When the World Shook (23)

By: H. Rider Haggard
August 10, 2012

HILOBROW is pleased to present the twenty-third installment of our serialization of H. Rider Haggard’s When the World Shook. New installments will appear each Friday for 24 weeks.

Marooned on a South Sea island, Humphrey Arbuthnot and his friends awaken the last two members of an advanced race, who have spent 250,000 years in a state of suspended animation. Using astral projection, Lord Oro visits London and the battlefields of the Western Front; horrified by the degraded state of modern civilization, he activates chthonic technology capable of obliterating it. Will Oro’s beautiful daughter, Yva, who has fallen in love with Humphrey, stop him in time?

“If this is pulp fiction it’s high pulp: a Wagnerian opera of an adventure tale, a B-movie humanist apocalypse and chivalric romance,” says Lydia Millet in a blurb written for HiLoBooks. “When the World Shook has it all — English gentlemen of leisure, a devastating shipwreck, a volcanic tropical island inhabited by cannibals, an ancient princess risen from the grave, and if that weren’t enough a friendly, ongoing debate between a godless materialist and a devout Christian. H. Rider Haggard’s rich universe is both profoundly camp and deeply idealistic.”

Haggard’s only science fiction novel was first published in 1919. In September 2012, HiLoBooks will publish a beautiful new edition of When the World Shook, with an introduction by Atlantic Monthly contributing editor James Parker. NOW AVAILABLE FOR PRE-ORDERING!

SUBSCRIBE to HILOBROW’s serialized fiction via RSS.

LAST WEEK: “‘I am not in the least fearful, Oro, since I am sure that you can’t hurt me at all any more than I could hurt you last night because, you see, it wasn’t permitted. When the time comes for me to die, I shall go, but you will have nothing to do with that. To tell the truth, I am very sorry for you, as with all your greatness, your soul is of the earth, earthy, also sensual and devilish, as the Apostle said, and, I am afraid, very malignant, and you will have a great deal to answer for shortly.'”

ALL EXCERPTS: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24


No, there were two more notable things. Neither of the grooves now lay within hundreds of yards of the cliff, perhaps a quarter of a mile, for be it remembered we had followed the rising rock between them. To put it quite clearly, it was exactly as though one line of rails had separated into two lines of rails, as often enough they do, and an observer standing on high ground between could see them both vanishing into tunnels to the right and left, but far apart.

The second notable thing was that the right-hand groove, where first we saw it at the point of separation, was not polished like the left-hand groove, although at some time or other it seemed to have been subjected to the pressure of the same terrific weight which cut its fellow out of the bed of rock or iron, as the sharp wheels of a heavily laden wagon sink ruts into a roadway.

“What does it all mean, Lord Oro?” I asked when he had led us back to the spot where the one groove began to be two grooves, that is, a mile or so away from the razor-edged cliff.

“This, Humphrey,” he answered. “That which travels along yonder road, when it reaches this spot on which we stand, follows the left-hand path which is made bright with its passage. Yet, could a giant at that moment of its touching this exact spot on which I lay my hand, thrust it with sufficient strength, it would leave the left-hand road and take the right-hand road.”

“And if it did, what then; Lord Oro?”

“Then within an hour or so, when it had travelled far enough upon its way, the balance of the earth would be changed, and great things would happen in the world above, as once they happened in bygone days. Now do you understand, Humphrey?”

“Good Heavens! Yes, I understand now,” I answered. “But fortunately there is no such giant.”

Oro broke into a mocking laugh and his grey old face lit up with a fiendish exultation, as he cried:

“Fool! I, Oro, am that giant. Once in the dead days I turned the balance of the world from the right-hand road which now is dull with disuse, to the left-hand road which glitters so brightly to your eyes, and the face of the earth was changed. Now again I will turn it from the left-hand road to the right-hand road in which for millions of years it was wont to run, and once more the face of the earth shall change, and those who are left living upon the earth, or who in the course of ages shall come to live upon the new earth, must bow down to Oro and take him and his seed to be their gods and kings.”

When I heard this I was overwhelmed and could not answer. Also I remembered a certain confused picture which Yva had shown to us in the Temple of Nyo. But supported by his disbelief, Bickley asked:

“And how often does the balance of which you speak come this way, Lord Oro?”

“Once only in many years; the number is my secret, Bickley,” he replied.

“Then there is every reason to hope that it will not trouble us,” remarked Bickley with a suspicion of mockery in his voice.

“Do you think so, you learned Bickley?” asked Oro. “If so, I do not. Unless my skill has failed me and my calculations have gone awry, that Traveller of which I tell should presently be with us. Hearken now! What is that sound we hear?”

As he spoke there reached our ears the first, far-off murmurs of a dreadful music. I cannot describe it in words because that is impossible, but it was something like to the buzz of a thousand humming-tops such as are loved by children because of their weird song.

“Back to the wall!” cried Oro triumphantly. “The time is short!”

So back we went, Oro pausing a while behind and overtaking us with long, determined strides. Yva led us, gliding at my side and, as I thought, now and again glanced at my face with a look that was half anxious and half pitiful. Also twice she stooped and patted Tommy.

We reached the wall, though not quite at the spot whence we had started to examine the grooved roads. At least I think this was so, since now for the first time I observed a kind of little window in its rocky face. It stood about five feet from its floor level, and was perhaps ten inches square, not more. In short, except for its shape it resembled a ship’s porthole rather than a window. Its substance appeared to be talc, or some such material, and inches thick, yet through it, after Oro had cast aside some sort of covering, came a glare like that of a search-light. In fact it was a search-light so far as concerned one of its purposes.

By this window or porthole lay a pile of cloaks, also four objects which looked like Zulu battle shields cut in some unknown metal or material. Very deftly, very quietly, Yva lifted these cloaks and wrapped one of them about each of us, and while she was thus employed I noticed that they were of a substance very similar to that of the gown she wore, which I have described, but harder. Next she gave one of the metal-like shields to each of us, bidding us hold them in front of our bodies and heads, and only to look through certain slits in them in which were eyepieces that appeared to be of the same horny stuff as the searchlight window. Further, she commanded us to stand in a row with our backs against the rock wall, at certain spots which she indicated with great precision, and whatever we saw or heard on no account to move.

So there we stood, Bickley next to me, and beyond him Bastin. Then Yva took the fourth shield, as I noted a much larger one than ours, and placed herself between me and the search-light or porthole. On the other side of this was Oro who had no shield.

These arrangements took some minutes and during that time occupied all our attention. When they were completed, however, our curiosity and fear began to reassert themselves. I looked about me and perceived that Oro had his right hand upon what seemed to be a rough stone rod, in shape not unlike that with which railway points are moved. He shouted to us to stand still and keep the shields over our faces. Then very gently he pressed upon the lever. The porthole sank the fraction of an inch, and instantly there leapt from it a most terrific blaze of lightning, which shot across the blackness in front and, as lightning does, revealed far, far away another wall, or rather cliff, like that against which we leant.

“All works well,” exclaimed Oro in a satisfied voice, lifting his hand from the rod, “and the strength which I have stored will be more than enough.”

Meanwhile the humming noise came nearer and grew in volume.

“I say,” said Bickley, “as you know, I have been sceptical, but I don’t like this business. Oro, what are you going to do?”

“Sink half the world beneath the seas,” said Oro, “and raise up that which I drowned more than two thousand centuries ago. But as you do not believe that I have this power, Bickley, why do you ask such questions?”

I believe that you have it, which was why I tried to shoot you yesterday,” said Bastin. “For your soul’s sake I beg you to desist from an attempt which I am sure will not succeed, but which will certainly involve your eternal damnation, since the failure will be no fault of yours.”

Then I spoke also, saying:

“I implore you, Lord Oro, to let this business be. I do not know exactly how much or how little you can do, but I understand that your object is to slay men by millions in order to raise up another world of which you will be the absolute king, as you were of some past empire that has been destroyed, either through your agency or otherwise. No good can come of such ambitions. Like Bastin, for your soul’s sake I pray you to let them be.”

“What Humphrey says I repeat,” said Yva. “My Father, although you know it not, you seek great evil, and from these hopes you sow you will harvest nothing save a loss of which you do not dream. Moreover, your plans will fail. Now I who am, like yourself, of the Children of Wisdom, have spoken, for the first and last time, and my words are true. I pray you give them weight, my Father.”

Oro heard, and grew furious.

“What!” he said. “Are you against me, every one, and my own daughter also? I would lift you up, I would make you rulers of a new world; I would destroy your vile civilisations which I have studied with my eyes, that I may build better! To you, Humphrey, I would give my only child in marriage that from you may spring a divine race of kings! And yet you are against me and set up your puny scruples as a barrier across my path of wisdom. Well, I tread them down, I go on my appointed way. But beware how you try to hold me back. If any one of you should attempt to come between me and my ends, know that I will destroy you all. Obey or die.”

“Well, he has had his chance and he won’t take it,” said Bastin in the silence that followed. “The man must go to the devil his own way and there is nothing more to be said.”

I say the silence, but it was no more silent. The distant humming grew to a roar, the roar to a hellish hurricane of sound which presently drowned all attempts at ordinary speech.

Then bellowing like ten millions of bulls, at length far away there appeared something terrible. I can only describe its appearance as that of an attenuated mountain on fire. When it drew nearer I perceived that it was more like a ballet-dancer whirling round and round upon her toes, or rather all the ballet-dancers in the world rolled into one and then multiplied a million times in size. No, it was like a mushroom with two stalks, one above and one below, or a huge top with a point on which it spun, a swelling belly and another point above. But what a top! It must have been two thousand feet high, if it was an inch, and its circumference who could measure?

On it came, dancing, swaying and spinning at a rate inconceivable, so that it looked like a gigantic wheel of fire. Yet it was not fire that clothed it but rather some phosphorescence, since from it came no heat. Yes, a phosphorescence arranged in bands of ghastly blue and lurid red, with streaks of other colours running up between, and a kind of waving fringe of purple.

The fire-mountain thundered on with a voice like to that of avalanches or of icebergs crashing from their parent glaciers to the sea. Its terrific aspect was appalling, and its weight caused the solid rock to quiver like a leaf. Watching it, we felt as ants might feel at the advent of the crack of doom, for its mere height and girth and size overwhelmed us. We could not even speak. The last words I heard were from the mouth of Oro who screamed out:

“Behold the balance of the World, you miserable, doubting men, and behold me change its path — turning it as the steersman turns a ship!”

Then he made certain signs to Yva, who in obedience to them approached the porthole or search-light to which she did something that I could not distinguish. The effect was to make the beam of light much stronger and sharper, also to shift it on to the point or foot of the spinning mountain and, by an aiming of the lens from time to time, to keep it there.

This went on for a while, since the dreadful thing did not travel fast notwithstanding the frightful speed of its revolutions. I should doubt indeed if it advanced more quickly than a man could walk; at any rate so it seemed to us. But we had no means of judging its real rate of progress whereof we knew as little as we did of the course it followed in the bowels of the earth. Perhaps that was spiral, from the world’s deep heart upwards, and this was the highest point it reached. Or perhaps it remained stationary, but still spinning, for scores or hundreds of years in some central powerhouse of its own, whence, in obedience to unknown laws, from time to time it made these terrific journeys.

No one knows, unless perhaps Oro did, in which case he kept the information to himself, and no one will ever know. At any rate there it was, travelling towards us on its giant butt, the peg of the top as it were, which, hidden in a cloud of friction-born sparks that enveloped it like the cup of a curving flower of fire, whirled round and round at an infinite speed. It was on this flaming flower that the search-light played steadily, doubtless that Oro might mark and measure its monstrous progress.

“He is going to try to send the thing down the right-hand path,” I shouted into Bickley’s ear.

“Can’t be done! Nothing can shift a travelling weight of tens of millions of tons one inch,” Bickley roared back, trying to look confident.

Clearly, however, Yva thought that it could be done, for of a sudden she cast down her shield and, throwing herself upon her knees, stretched out her hands in supplication to her father. I understood, as did we all, that she was imploring him to abandon his hellish purpose. He glared at her and shook his head. Then, as she still went on praying, he struck her across the face with his hand and pushed her to her feet again. My blood boiled as I saw it and I think I should have sprung at him, had not Bickley caught hold of me, shouting, “Don’t, or he will kill her and us too.”

Yva lifted her shield and returned to her station, and in the blue discharges which now flashed almost continuously, and the phosphorescent glare of the advancing mountain, I saw that though her beautiful face worked beneath the pain of the blow, her eyes remained serene and purposeful. Even then I wondered — what was the purpose shining through them. Also I wondered if I was about to be called upon to make that sacrifice of which she had spoken, and if so, how. Of one thing I was determined — that if the call came it should not find me deaf. Yet all the while I was horribly afraid.

At another sign from Oro, Yva did something more to the lens — again, being alongside of her, I could not see what it was. The beam of light shifted and wandered till, far away, it fell exactly upon that spot where the rock began to rise into the ridge which separated the two grooves or roads and ended in the razor-edged cliff. Moreover I observed that Oro, who left it the last of us, had either placed something white to mark this first infinitesimal bulging of the floor of the groove, or had smeared it with chalk or shining pigment. I observed also what I had not been able to see before, that a thin white line ran across the floor, no doubt to give the precise direction of this painted rise of rock, and that the glare of the search-light now lay exactly over that line.

The monstrous, flaming gyroscope fashioned in Nature’s workshop, for such without doubt it was, was drawing near, emitting as it came a tumult of sounds which, with the echoes that they caused, almost over-whelmed our senses. Poor little Tommy, already cowed, although he was a bold-natured beast, broke down entirely, and I could see from his open mouth that he was howling with terror. He stared about him, then ran to Yva and pawed at her, evidently asking to be taken into her arms. She thrust him away, almost fiercely, and made signs to me to lift him up and hold him beneath my shield. This I did, reflecting sadly that if I was to be sacrificed, Tommy must share my fate. I even thought of passing him on to Bickley, but had no time. Indeed I could not attract his attention, for Bickley was staring with all his eyes at the nightmare-like spectacle which was in progress about us. Indeed no nightmare, no wild imagination of which the mind of man is capable, could rival the aspect of its stupendous facts.

Think of them! The unmeasured space of blackness threaded by those globes of ghastly incandescence that now hung a while and now shot upwards, downwards, across, apparently without origin or end, like a stream of meteors that had gone mad. Then the travelling mountain, two thousand feet in height, or more, with its enormous saucer-like rim painted round with bands of lurid red and blue, and about its grinding foot the tulip bloom of emitted flame. Then the fierce-faced Oro at his post, his hand upon the rod, waiting, remorseless, to drown half of this great world, with the lovely Yva standing calm-eyed like a saint in hell and watching me above the edge of the shield which such a saint might bear to turn aside the fiery darts of the wicked. And lastly we three men flattened terror-stricken, against the wall.

Nightmare! Imagination! No, these pale before that scene which it was given to our human eyes to witness.

And all the while, bending, bowing towards us — away from us — making obeisance to the path in front as though in greeting, to the path behind as though in farewell; instinct with a horrible life, with a hideous and gigantic grace, that titanic Terror whirled onwards to the mark of fate.

At the moment nothing could persuade me that it was not alive and did not know its awful mission. Visions flashed across my mind. I thought of the peoples of the world sleeping in their beds, or going about their business, or engaged even in the work of war. I thought of the ships upon the seas steaming steadily towards their far-off ports. Then I thought of what presently might happen to them, of the tremors followed by convulsions, of the sudden crashing down of cities, such as we had seen in the picture Yva showed us in the Temple, of the inflow of the waters of the deep piled up in mighty waves, of the woe and desolation as of the end of the world, and of the quiet, following death. So I thought and in my heart prayed to the great Arch-Architect of the Universe to stretch out His Arm to avert this fearsome ruin of His handiwork.

Oro glared, his thin fingers tightened their grip upon the rod, his hair and long beard seemed to bristle with furious and delighted excitement. The purple-fringed rim of the Monster had long overshadowed the whited patch of rock; its grinding foot was scarce ten yards away. Oro made more signs to Yva who, beneath the shelter of her shield, again bent down and did something that I could not see. Then, as though her part were played, she rose, drew the grey hood of her cloak all about her face so that her eyes alone remained visible, took one step towards me and in the broken English we had taught her, called into my ear.

“Humphrey, God you bless! Humphrey, we meet soon. Forget not me!”

She stepped back again before I could attempt to answer, and next instant with a hideous, concentrated effort, Oro bending himself double, thrust upon the rod, as I could see from his open mouth, shouting while he thrust.

At the same moment, with a swift spring, Yva leapt immediately in front of the lens or window, so that the metallic shield with which she covered herself pressed against its substance.

Simultaneously Oro flung up his arms as though in horror.

Too late! The shutter fell and from behind it there sprang out a rush of living flame. It struck on Yva’s shield and expanded to right and left. The insulated shield and garments that she wore seemed to resist it. For a fraction of time she stood there like a glowing angel, wrapped in fire.

Then she was swept outwards and upwards and at a little distance dissolved like a ghost and vanished from our sight.

Yva was ashes! Yva was gone! The sacrifice was consummated!


And not in vain! Not in vain! On her poor breast she had received the full blast of that hellish lightning flash. Yet whilst destroying, it turned away from her, seeking the free paths of the air. So it came about that its obstructed strength struck the foot of the travelling gyroscope, diffused and did not suffice to thrust it that one necessary inch on which depended the fate of half the world, or missing it altogether, passed away on either side. Even so the huge, gleaming mountain rocked and trembled. Once, twice, thrice, it bowed itself towards us as though in majestic homage to greatness passed away. For a second, too, its course was checked, and at the check the earth quaked and trembled. Yes, then the world shook, and the blue globes of fire went out, while I was thrown to the ground.

When they returned again, the flaming monster was once more sailing majestically upon its way and down the accustomed left-hand path!


Indeed the sacrifice was not in vain. The world shook — but Yva had saved the world!


I lay still a while, on my back as I had fallen, and beneath the shield-like defence which Yva had given to me. Notwithstanding the fire-resisting, metalised stuff of which it was made, I noted that it was twisted and almost burnt through. Doubtless the stored-up electricity or earth magnetism, or whatever it may have been that had leapt out of that hole, being diffused by the resistance with which it was met, had grazed me with its outer edge, and had it not been for the shield and cloak, I also should have been burned up. I wished, oh! how I wished that it had been so. Then, by now all must have finished and I should have known the truth as to what awaits us beyond the change: sleep, or dreams, or perchance the fullest life. Also I should not have learned alone.

Lying there thus, idly, as though in a half-sleep, I felt Tommy licking my face, and throwing my arm about the poor little frightened beast, I watched the great world-balance as it retreated on its eternal journey. At one time its vast projecting rim had overshadowed us and almost seemed to touch the cliff of rock against which we leant. I remember that the effect of that shining arch a thousand feet or so above our heads was wonderful. It reminded me of a canopy of blackest thunder clouds supported upon a framework of wheeling rainbows, while beneath it all the children of the devil shouted together in joy. I noted this effect only a few seconds before Yva spoke to me and leapt into the path of the flash.

Now, however, it was far away, a mere flaming wheel that became gradually smaller, and its Satanic voices were growing faint. As I have said, I watched its disappearance idly, reflecting that I should never look upon its like again; also that it was something well worth going forth to see. Then I became aware that the humming, howling din had decreased sufficiently to enable me to hear human voices without effort. Bastin was addressing Bickley — like myself they were both upon the ground.

“Her translation, as you may have noticed, Bickley, if you were not too frightened, was really very remarkable. No doubt it will have reminded you, as it did me, of that of Elijah. She had exactly the appearance of a person going up to Heaven in a vehicle of fire. The destination was certainly the same, and even the cloak she wore added a familiar touch and increased the similarity.”

“At any rate it did not fall upon you,” answered Bickley with something like a sob, in a voice of mingled awe and exasperation. “For goodness’ sake! Bastin, stop your Biblical parallels and let us adore, yes, let us adore the divinest creature that the earth has borne!”

Never have I loved Bickley more than when I heard him utter those words.

“‘Divinest’ is a large term, Bickley, and one to which I hesitate to subscribe, remembering as I do certain of the prophets and the Early Fathers with all their faults, not of course to mention the Apostles. But —” here he paused, for suddenly all three of us became aware of Oro.

He also has been thrown to the ground by the strength of the prisoned forces which he gathered and loosed upon their unholy errand, but, as I rejoiced to observe, had suffered from them much more than ourselves. Doubtless this was owing to the fact that he had sprung forward in a last wild effort to save his daughter, or to prevent her from interfering with his experiment, I know not which. As a result his right cheek was much scorched, his right arm was withered and helpless, and his magnificent beard was half burnt off him. Further, very evidently he was suffering from severe shock, for he rocked upon his feet and shook like an aspen leaf. All this, however, did not interfere with the liveliness of his grief and rage.

There he stood, a towering shape, like a lightning-smitten statue, and cursed us, especially Bastin.

“My daughter has gone!” he cried, “burned up by the fiery power that is my servant. Nothing remains of her but dust, and, Priest, this is your doing. You poisoned her heart with your childish doctrines of mercy and sacrifice, and the rest, so that she threw herself into the path of the flash to save some miserable races that she had never even known.”

He paused exhausted, whereon Bastin answered him with spirit:

“Yes, Oro, she being a holy woman, has gone where you will never follow her. Also it is your own fault since you should have listened to her entreaties instead of boxing her ears like the brute you are.”

“My daughter is gone,” went on Oro, recovering his strength, “and my great designs are ruined. Yet only for a while,” he added, “for the world-balance will return again, if not till long after your life-spans are done.”

“If you don’t doctor yourself, Lord Oro,” said Bickley, also rising, “I may tell you as one who understands such things, that most likely it will be after your life-span is done also. Although their effect may be delayed, severe shocks from burns and over-excitement are apt to prove fatal to the aged.”

Oro snarled at him; no other word describes it.

“And there are other things, Physician,” he said, “which are apt to prove fatal to the young. At least now you will no longer deny my power.”

“I am not so sure,” answered Bickley, “since it seems that there is a greater Power, namely that of a woman’s love and sacrifice.”

“And a greater still,” interrupted Bastin, “Which put those ideas into her head.”

“As for you, Humphrey,” went on Oro, “I rejoice to think that you at least have lost two things that man desires above all other things — the woman you sought and the future kingship of the world.”

I stood up and faced him.

“The first I have gained, although how, you do not understand, Oro,” I answered. “And of the second, seeing that it would have come through you, on your conditions, I am indeed glad to be rid. I wish no power that springs from murder, and no gifts from one who answered his daughter’s prayer with blows.”

For a moment he seemed remorseful.

“She vexed me with her foolishness,” he said. Then his rage blazed up again:

“And it was you who taught it to her,” he went on. “You are guilty, all three of you, and therefore I am left with none to serve me in my age; therefore also my mighty schemes are overthrown.”

“Also, Oro, if you speak truth, therefore half the world is saved,” I added quietly, “and one has left it of whom it was unworthy.”

“You think that these civilisations of yours, as you are pleased to call them, are saved, do you?” he sneered. “Yet, even if Bickley were right and I should die and become powerless, I tell you that they are already damned. I have studied them in your books and seen them with my eyes, and I say that they are rotten before ever they are ripe, and that their end shall be the end of the Sons of Wisdom, to die for lack of increase. That is why I would have saved the East, because in it alone there is increase, and thence alone can rise the great last race of man which I would have given to your children for an heritage. Moreover, think not that you Westerners have done with wars. I tell you that they are but begun and that the sword shall eat you up, and what the sword spares class shall snatch from class in the struggle for supremacy and ease.”

Thus he spoke with extraordinary and concentrated bitterness that I confess would have frightened me, had I been capable of fear, which at the moment I was not. Who is afraid when he has lost all?


NEXT WEEK: “We cannot really conceive of an existence stretching over even one thousand years, such as that which Oro claimed and the Bible accords to a certain early race of men, omitting of course his two thousand five hundred centuries of sleep. And yet what is this but one grain in the hourglass of time, one day in the lost record of our earth, of its sisters the planets and its father the sun, to say nothing of the universes beyond?”

Stay tuned!


RADIUM AGE SCIENCE FICTION: “Radium Age” is HILOBROW’s name for the 1904–33 era, which saw the discovery of radioactivity, the revelation that matter itself is constantly in movement — a fitting metaphor for the first decades of the 20th century, during which old scientific, religious, political, and social certainties were shattered. This era also saw the publication of genre-shattering writing by Edgar Rice Burroughs, Sax Rohmer, E.E. “Doc” Smith, Jack London, Arthur Conan Doyle, Aldous Huxley, Olaf Stapledon, Karel Čapek, H.P. Lovecraft, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Yevgeny Zamyatin, Philip Gordon Wylie, and other pioneers of post-Verne/Wells, pre-Golden Age “science fiction.” More info here.

HILOBOOKS: The mission of HiLoBooks is to serialize novels on HiLobrow; and also, as of 2012, operating as an imprint of Richard Nash’s Cursor, to reissue Radium Age science fiction in beautiful new print editions. So far, we have published Jack London’s The Scarlet Plague, Rudyard Kipling’s With the Night Mail (and “As Easy as A.B.C.”), Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Poison Belt, H. Rider Haggard’s When the World Shook, Edward Shanks’s The People of the Ruins, William Hope Hodgson’s The Night Land, and J.D. Beresford’s Goslings. Forthcoming: E.V. Odle’s The Clockwork Man, Cicely Hamilton’s Theodore Savage, and Muriel Jaeger’s The Man with Six Senses. For more information, visit the HiLoBooks homepage.

READ: You are reading H. Rider Haggard’s When The World Shook. Also read our serialization of: Jack London’s The Scarlet Plague | Rudyard Kipling’s With the Night Mail and “As Easy As A.B.C.” | Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Poison Belt

ORIGINAL FICTION: HILOBROW has serialized three novels: James Parker’s The Ballad of Cocky The Fox (“a proof-of-concept that serialization can work on the Internet” — The Atlantic) and Karinne Keithley Syers’s Linda Linda Linda. We also publish original stories and comics.