THE TERRIBLE SUBMARINE (1901) – Written by THE Archibald Williams. The Teredo, a souped-up, futuristic submarine is roaming the high seas preying on the world’s shipping at will. The speed and weaponry of the vessel and its anonymous Captain outclass anything that anyone else has in use.
Marcus Hammersley, a young British inventor, designs and oversees the construction of the Otter, a super-submarine of his own. The Otter is outfitted with the inventor’s innovative sensor equipment – including what we would today call sonar. Hammersley believes his vessel’s engines can propel the Otter faster than the mysterious Teredo once his sensors help him locate the pirate sub.
The day comes when Marcus and the Otter encounter the Teredo. Our hero’s advanced sensors led him to his quarry but the Teredo‘s weaponry is so superior that the Otter is forced to retreat. The pirate sub is able to keep up with the fleeing Hammersley, ending his hopes that his craft would prove faster.
As it turns out the Otter is more maneuverable than the bulkier rogue vessel and the Teredo winds up snagged and trapped by an old sunken hulk. After Marcus refits the Otter and returns to the hulk he discovers the Teredo never pulled itself free.
The crew all died along with the Captain – an Italian acquaintance of Hammersley – who apparently copied and made off with our hero’s submarine designs. The pirate made a few adjustments here and there and set out for plunder.
The Terrible Sub is not bad at all and thankfully it’s a short story so the piece doesn’t have time to wear out its welcome. +++
FOR EIGHT ADDITIONAL EXAMPLES OF ANCIENT SCIENCE FICTION CLICK HERE
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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