MY COUSIN’S AIRSHIP, A TALE OF 1950 (1902) – Written by W.F. Alexander. Though written in 1902 this story is set in a fictional 1950 which has seen incredible scientific advances.
The action begins in England, where our narrator lives with his true love Margaret. His cousin Stephen Rankin – a former rival for Margaret’s affections – is a nasty mean-spirited mad scientist figure.
Stephen has invented a new type of aerocar which can travel 45 miles per hour, which we readers are told makes it the fastest aircraft of 1950. (!) As a peace-making gesture the inventor invites our narrator along for a joyride in the airship.
Our hero accepts the invitation and the pair use Stephen’s aircraft to fly from England to Switzerland. The adventurers land on the peak of the Matterhorn, where Stephen betrays our protagonist by sneaking back aboard the airship and flying off, abandoning him to a slow death.
Later the mad scientist returned to circle overhead and gloat to his suffering victim. Karma strikes as the villain loses control of his craft and crashes on a lower summit.
The airship bursts into flames, ensuring Stephen’s own death while the flames and smoke attract a search party. Our narrator succeeds in catching the attention of that search party and survives his ordeal.
This is just kind of so-so but is short enough that you don’t have time to grow bored before it’s all over. Short, sweet and simple.
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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