Best 1908 Adventures (7)

By: Joshua Glenn
February 9, 2018

One in a series of 10 posts identifying Josh Glenn’s favorite 1908 adventure novels. Happy 110th anniversary!



Alexander Bogdanov’s Radium Age sci-fi adventure Red Star.

Leonid, a scientist-revolutionary active in the Russian Revolution of 1905, is befriended by Menni — who turns out to be a Martian in disguise. Leonid, it seems, has been selected by the Martians to visit them — which he does via the “etheroneph,” a nuclear photonic rocket. Mars, Leonid discovers, is a post-revolutionary society — an idyllic communist-esque social order boasting a planned economy and advanced cybernetic control; Martians work only as much as they want to. The “red star” also boasts nuclear fusion and propulsion, atomic weaponry, computers, blood transfusions, and (almost) unisexuality. However, the Martians have run out of resources and are considering an invasion of either Earth or Venus! Sent home, after he kills one of the Martians who threaten to colonize Earth, Leonid rejoins the revolutionary struggle.

Fun fact: Bogdanov (1873–1928) was one of the early organizers and prophets of the Russian Bolshevik party; Stalin was a fan of his writing. He followed this novel with a prequel in 1913, Engineer Menni, which detailed the creation of the communist society on Mars.


Let me know if I’ve missed any 1908 adventures that you particularly admire.


Adventure, Lit Lists

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