysteries of Paris or, more appropriately, that the Mysteries of Paris helped create a climate which allowed the 1848 revolution to occur.
The hero of the novel is the mysterious and distinguished Rodolphe, who is really the Grand Duke of Gérolstein (a fictional country) but is disguised as a Parisian worker. Rodolphe can speak in argot, is extremely strong and a good fighter. Yet he also shows great compassion for the lower classes, good judgment, and a brilliant mind. He can navigate all layers of society in order to understand their problems, and to understand how the different social classes are linked.
Rodolphe is accompanied by his friends Sir Walter Murph, an Englishman, and David, a gifted black doctor, formerly a slave.
The first figures they meet are Le Chourineur and La Goualeuse. Rodolphe saves La Goualeuse from Le Chourineur's brutality, and saves Le Chourineur from himself, knowing that the man still has some good in him. La Goualeuse is a prostitute, and Le Chourineur is a former butcher who has served 15 years in prison for murder. Both characters are grateful for Rodolphe's assistance, as are many other characters in the novel.
The Marble Faun is Hawthorne's most unusual romance. Writing on the eve of the American Civil War, Hawthorne set his story in a fantastical Italy. The romance mixes elements of a fable, pastoral, gothic novel, and travel guide. In the spring of 1858, Hawthorne was inspired to write his romance when he saw the Faun of Praxiteles in a Roman sculpture gallery. The theme, characteristic of Hawthorne, is guilt and the Fall of Man. The four main characters are Miriam, a beautiful painter who is compared to Eve, Beatrice Cenci, Lady Macbeth, Judith, and Cleopatra, and is being pursued by a mysterious, threatening Model; Hilda, an innocent copyist who is compared to the Virgin Mary; Kenyon, a sculptor, who represents rationalist humanism; and Donatello, the Count of Monti Beni, who is compared to Adam, resembles the Faun of Praxiteles, and is probably only half human.
The Wood beyond the World is a fantasy novel by William Morris, perhaps the first modern fantasy writer to unite an imaginary world with the element of the supernatural, and thus the precursor of much of present-day fantasy literature. His use of archaic language has been seen by some modern readers as making his fiction difficult to read, but brings a wonderful atmosphere to the telling.
Morris considered his fantasies a revival of the medieval tradition of chivalrous romances. In consequence, they tend to have sprawling plots of strung-together adventures. In this story, Walter leaves his father and his own unfaithful wife and sets sail in search of adventure. This he finds aplenty, encountering love, treachery and magic in the Wood of the title and in travelling through the Mountains of the Folk of the Bears. But can he find happiness and peace by means of his Quest?
Read by Cori Samuel
This is the third issue of the classic science fiction Astounding Magazine. It contains the opening chapters of a 4 part serialized novel by Ray Cummings, and stories by the prolific Capt. S. P. Meek, Will Smith and R. J. Robbins, Sewell Peaslee Wright and A. T. Locke.
Lucian of Samosata
The endeavour of small Greek historians to add interest to their work by magnifying the exploits of their countrymen, and piling wonder upon wonder, Lucian first condemned in his Instructions for Writing History, and then caricatured in his True History, wherein is contained the account of a trip to the moon, a piece which must have been enjoyed by Rabelais, which suggested to Cyrano de Bergerac his Voyages to the Moon and to the Sun, and insensibly contributed, perhaps, directly or through Bergerac, to the conception of Gulliver’s Travels. The Icaro-Menippus Dialogue describes another trip to the moon, though its satire is more especially directed against the philosophers.
Time Agents Ross Murdock and Gordon Ashe return for another assignment, this time to the tropical island paradise planet of Hawaika. Something apocalyptic has occurred in this planet’s history, altering its topography and cleansing it of all intelligent life. But something goes wrong when they attempt a peek at the past through a Time Gate, and with the Polynesian girl Karara and her trained dolphins Tino-rau and Taua, are plunged into a conflict between a dying super-race, barbarian natives, and invading aliens.
An everyday tale of a young Victorian housewife who turns into a fox and the troubles her husband then has in dealing with her increasingly wild antics, that is, her essential fox nature. A unique take on the perennial tale of the troubles that must always (?) exist between a husband and wife.
When Sylvia Tebrick, the 24-year-old wife of Richard Tebrick, suddenly turns into a fox while they are out walking in the woods, Mr. Tebrick sends away all the servants in an attempt to keep Sylvia's new nature a secret. Both then struggle to come to terms with the problems the change brings about.
Noted writer of Asian folklore Lafcadio Hearn brings us a volume of mysterious and magical folk stories from the country of China.
This issue includes "Werewolves of War" by D. W. Hall, "The Tentacles from Below" by Anthony Gilmore, "The Black Lamp" by Captain S. P. Meek, "Phalanxes of Atlans" by F. V. W. Mason, and continues with "The Pirate Planet" by Charles W. Diffin,
This 3rd volume of the Marie Antoinette Romances begins a decade after the close of "The Mesmerist’s Victim” and is based on a real scandal in Louis XVI’s court, commonly called “The Diamond Necklace Affair.” In this volume, the plotting of a powerful occultist, Count Cogliostro (or “Balsamo”), collides with the long-festering resentments of a previous royal house, Jeanne de Valois (de la Motte), a growing popular movement for sociopolitical reform, and a shrinking supply of bread. It is easy to see how converging sociopolitical challenges can threaten the monarchy, but how can the court of Louis XVI overcome these challenges amidst a famine? After all, in the words of his economic advisor, Turgot de l'Aulnes, “Ne vous mêlez pas du pain” (One must not meddle with bread)!
Holberg, Ludvig Baron
Niels Klim's Underground Travels, originally published in Latin as "Nicolai Klimii Iter Subterraneum" (1741) is a satirical science-fiction/fantasy novel written by Ludvig Holberg, a Norwegian-Danish dramatist, historian, and essayist, born in Bergen, Norway. It was his first and only novel. It describes a utopian society from an outsider's point of view, and often pokes fun at diverse cultural and social topics such as moral, science, sexual equality, religion, governments, and philosophy.
P. G. Wodehouse
The Swoop! tells of the simultaneous invasion of England by several armies — "England was not merely beneath the heel of the invader. It was beneath the heels of nine invaders. There was barely standing-room." (ch. 1) — and features references to many well-known figures of the day, among them the politician Herbert Gladstone, novelist Edgar Wallace, actor-managers Seymour Hicks and George Edwardes, and boxer Bob Fitzsimmons.
The book starts with a young heroine telling her story of coping with a debilitating illness that includes depression and thoughts of suicide. Her doctor is unable to help her and sends her off on a holiday where she meets a mystical character by the name of Raffaello Cellini, an Italian artist. Cellini offers her a strange potion which immediately puts her into a tranquil slumber, in which she experiences divine visions. This is the beginning of her journey to health, both spiritual and physical.
The five-volume work chronicling the adventures of father Gargantua and son Pantagruel is a vehicle for Rabelais' satire of sixteenth-century European society. It is lively, outrageous, and, at times, bawdy. This the third of the five volumes--all are translated by Thomas Urquhart and Peter Motteux
This 2nd volume of the Marie Antoinette Romances continues the intrigues of "Balsamo, The Magician" and adds to them the schemes of philosophers and the stirrings of revolution. Balsamo (based on the real Count Alessandro di Cagliostro) carries on his occult tactics to weaponize the state secrets that he gained in the previous volume. A serious romance and illness takes root in the court of King Louis XV, convincing one of the leading philosophic minds of the era, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, that “the breath of heaven will blast an age and a monarchy.”
Guy de Maupassant
"The Horla" (French title "Le Horla") is among the most famous short stories by the French writer Guy de Maupassant. This version, published in 1887, is an expanded version of that previously published in the Paris literary periodical, Le Gil Blas, on October 26, 1886. Written as a series of private journal entries, it recounts the narrator's terrifying experience of "a strange, unknowable, and invisible being."
Stockton, Frank R.
A collection of nine enchanting short stories filled with curious beasts and unexpected endings. Included are The Bee-Man of Orn; The Griffin and the Minor Canon; Old Pipes and the Dryad; The Queen's Museum; Christmas Before Last: Or, The Fruit of the Fragile Palm; Prince Hassak's March; The Battle of the Third Cousins; The Banished King; and The Philopena
Lamb used Homer's Odyssey as the basis for the re-telling of the story of Ulysses's journey back from Troy to his own kingdom of Ithaca. Not a direct translation and deemed modern in its time, Lamb states in the preface that, "I have gained a rapidity to the narration which I hope will make it more attractive and give it more the air of a romance to young readers".
What happens when a not-so-lucky man happens upon a brass bottle releases the djinni caught within? Misunderstanding, culture shock, hilarity, among other things. Will the well-intentioned djinni help his new master? Or will he makes things even worse?
H. Rider Haggard
H. Rider Haggard (author of King Solomon's Mines the Allan Quatermain Series, and many more) and Andrew Lang (author of, among others, the rainbow coloured fairytale books) collaborate to lend their talent to one of the most fascinating and well known stories of all times. Odysseus returns home from the war, but does not find the peace and quiet which he craves. His home is ravaged, and his wife Penelope is dead. He comunicates with an old flame, the beautiful Helen of Troy, who sends him to his ultimate and defining last journey. Read about his adventures, and what might have been, in this beautiful novel by two of Britian's best Vctorian novelists.
Bangs, John Kendrick
The premise of the book is that everyone who has ever died (up until the time in which the book is set, which seems to be about the time of its publication) has gone to Styx. This does not appear to be the conventional Hell described by Dante in The Inferno, but rather the Hades described in Greek myth (both of which had Styxes): a universal collecting pot for dead souls, regardless of their deeds in life.
The book begins with Charon, ferryman of the Styx (in The Inferno, he was the ferryman of the river Acheron) being startled—and annoyed—by the arrival of a house boat on the Styx. At first afraid that the boat will put him out of business, he later finds out that he is actually to be appointed the boat's janitor.
What follows are eleven more stories (for a total of twelve) which are set on the house boat. There is no central theme, and the purpose of the book appears to be as a literary thought experiment to see what would happen if various famous dead people were put in the same room with each other. Each chapter is a short story featuring various souls from history and mythology. (Wikipedia)
A coming of age story blended with a swashbuckling road trip through an mythical "golden age" of Spain. The titular character is excluded from the inheritance of the family castle on the grounds that given his expertise with sword and mandolin he should be able to win his own estate and bride. Setting out to achieve his place in the world, Rodriguez quickly acquires a Sancho Panza-like servant, Morano, and goes on to experience a series of adventures, often humorous, en route to his goal. Lord Dunsany, well known as an influence on J.R.R. Tolkein, H.P. Lovecraft, Ursula Le Guin, Neil Gaiman, and others, creates a world in which anything is possible, and all outcomes serve poetry and wonder first. (Wikipedia and Ed Humpal)
John Kendrick Bangs
This sequel to Bangs' A House-Boat on the Styx continues the "thought-experiment" of bringing various historical and fictional figures together, detailing the adventures of the ladies of Hades after they are kidnapped by pirates and the attempts of the Associated Shades (led by Sherlock Holmes) to retrieve their house-boat.
H. Rider Haggard
Rachel Dove is a British missionary's daughter in the wilds of Africa. Her life is turned around when fellow teenager Richard Darrien rescues her from a flash flood; their common initials alone may clue the reader in that these two are another pair of Haggard's predestined lovers. Some years later, after not having seen Richard in the meantime, Rachel runs afoul of one of the author's patented lustful villains, Ishmael, a renegade Englishman who plots with the Zulu king to have Rachel for his own. The rest of the story you'll have to listen to discover.
This Marie Corelli novel falls in the realm of fantasy and science fiction with a steampunk element. The story centers around Morgana Royal, a powerful woman who invents an airship, and Roger Seaton, her love interest who has control of a destructive power. She explores her capacity to love, as well as his. Moreover, she questions whether she is of this world and this time, or some other realm altogether.
The Inheritors: An Extravagant Story (1901) is a quasi-science fiction novel on which Ford Madox Ford and Joseph Conrad collaborated. It looks at society's mental evolution and what is gained and lost in the process. Written before the first World War, its themes of corruption and the effect of the 20th Century on British aristocracy appeared to predict history. In the novel, the metaphor of the "fourth dimension" is used to explain a societal shift from a generation of people who have traditional values of interdependence, being overtaken by a modern generation who believe in expediency, callously using political power to bring down the old order.
John Kendrick Bangs
The author has discovered for us in this volume the present stopping place of that famous raconteur of dear comic memory, the late Hieronymous Carl Friederich, sometime Baron Munchausen, and he transmits to us some further adventures of this traveler and veracious relater of merry tales. There are about a dozen of these tales, and, judging by Mr. Bangs' recital of them, the Baron's adventures on this mundane sphere were no more exciting than those he has encountered since taking the ferry across the Styx. Mr. Bangs proves himself well worthy of the task of reintroducing this merry old wag to modern fun-lovers, and in selecting from the tales the Baron has related to him he has chosen with an eye to the humorous which is unfailing in its clearness and keenness of perception. (Review from Book News, V. 20, 1902)
Victorian-era writer Marie Corelli’s epic work Ardath, The Story of a Dead Self, is filled with supernatural and gothic themes. We meet Theos Alwyn, an atheist poet who is lost and disconsolate with life. He begins his journey by seeking out a monastery in the Caucasus mountains; his spiritual quest then takes him to the mythical field of Ardath, which becomes a door into a dream of another version of his self that transcends space and time.
When George Randolph first caught sight of Orena, he was astounded by its gleaming perfection. Here were hills and valleys, lakes and streams, glowing with the light of the most precious of metals. And, more astonishing than that, it was a world of miniature perfection—an infinitely tiny universe within a golden atom!
But for Randolph it was also a world aglow with danger. Somewhere in its tiny vastness were the friends he had to rescue. Captives of a madman, they had been reduced to native Orena size; to return to Earth they needed the growth capsules Randolph was bringing them. It was up to Randolph to find them—and quickly—for the longer they stayed tiny, the closer they came to passing BEYOND THE VANISHING POINT!
"A gripping, thrilling, uncanny tale about the frightful fate that befell a yachting party on the dreadful island of living dead men."
"Old Ralph Rinkelmann made his living by comic sketches, and all but lost it again by tragic poems. So he was just the man to be chosen king of the fairies..."
George MacDonald (December 10, 1824 – September 18, 1905) was a Scottish author, poet, and Christian minister. Though no longer well known, his works (particularly his fairy tales and fantasy novels) have inspired admiration in such notables as W. H. Auden, J. R. R. Tolkien, and Madeleine L'Engle. The Shadows is one such fairy tale. The strange Shadows spend their existence casting themselves upon the walls and forming pictures of various sorts: mimicking evil actions of those who have done wrong in the hopes of causing their repentance, playing a comic dumb-show to inspire a playwright and dancing to inspire a musician, nudging a little girl to comfort her grandfather, and playing with a sick little boy as he waits for his mother to return home. The king privately pities the Shadows, for they cannot generally remember their deeds, acquaintances, or loves past a single night.
The novel is a humorous oriental romance and allegory written in the style of the Arabian Nights. Like its model, it includes a number of stories within the story, along with poetic asides.
This is final volume of the Mabinogion. As with the other volumes, these Arthurian tales are translated from Welsh manuscripts and largely represent an earlier and more pagan period.
Almost certainly the merging of two separate magazine novellas, where Scrymsour attempted to weave together the plots. In this fantasy/ science fiction novel, the two young gentlemen protagonists are transported from a company town dominated by their family coalmine into an underground cave system where an oligarchic exiled race of dwarf Israelites has lived for 3000 years and grown horns. More space and time travel follow bringing our heroes to Jupiter, where romance follows.
Beck, L. Adams
This is a collection of the following short stories: The Ninth Vibration -- The Interpreter : A Romance of the East -- The Incomparable Lady : A Story of China with a Moral -- The Hatred of the Queen : A Story of Burma -- Fire of Beauty -- The Building of the Taj Majal -- How Great is the Glory of Kwannon! -- The Round-Faced Beauty. Many of them are romantic, some of them are fantasy and others are occult fiction.
Ernst Theodor Wilhelm Hoffmann (1776 – 1822), better known by his pen name E.T.A. Hoffmann (Ernst Theodor Amadeus Hoffmann), was a German Romantic author of fantasy and horror, a jurist, composer, music critic, draftsman and caricaturist. Hoffmann's stories were very influential during the 19th century, and he is one of the major authors of the Romantic movement.
He is the subject and hero of Jacques Offenbach's famous but fictional opera The Tales of Hoffmann, and the author of the novelette The Nutcracker and the Mouse King, on which the famous ballet The Nutcracker is based. The ballet Coppelia is based on two other stories that Hoffmann wrote. Also Schumann's Kreisleriana is based on one of Hoffmann's characters.
Master Flea was published in 1822.
Henry Burr's fiance, Madeline, is seduced by another man. The guilt and painful memories she has as a result cause him to refer her to Dr. Heidenhoff, who has developed a method to remove such memories from people's brains so that they can live happy lives.
Leigh Douglass Brackett
In the wake of unexpected meteor activity, a wave of inexplicable madness sweeps the already strange and ill-charted world of Venus. Racing to locate the source of the disturbance, Lundy and his team from Tri-World Police, Special Branch quickly find that locating the problem isn't half so tough as transporting IT back to headquarters. Out of his depth metaphysically and quickly sinking into the black pit of a Venusian sea, Lundy is about to discover his own profound reserves of strength and pit them against that which lurks behind a veneer of beauty-- the Unknown.
Raymond Fisher Jones
The Markovian Nucleus was once an existential threat to the council worlds, but then, in the space of only 70-80 years, their culture completely changed. They became model galactic citizens and everyone was too relieved to question their good fortune. Now, Doctoral Candidate Cameron Wilder and his new bride, Joyce Wilder, are on the case. What actually happened to the Markovians?
Her most famous work, Granny's Wonderful Chair, was published in 1856 and it is still in print to this day. It is a richly imaginative book of fairy stories and has been translated into many languages. This work, read as a child by Frances Hodgson Burnett, inspired the writings of Little Saint Elizabeth and Other Stories
This book tells of a girl named Alice falling through a rabbit hole into a fantasy world populated by peculiar, anthropomorphic creatures.