Radium Age 100 (62)
December 18, 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.
Gustave Le Rouge’s Le Mystérieux Docteur Cornelius stories (1912–13).
Dr. Cornelius Kramm is a brilliant, New York- and Paris-based cosmetic surgeon (nicknamed the “Sculptor of Human Flesh”) who, along with his brother Fritz, secretly rules an international criminal empire called the Red Hand. One of Cornelius’ top agents is Baruch Jorgell, a sadistic sociopath; Dr. Cornelius uses his skills as a surgeon to alter Jorgell’s appearance, making him unrecognizable. The Red Hand’s growing influence — Le Rouge’s saga was serialized in eighteen volumes — leads to the creation of an alliance of scientists, industrialists, and adventurers who fight back. There is a romance angle: One of the adventurers, Harry Dorgan, is in love with Baruch’s sister. After a globe-hopping battle, the Red Hand is defeated and Dr. Cornelius killed — or is he?
Fun fact: The Dr. Cornelius stories, in order, are L’Énigme du Creek Sanglant, Le Manoir aux Diamants, Le Sculpteur de Chair Humaine, Les Lords de la Main Rouge, Le Secret de l’Île des Pendus, Les Chevaliers du Chloroforme, Un Drame au Lunatic Asylum, L’Automobile Fantôme, Le Cottage Hanté, Le Portrait de Lucrece Borgia, Coeur de Gitane, La Croisière du Gorill-Club, La Fleur du Sommeil, Le Buste aux Yeux d’Émeraude, La Dame aux Scabieuses, La Tour Fiévreuse, Le Dément de la Maison Bleue, and Bas les Masques.
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