Radium Age 100 (43)

By: Joshua Glenn
October 23, 2015

One in a series of 100 posts about the best science fiction novels published from 1904–33. HILOBROW’s Josh Glenn has named that era science fiction’s Radium Age; more info here. The complete Radium Age 100 list can be found here.

The Black Monarch was first serialized in this issue of Weird Tales

Paul Ernst’s The Black Monarch (1930).

In 1992, Dr. Sanderson, foster-son of an inventor who’s created a machine that can respond to thought waves, detects the presence of an immensely evil being in Algeria. So Sanderson and an adventurer, Neil Emory, explore — and discover a subterranean civilization beneath that country. The underground land is ruled by Rez, an immortal ancient Egyptian — whose brain is so enlarged that he’s replaced his own skull with a metal contraption. Rez has highly developed paranormal powers; he converses telepathically, and, with the aid of a huge diamond crystal, controls the wills of his small, robot-like subjects. From his underground lair he’s manipulating the world into a war that will smash civilization.

Fun fact: From 1939-42, under the name Kenneth Robeson, Ernst would write the original 24 Avenger stories for the magazine of that title.

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MORE RADIUM AGE SCI FI ON HILOBROW: HiLoBooks homepage! | What is Radium Age science fiction? |Radium Age 100: 100 Best Science Fiction Novels from 1904–33 | Radium Age Supermen | Radium Age Robots | Radium Age Apocalypses | Radium Age Telepaths | Radium Age Eco-Catastrophes | Radium Age Cover Art (1) | SF’s Best Year Ever: 1912 | Radium Age Science Fiction Poetry | Enter Highbrowism | Bathybius! Primordial ooze in Radium Age sf | War and Peace Games (H.G. Wells’s training manuals for supermen) | Radium Age: Context series | J.D. Beresford | Algernon Blackwood | Edgar Rice Burroughs | Karel Čapek | Buster Crabbe | August Derleth | Arthur Conan Doyle | Hugo Gernsback | Charlotte Perkins Gilman | Cicely Hamilton | Hermann Hesse | William Hope Hodgson | Aldous Huxley | Inez Haynes Irwin | Alfred Jarry | Jack Kirby (Radium Age sf’s influence on) | Murray Leinster | Gustave Le Rouge | Gaston Leroux | David Lindsay | Jack London | H.P. Lovecraft | A. Merritt | Maureen O’Sullivan | Sax Rohmer | Paul Scheerbart | Upton Sinclair | Clark Ashton Smith | E.E. “Doc” Smith | Olaf Stapledon | John Taine | H.G. Wells | Jack Williamson | Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz | S. Fowler Wright | Philip Gordon Wylie | Yevgeny Zamyatin

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