King Goshawk (38)
September 17, 2014
The 1926 satirical sf novel King Goshawk and the Birds, by Irish playwright and novelist Eimar O’Duffy, is set in a future world devastated by progress. When King Goshawk, the supreme ruler among a caste of “king capitalists,” buys up all the wildflowers and songbirds, an aghast Dublin philosopher travels via the astral plane to Tír na nÓg. First the mythical Irish hero Cúchulainn, then his son Cuanduine, travel to Earth in order to combat the king capitalists. Thirty-five years before the hero of Robert Heinlein’s Stranger in a Strange Land, these well-meaning aliens discover that cultural forms and norms are the most effective barrier to social or economic revolution.
HILOBROW is pleased to serialize King Goshawk and the Birds, which has long been out of print, in its entirety. A new installment will appear each week.
Chapter 12: A Comedy of Loves
A room in Cuanduine’s house at Richmond. Looking at it as from the auditorium of a theatre, you see a large bow window which occupies almost the entire of the back wall. In the right-hand wall, well forward, is the door. There is no fireplace; but in the centre of the room is an electric stove fashioned like an ancient brazier. Near this is a fair-sized table. The furniture, what there is of it, is severely simple in style. It consists of about a dozen carved mahogany chairs and a couple of stands holding potted plants. There are neither books nor bookshelves; nor ornaments of any kind; and no armchairs.
It is dusk outside. An oldish man wanders into the room, dabbing at things vaguely with a duster; then draws the curtains, and switches on the electric light. He fidgets round a little more, and is just about to go out when some one appears at the door. It is Eulalia.
EULALIA. Is Mr. Cuanduine at home? I walked in because the door was open and I could find no bell. A nice way you look after your master’s property.
THE OLD MAN. Our door is never shut; there is no need of a bell; and Cuanduine has no servant.
EULALIA. Oh, I beg pardon, I’m sure. Stupid mistake to have made.
THE OLD MAN. Not at all, madam. Quite natural. In any other household a servant is what I should be called, but Cuanduine is good enough to call me friend. I look after his creature comforts, which he hasn’t time to attend to himself, and in return — well, I have the pleasure of living in this beautiful house and hearing his conversation.
EULALIA. You must be a very devoted admirer of Mr. Cuanduine to serve him so contentedly without wages.
THE OLD MAN. Wages, ma’am? What do I want with wages? If I need anything, I’ve only to help myself.
EULALIA. Help yourself?
THE OLD MAN. Yes, ma’am. Like this. (He opens a drawer in the table, takes out a bundle of notes, detaches one and puts it in his pocket, then replaces the bundle and shuts the drawer.) Quite simple.
EULALIA. A most remarkable arrangement, though I fancy it must be rather more profitable to you than to your master. I hope you don’t abuse the privilege.
THE OLD MAN. Lord, no, ma’am. The way money lies about in this house, you get to think nothing of it. Bundles of notes in convenient situations. A jar of small change on every window-sill. Why, it’s like water with us.
EULALIA. I’m afraid a lot of it must go to waste.
THE OLD MAN. Oh, no, ma’am. One doesn’t waste much water, after all; and what we do waste is just what isn’t worth the trouble of saving. Same with money.
EULALIA. Your master must be very wealthy, then?
THE OLD MAN (non-committally). So-so. So-so. I’ve served in richer houses, but Cuanduine knows the value of money.
EULALIA (smiling). You mean he doesn’t know it, I think.
THE OLD MAN (with finality). No, ma’am. (Remembering his duties) But won’t you sit down while you’re waiting, ma’am — or should I say My Lady?
EULALIA. I am Lady Waterfall.
THE OLD MAN. Chair, m’lady (offering one, which she takes). Cuanduine should be home any minute now, m’lady.
EULALIA. I’m afraid this must seem a very unusual hour for a call, but the fact is——
THE OLD MAN. Oh, not at all, m’lady. You see, Cuanduine is never at home by day, so he keeps the night for private calls. Very busy man, Cuanduine. Public meetings all day; private conversations all night. Scarcely a minute he can call his own. No regular meals, and doesn’t eat as much as would keep a canary.
EULALIA. Doesn’t sleep much either, I suppose.
THE OLD MAN. Lord bless you, ma’am, he never sleeps.
EULALIA. What do you mean?
THE OLD MAN. Just what I say, m’lady. He never sleeps. Never even lies on a bed. Uncanny I call it.
EULALIA. But the thing’s impossible. And how can you know?
THE OLD MAN. Well, for one thing, he never goes to bed. Hasn’t even such a thing as a bedroom. And he spends most of the night chatting with visitors. Just listen to this, m’lady. I had a toothache about a week ago, and it kept me awake. About four o’clock in the morning I couldn’t stand it any more, and came down here to get a little something for it. I expected to find the room empty, for the last visitor had gone about an hour before. But when I came in, there was Cuanduine standing at the open window looking out at the stars. When I told him what was wrong, he came over and looked into my eyes, and the pain vanished on the spot. However, that’s neither here nor there. What I wanted to tell you was this. You’d expect a man who had been up all night — to say nothing of speechifying all day — to look a bit worn and pale: wouldn’t you, m’lady? But Lord, no, not Cuanduine. He was looking straight into my eyes, and on my solemn oath he was as bright and fresh as a bride on her wedding morning. (With a sudden and complete change of tone) Do you think a man like that is going to fall for any tricks you can play, m’lady?
EULALIA (startled into incoherence). How — how dare you talk to me like that? I’ll report you to your master.
THE OLD MAN. If you dare. (Cocking his ear) That’s his step, so now’s your chance.
He goes out. A moment later Cuanduine comes in.
CUANDUINE. Good evening to you, madam.
EULALIA. Oh, Mr. Cuanduine, I thought you might be at home to-night.
CUANDUINE. You see that I am at home.
EULALIA. Er — yes. I hope I don’t intrude. Perhaps you are busy.
CUANDUINE. Yes, I am busy. But it is not the custom of my people to turn the stranger from the door. If you are tired, rest. If you are thirsty, there is wine and coffee.
EULALIA. Oh, not at all. It’s of no consequence. I — er — I suppose you must be wondering who I am to come disturbing you like this.
CUANDUINE. What should it matter to me who you are? There are thirty million people in England, whose names I could never remember, even if I could learn them.
EULALIA. No — er — of course not. However, I’m Lady Waterfall; wife of Lord Waterfall, you know.
CUANDUINE. Is that the man who lives by starving the London babies of milk? (She retreats a step.) Never mind: you are welcome none the less.
EULALIA. I’ve often told him his prices are too high. But then, you see, he has to pay his tribute to the Milk King before he can touch a penny himself. These Kings are such extortioners: such blood-suckers: such tyrants. Oh, Mr. Cuanduine, you don’t know what a noble work you are doing in challenging their power. (Takes off her wrap.)
CUANDUINE. I know it well, madam.
EULALIA. Er — quite so. A great mind like yours would be above false modesty and the cant of self-depreciation. Oh, I know you are a great man, Cuanduine. I have sat at your feet, as it were, listening to your thundering denunciations of this dreadful world; and though I am only a weak, vain, worldly woman, living, as you have so frankly told me, by robbing the London babies of their natural fats, still I have been touched by your eloquence, my conscience has been stung by the lash of your satire, and my one desire now is to play some part in the work of creating a better state of things. Oh, Mr. Cuanduine, let me help you in your work. Let us pull down the Kings, and bring back the days of freedom and progress in business.
CUANDUINE. By God, woman, are you a fool, or do you take me for one, that you slaver me with such balderdash? Do you think I am going to destroy the Kings only to leave the monopolists a free hand? Go to.
EULALIA. I thought no such thing. But surely the Kings must go first? I know what it is, Cuanduine. You despise my help because I am a woman. But a time will come when you will need it. You are setting yourself to fight the world, alone and friendless. Even if your own strength is enough for the fighting, you will need comfort, you will need a heartening voice, you will need sympathy. Here are they all offered to you freely. Do not turn them away.
CUANDUINE. What do you want of me?
EULALIA (shamming shyness). Can’t you guess?
CUANDUINE. It should be something shameful, by your giggling and blushing.
EULALIA. Only to conventional minds: but what have we to do with convention? Oh, you bashful boy, where are your eyes? Where is your cleverness? Can you not read a woman’s heart.
CUANDUINE. Your heart is hidden from me, madam.
EULALIA. Then I’ll be bold and show it. Cuanduine, I love you.
CUANDUINE. Therein you show some wisdom. I love you too.
EULALIA. Yes, with a gospelly sort of love. But I don’t want to be loved according to the commandments, or philosophically. I’m a woman. I want to be loved. Loved — do you understand? Say you love me again: but put the warmth of the words into your voice. Say it. You are a poet, and should know how to love. Say it, boy.
CUANDUINE (bewildered, and no longer quite master of himself). How shall I say it?
EULALIA. Like this. (She clasps her arms about him, wooing him with her body) I love you — more than anything in the world — more than honour — more than life — more than wealth. Now, how do you love me?
CUANDUINE. I love you better than that.
EULALIA. Where is your poetry gone? There is no love in your voice. Are you shy? Dare you not kiss me? (As he hesitates, she throws her arms around his neck, and pulls his head down to her lips.) You certainly know how to kiss, Mr. Innocence. Again (he kisses her). Now don’t you love me, dear? Let’s put out the light, and sit in the window there, and watch the stars. (He switches off the current, plunging the room in darkness. A moment later she draws back the curtain from one section of the window, letting in a flood of moonlight. They sit together on the cushioned window-ledge, hand in hand.) What a night for love, Cuanduine. (She sniffs the air.) Ah, you have night-scented stock in your garden. There is no perfume like it.
CUANDUINE (leaning out of the window, with one knee on the ledge, to show her). See the little pale star-clusters, there under the trees.
EULALIA. How awfully pretty.
CUANDUINE (speaking with the first sign of emotion, a slight catch of the voice). Yes, they are very beautiful: but not more beautiful than you.
EULALIA (smiling whimsically). So you find me beautiful?
CUANDUINE. Beautiful as a dream-fancy of Tír na nÓg. (Physically intoxicated, and carried away by his own feelings) Oh, my dear, how I love you.
EULALIA. Sounds like as if you’d only just discovered it. I was right, then. You were only fooling when you said you loved me the first time.
CUANDUINE. No. I loved you then — and better than you love me.
EULALIA. I don’t see how you make that out: you, who stood there like an iceberg while I begged for a kiss. But no matter. You love me now at all events, don’t you?
EULALIA. What a nice shy boy it is. Come now. Sit here beside me. (He complies.) Close. (He puts his arms around her. She sighs contentedly.)
CUANDUINE. Dear, you are too beautiful. I have let my soul slip from me all wittingly. Can I ever get it back?
EULALIA. It will come back to you in the morning full of poetry: poetry inspired by me. You must write it all down at once and bring it out in a limited edition, privately printed, and dedicated to me: won’t you, dear? What was it you said I was like a few minutes ago? A vision of fairyland?
CUANDUINE. A dream-fancy of Tír na nÓg.
EULALIA. Of course. Tír na nÓg. I forgot that you’re Irish. I suppose you spend a lot of time in Tír na nÓg?
CUANDUINE. Not now. I left it, a long time ago, to fight this Goshawk.
EULALIA. Gave up poetry for politics, eh? Well, I can’t say I’m sorry, especially as it has brought us together. (She kisses him.) Oh, what a night. (She lies back in his arms, her head on his breast.)
CUANDUINE. Eulalia —
EULALIA. What a nice voice you’ve got, my dear. I believe I could listen to it for ever. Go on. Tell me more about Tír na nÓg. I must share all your thoughts now, you know. You must tell me all your dreams and fancies.
CUANDUINE (shortly, loosing his clasp). No. You want too much. (Startled, she sits upright, facing him.) Besides, I have not the time. I expect another woman here at any minute.
EULALIA (astonished). What! (She looks hard at him.) You’re joking.
CUANDUINE. I am not joking.
EULALIA. Another woman!
CUANDUINE. Do you think I am a beggar in love because I have spent some on you?
EULALIA. This is outrageous. (She jumps to her feet) I’m not prudish or strait-laced myself, but two appointments on one night — well —— (She walks angrily away from him.)
CUANDUINE. It was not at my invitation that you came, madam.
EULALIA (reddening with mortification). Just like you to rub that in. If you were any sort of a man of the world you’d have told your servants to keep me out at the beginning; or else (watching him coyly as she drops the hint) well — you’d tell them to keep her out now.
CUANDUINE. Do you think you can prevail on me to break my word?
EULALIA. Hm! She must be very beautiful, whoever she is. Who is she, by the way?
CUANDUINE. Her name is Ambrosine.
EULALIA. What? Not Ambrosine Overall, the poetess?
CUANDUINE. I do not know what other name she may have, nor what her trade is.
EULALIA. Is she a tall slinky woman with black hair and eccentric clothes?
CUANDUINE. What are eccentric clothes?
EULALIA. Oh — like nothing on earth.
CUANDUINE. Yes. Her clothes are like nothing on earth.
EULALIA. Then it’s the Overall woman for a cert. Well, I can’t say I admire your taste.
CUANDUINE. She is more beautiful than you, and her ways are tender.
EULALIA. Oh, yes. She’s tender all right. She’s had so much practice, you know. (She sees that he does not catch her meaning.) Didn’t you know that she goes in for Free Love?
CUANDUINE. Do not you do so?
EULALIA (indignantly). What do you take me for? Oh, it’s just like a man to think a woman a profligate because she breaks the old-fashioned conventions. Well, I’m no Free Lover, and the sooner you realise it the better. I’m a believer in reasonable marriage and divorce laws, not in anarchy. But this other woman — ugh!
Some one outside the window whistles the first bars of Osmino’s Aria from “II Seraglio.”
CUANDUINE. There she is, and before her time.
EULALIA (resuming the siren tone, and adopting a manner coaxingly conspiratorial). Don’t let her in.
CUANDUINE. I must. I will.
EULALIA (suddenly resolute). Then I’m off. Keep her out for a minute while I dress. (She runs to look for her wrap. The whistling is repeated closer.) Oh, this is dreadful. Listen, Cuanduine, I’ll hide behind this curtain. You take her to another room. Then I’ll dress and slip away. (She darts behind the window curtain.)
Ambrosine’s head and shoulders appear at the open window. Cuanduine goes to meet her.
AMBROSINE. My love! All alone in the darkness.
CUANDUINE. Ambrosine. (He offers to take her hands to help her through the window.)
AMBROSINE. No. Kiss me first. (He does so.) Doesn’t that make it just like Romeo and Juliet, only the other way round? Help me up now.
CUANDUINE. Put your foot on the large flower-pot. (This makes her visible to the waist. He helps her through the window.)
AMBROSINE. My love! Another kiss.
CUANDUINE. No, Ambrosine. I have already had more love to-night than I can stand.
AMBROSINE (amused). What! One kiss?
CUANDUINE. A hundred kisses.
AMBROSINE. What on earth do you mean? Have you been mobbed again by schoolgirls?
CUANDUINE. No. I had them all of one woman.
AMBROSINE. Do you mean to tell me that you’ve been dallying here with another woman while waiting for me?
CUANDUINE. Yes. I have told you that I am weary of kisses. Come now. Let us retire to another room and play some music, so that she may depart unseen.
AMBROSINE. Well! You certainly are a cool customer. Is she here still?
CUANDUINE. In this room. (Ambrosine looks around her quickly. Her eye falls on the curtain. She strides over and pulls it aside, revealing Eulalia in a state of shamed consternation.)
AMBROSINE. Well! That’s the last straw. A married woman! I wouldn’t have believed it of you.
EULALIA (firing up). Who are you to come the virtuous over me? — you, a Free Lover.
AMBROSINE. Yes. I am a Free Lover. But if I were so foolish as to take vows I should keep them. Especially when I had taken them with my eyes open for the twentieth time.
EULALIA. You lie. I haven’t had twenty husbands.
AMBROSINE. Pooh! What matters a dozen more or less? I dare say it was your misfortune rather than your fault.
CUANDUINE. Ladies ——
AMBROSINE. Where’s the switch? I want some light. (She finds the switch and turns it on.)
CUANDUINE. Ladies ——
EULALIA (putting on her wrap). Oh, don’t talk to me. I’m going.
AMBROSINE. So am I. Your conduct tonight, Mr. Cuanduine, has been nothing short of disgraceful. (The two women make for the door.)
CUANDUINE (barring the way). You shall hear me first. Eulalia, when you came to me, I did not quarrel with you about the men you would love after me. Neither, Ambrosine, did I quarrel with you about the men you had loved before me. Why, then ——
AMBROSINE (interrupting indignantly). How dare you speak to me like that! I have never loved a man in my life.
EULALIA. Oh, come, Miss Overall! What about all that stuff you’ve been putting in your poems?
AMBROSINE (with cool contempt). Lady Waterfall, if you cannot understand that freedom from convention is not synonymous with slavery to appetite, the sooner you go back to the nursery the better. (To Cuanduine) It’s true that I believe in Free Love: but I have yet to meet the man that I could give my love to.
CUANDUINE. It is no matter. I neither knew nor cared whether either of you had loved before or would love again. Why, then, could not you be equally forebearing with me?
AMBROSINE. Oh, come! I didn’t inquire into your past or future for that matter. But this is different. To make appointments with two women for the same hour! There is a limit, you know.
EULALIA. You must draw the line somewhere.
CUANDUINE. Yes. But where?
EULALIA. I don’t know, and I don’t care. Wherever you draw it, a man who behaves as you have done to-night is an outsider.
CUANDUINE. You forget, madam, that it was not for my asking that you came here. (Ambrosine starts, and shoots an inquiring glance at her rival.)
EULALIA. Oh, you beast! To fling it in my face again. (She bites off the last word sharply, and raises her voice desperately to cancel the admission.) It’s a lie: a lie. I won’t stay another minute. Let me go, sir.
AMBROSINE. Don’t be absurd, Mrs. Tompkins — Lady Waterfall, I mean. Why shouldn’t you take the initiative if you wanted to? Really, you’re behaving — we’re both behaving — like a pair of ridiculous women of the twentieth century. I beg your pardon, Cuanduine, for making such a fool of myself. Let us sit down quietly, the three of us, and discuss this interesting question.
EULALIA. What interesting question?
AMBROSINE. Where the line should be drawn, of course.
EULALIA. You can sit here till Doomsday, if you like, but I’m going. (She makes for the door. Cuanduine bows her out.)
CUANDUINE (returning to Ambrosine, who is sitting on a table, swinging her legs, quite at home.) She is not beautiful in her anger like you.
AMBROSINE. I’m sorry for making such an ass of myself. I didn’t understand. Am I forgiven?
CUANDUINE (indifferently). There is nothing to forgive. Let us have some music.
AMBROSINE. That’s not a nice way to forgive. Come, give me a kiss: just one. (She slips from the table and stands invitingly. He kisses her without passion, but she puts her arms around him, holding him to her.) That wasn’t a kiss, darling. I want a real kiss. (He complies with sudden ardour. Her head falls on his breast.) My own dear love.
CUANDUINE (carried away by a flood of tenderness). Oh, my wonderful darling. (He kisses her with reverent passion, murmuring over her) There is no one like you in the world. When I hold you I have all the beauty of the universe in my arms, and the fragrance of all flowers in my nostrils. Another kiss. My love, my very own. One more. And another. How beautiful you are, my sweet. Your scented hair: your soft, warm body: and your eyes — how they gleam and soften, like deep pools of night under a starlit sky.
AMBROSINE (smiling up at him). Do they really seem like that? It’s you that make them so, you know. (With the vigour of sudden purpose) Oh, when we love like this, what do we care about anything else? What does the world matter, with its crimes and follies? Let us fly from it and live for love alone. Love is the only thing that matters, isn’t it, dear? There is nothing else but love.
CUANDUINE (abruptly releasing her). No. For your soul’s sake don’t believe that. For though I have been in Tír na nÓg I have been in Tartarus also.
AMBROSINE. What! In Hell? But have you not told us a hundred times that there is no Hell?
CUANDUINE. Tartarus is the First Heaven — the lowest heaven — the heaven of Material Delights. There dwell all sinners against life, the Devil’s own children, with Mammon for their God, and Procrustes his prophet: that is to say, all hunters after wealth; all puritans, and teetotallers by conviction; all devotees of art and beauty; all enemies of the light; all who wrest the living to the service of the inanimate. There dwell all the great lovers who lived for love alone. Paris and Helen, Naoise and Deirdre, Paolo and Francesca, Tristan and Isolde: there they remain, locked in each other’s arms, languishing in unspeakable boredom, yet incapable of holding any other desire: there they will linger until in the knowledge of their own futility they wither away.
There is silence for a moment. Ambrosine, who has listened intently to this speech, gives a short laugh and sits up again on the table.
AMBROSINE. How wise you are in some things, and how innocent in others. Who are you, Cuanduine?
CUANDUINE. The Hound of Man: the messenger of Life: the laughter of God. Do you know what Life is?
AMBROSINE. What is it?
CUANDUINE. A flame in a dark place full of rushing winds. Who can tell how difficult is the way of life? how powerful its enemies? It is a little thing, a feeble thing, though it fights so valiantly, feeding upon itself to produce energy and to renew itself: and all around it the implacable night, that needs neither energy nor rest nor renewal, waiting and watching, watching and waiting. The tale of life is told in every weed that grows in the crack of a wall. Why, even the mighty stars are but sparks of fire in the devouring immensity of nothingness. Look. (He leads her to the window and parts the curtains.)
AMBROSINE. The moon outshines your stars to-night.
CUANDUINE. So does your gospel of love and beauty outshine the truth of life.
Desolate stars, and cold
Black eons of night, What of the feud of old?
What of the ancient fight?
Provident Death that reaps,
Life that must sow and spend,
Which shall possess the deeps?
Which shall win in the end?
CUANDUINE. Who can tell? Life survives only by sheer prodigality: prodigality in seed, prodigality in sowing. Like the sower, he scatters his seed broadcast on the wind: it is Death, the reaper, that conserves. And now the Devil has whispered the noblest of God’s creatures that he must be provident: he has wrapped the red story of life in a pale romance of love and beauty, as the flaming stars are veiled by the light of the moon; and man stands listening, bewitched, while Mammon and Death and the Devil await his abdication. The first of living creatures, shall he be the first to fail in the fight?
AMBROSINE. Oh no, no, no!
CUANDUINE. You say No. Yet you would poison me with a barren love, and drug me with the kisses of your mouth.
AMBROSINE. No. I am sick of the very name of love. What shall we do if life is to survive?
CUANDUINE (with sudden energy). Work. Let us turn to the work in hand. I have dragons to fight. I have Goshawk to overthrow: for Mammon and Death and the Devil are one. Tell me, Ambrosine, what have my speeches lacked that they win applause but do not stir to action?
AMBROSINE. Nothing. You have said all that can be said. Like the great satirists of the past, you have moved the people to laugh at their follies, but not to renounce them. To achieve that you must stop talking and Do something: something big and striking to fire their imaginations: something to show them that you are a man to whom they can resign their wills, and whom they can follow blindly. Oh! (struck by an idea) I’ve got it. Next Thursday is Gold Cup Day at Ascot Races. All the world’s great ones will be there, and swarms of England’s little ones as well. You must go down there, and in face of them all confront King Goshawk in his box. (With enthusiasm, as a picture of the scene passes before her mind’s eye) Oh, I can imagine the whole thing: the proud shallow fools in the Enclosure, and the humble fools outside admiring their dresses; the splendid horses fretting at the tape; the obscene figure of Goshawk in his royal seat. Then down swoops my splendid Cuanduine into the midst of the course, mounted on a milk-white steed, his glorious eyes flashing, a picture of grace and strength. Oh, the confusion among the worldlings; the rapturous joy of the people at the sight of their deliverer; the cowering terror of the tyrant. What do you say to it, Cuanduine?
CUANDUINE. I will do it.
AMBROSINE. Good. I will be there, watching you. No, I never could stand the atmosphere of the race-course. I will wait here to welcome you when you return in triumph. I can see the rest on the movies next day.
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READ GORGEOUS PAPERBACKS: HiLoBooks has reissued the following 10 obscure but amazing Radium Age science fiction novels in beautiful print editions: 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’ The People of the Ruins, William Hope Hodgson’s The Night Land, J.D. Beresford’s Goslings, 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.
SERIALIZED BY HILOBOOKS: 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’ The People of the Ruins | William Hope Hodgson’s The Night Land | J.D. Beresford’s Goslings | E.V. Odle’s The Clockwork Man | Cicely Hamilton’s Theodore Savage | Muriel Jaeger’s The Man With Six Senses | Jack London’s “The Red One” | Philip Francis Nowlan’s Armageddon 2419 A.D. | Homer Eon Flint’s The Devolutionist | W.E.B. DuBois’s “The Comet” | Edgar Rice Burroughs’s The Moon Men | Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s Herland | Sax Rohmer’s “The Zayat Kiss” | Eimar O’Duffy’s King Goshawk and the Birds | Frances Hodgson Burnett’s The Lost Prince | Morley Roberts’s The Fugitives | Helen MacInnes’s The Unconquerable |
Geoffrey Household’s Watcher in the Shadows | William Haggard’s The High Wire | Hammond Innes’s Air Bridge | James Branch Cabell’s Jurgen | John Buchan’s “No Man’s Land” | John Russell’s “The Fourth Man” | E.M. Forster’s “The Machine Stops” | John Buchan’s Huntingtower | Arthur Conan Doyle’s When the World Screamed | Victor Bridges’ A Rogue By Compulsion | Jack London’s The Iron Heel | H. De Vere Stacpoole’s The Man Who Lost Himself | P.G. Wodehouse’s Leave It to Psmith | Richard Connell’s “The Most Dangerous Game” | Houdini and Lovecraft’s “Imprisoned with the Pharaohs” | Arthur Conan Doyle’s “The Sussex Vampire.”
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); Karinne Keithley Syers’s Linda Linda Linda (which includes original music); and Robert Waldron’s roman à clef The School on the Fens. We also publish original stories and comics. These include: Matthew Battles’s stories “Gita Nova“, “Makes the Man,” “Imago,” “Camera Lucida,” “A Simple Message”, “Children of the Volcano”, “The Gnomon”, “Billable Memories”, “For Provisional Description of Superficial Features”, “The Dogs in the Trees”, “The Sovereignties of Invention”, and “Survivor: The Island of Dr. Moreau”; several of these later appeared in the collection The Sovereignties of Invention | Peggy Nelson’s “Mood Indigo“, “Top Kill Fail“, and “Mercerism” | Annalee Newitz’s “The Great Oxygen Race” | Flourish Klink’s Star Trek fanfic “Conference Comms” | Charlie Mitchell’s “A Fantasy Land” | Charlie Mitchell’s “Sentinels” | Joshua Glenn’s “The Lawless One”, and the mashup story “Zarathustra vs. Swamp Thing” | Adam McGovern and Paolo Leandri’s Idoru Jones comics | John Holbo’s “Sugarplum Squeampunk” | “Another Corporate Death” (1) and “Another Corporate Death” (2) by Mike Fleisch | Kathryn Kuitenbrouwer and Frank Fiorentino’s graphic novel “The Song of Otto” (excerpt) | John Holbo’s graphic novel On Beyond Zarathustra (excerpt) | “Manoj” and “Josh” by Vijay Balakrishnan | “Verge” by Chris Rossi, and his audio novel Low Priority Hero | EPIC WINS: THE ILIAD (1.408-415) by Flourish Klink | EPIC WINS: THE KALEVALA (3.1-278) by James Parker | EPIC WINS: THE ARGONAUTICA (2.815-834) by Joshua Glenn | EPIC WINS: THE MYTH OF THE ELK by Matthew Battles | TROUBLED SUPERHUMAN CONTEST: Charles Pappas, “The Law” | CATASTROPHE CONTEST: Timothy Raymond, “Hem and the Flood” | TELEPATHY CONTEST: Rachel Ellis Adams, “Fatima, Can You Hear Me?” | OIL SPILL CONTEST: A.E. Smith, “Sound Thinking | LITTLE NEMO CAPTION CONTEST: Joe Lyons, “Necronomicon” | SPOOKY-KOOKY CONTEST: Tucker Cummings, “Well Marbled” | INVENT-A-HERO CONTEST: TG Gibbon, “The Firefly” | FANFICTION CONTEST: Lyette Mercier’s “Sex and the Single Superhero”