THE FALLEN RACE (1892) – Written by Austyn Granville. If you’ve ever thought to yourself “How come nobody ever combined science fiction, H. Rider Haggard-style Lost Race tales AND kangaroo rapists” then THIS is the story for you. (And please stay away from children.)
This novel is presented as if it is the real-life journal of the adventures of Dr Paul Gifford in the Great Australian Desert from 1874-1888. An ill-fated expedition into Australia’s desert is nearly wiped out by dysentery, thirst and spoiled food. The only two survivors are the aforementioned Dr Gifford and Jacky-Jacky, which may sound like the name of a Hip-Hop Artist but is really the name of an Australian Aborigine member of the expedition.
Just in time this unlikely pair comes across a huge lake, which event saves their lives. Adjacent to the lake is the lush, green land of the Anonos, a species which is a cross between humans and kangaroos and resulted from a long-ago mass rape of Australian Aborigine women by kangaroos. No, I’m serious.
Finally, the lyrics of that Men at Work song make sense:
“I come from a land Down Un-derrr/ Where kangaroos rape and men plun- derrr”
The Anonos have the fur and the short, stubby arms of kangaroos along with their long tongues but are otherwise human. Their intelligence is below average, so I’m guessing it never occurred to them to refer to themselves as “Man-supials.” But I kid … Anyway this hybrid species lives in a crudely constructed city of sorts.
Dr Gifford and Jacky-Jacky (no relation to Jackee) were captured by the Anonos and presented to their queen. She is a fully human woman called Azuela, the White Queen. Azuela was found by the Anonos when she was a baby and was raised by them, Tarzan-style. With her human intelligence the White Queen was able to lead her people toward agriculture and other rudiments of civilization. The notable exception is fire, which the Anonos hate and fear.
Azuela was considered a goddess by the Anonos and – to the disapproval of her Advisory Council – she and Paul Gifford get the hots for each other. Over the course of their years together Dr Gifford teaches Azuela how to read and write in English and becomes a virtual co-ruler.
In that time Gifford has brought great advances to the Anonos like metal-working, roads, printing and the manufacture of weapons. Eventually the kangaroo/ human hybrids (Hopping Mad Max) reach a point of resentment toward our lovebirds and launch an armed uprising.
Thanks to Paul and Azuela’s personal cache of guns – left over from her parents’ expedition – the rebellion is brutally put down. From then on the Anonos accept their human rulers and enjoy more prosperity than they ever had before.
Azuela keeps refusing to marry Paul out of her resentment regarding his ever-increasing influence. Fate takes a hand when an army of thousands of Aborigines invade the city and make off with Azuela.
Paul organizes the Anonos into launching a military expedition to rescue the White Queen. After a battle with an apocalyptic body count on both sides,Dr Gifford and his forces emerge victorious. Azuela is restored to her throne and at last consents to marry Paul.
The happy couple have several children, providing an extended Royal Family to rule over the kangaroo-people. In 1888 Gifford decided it was time for the Anonos to interact with the rest of Australia, so he traveled to Melbourne and published his “journal,” setting the stage for an Aussie-Anonos entente cordiale.
If not for the kangaroo rapists and the resulting offspring this story would be indistinguishable from countless similar Lost Civilization stories from the 1800s onward. How Yahoo Serious failed to make a big-screen version of this novel is beyond me. He could have titled it Kangaroo Tale or Tie Me Kangaroo Rapist Down or something equally lame. +++
FOR TEN MORE EXAMPLES OF ANCIENT SCIENCE FICTION CLICK HERE: https://glitternight.com/2014/03/03/ten-neglected-examples-of-ancient-science-fiction/
FOR WASHINGTON IRVING’S 1809 depiction of an invasion from the moon click here: https://glitternight.com/2014/05/05/ancient-science-fiction-the-men-of-the-moon-1809-by-washington-irving/
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