By: Clare Winger Harris
May 15, 2023

The issue of Amazing Stories in which “The Fifth Dimension” appeared.

HiLoBooks is pleased to serialize Clare Winger Harris’s “The Fifth Dimension” (which first appeared in Amazing Stories, December 1928) here at HILOBROW.

ALL INSTALLMENTS: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4.



John was ready to make a business trip to the south and had purchased his railroad ticket early in the afternoon. The train was scheduled to leave town at 8:15 P.M. The supper dishes had just been cleared away and John had hurried upstairs to pack his grip, when the feeling that this had all happened before came upon me; more realistically than I had ever before experienced it, and this time it was accompanied by a premonition of the same nature us that which had warned me of Mrs. Maxwell’s fatal trip to her garage.

I lost no time in hurrying up to John’s room, where I found him sorting over the things to take with him on his trip.

“John, don’t go this evening, I said, trying to keep my voice steady. “There is morning train at 11:53. Can’t you take that instead of going tonight?”

My husband carefully tucked his hair brush into his satchel, and for moment deigned me no reply.

“I’m afraid to have you go tonight, John,” I continued. “I’ve had a — a sort of warning. You know what I mean.”

John closed and locked his grip. “Are you afraid here alone? he asked, after what seemed an interminable silence.

“No. It’s not for myself that I fear danger, but for you. Won’t you defer your trip?” I persisted.

“Now see here, Ellen,” John responded with a show of irritation, “I’ve already bought my ticket and laid my plans for meeting Hopkins in Atlanta on Friday and I can’t and won’t stop because of some fool notion of yours. I had supposed you had forgotten about this fourth dimension time-cycle business!” He picked up his satchel. “But whether you’ve forgotten it or not, the 8:15 sees me ensconced on my way to Georgia.”

“But, John, dear.” I cried in desperation, “remember the Maxwell affair. If I had only obeyed my impulse to rush out and warn poor Mrs. Maxwell, she would be living now!”

John paused and looked at me as if considering, but it was only for a second; then he resumed his descent of the stairs.

“No,” he said. “I’ve got to be in Atlanta on Friday or stand a chance of losing one of the biggest orders we’ve had in months.”

Then it seemed as though something snapped in my brain and I heard my voice as though it were another’s coming from a distance, “The Juggernaut, Fate, grinds mortals beneath its wheels and there is no hope.”

I soon became conscious of the fact that I was sobbing hysterically and that John was holding me in his arms.

“Ellen, Ellen,’ his dear voice was saying, “I’m going to fool Fate a trick and let Hopkins wait. I leave tomorrow at 11:53. Let’s see what’s on the radio for the rest of the evening.”

I gazed up at him with incredulity. “Oh, John,” I cried ecstatically, “do you think we can prove that the cycles of time are not inexorable?”

“We can at least give the theory a fair trial,” he said smiling.


RADIUM AGE PROTO-SF: “Radium Age” is Josh Glenn’s name for the nascent sf genre’s c. 1900–1935 era, a period which saw the discovery of radioactivity, i.e., 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. More info here.

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” | Francis Stevens’s “Friend Island” | George C. Wallis’s “The Last Days of Earth” | Frank L. Pollock’s “Finis” | A. Merritt’s The Moon Pool | E. Nesbit’s “The Third Drug” | George Allan England’s “The Thing from — ‘Outside'” | Booth Tarkington’s “The Veiled Feminists of Atlantis” | H.G. Wells’s “The Land Ironclads” | J.D. Beresford’s The Hampdenshire Wonder | Valery Bryusov’s “The Republic of the Southern Cross” | Algernon Blackwood’s “A Victim of Higher Space” | A. Merritt’s “The People of the Pit” | Max Brand’s The Untamed | Julian Huxley’s “The Tissue-Culture King” | Clare Winger Harris’s “A Runaway World” | Francis Stevens’s “Thomas Dunbar” | George Gurdjieff’s “Beelzebub’s Tales” | Robert W. Chambers’s “The Harbor-Master”.