TWENTY MORE “ANCIENT” SCIENCE FICTION STORIES

One of the most popular topics here at Balladeer’s Blog is “Ancient” Science Fiction. That category covers science fiction stories – often very primitive – from the 1st Century A.D. up through about a hundred years ago. Here’s another list of twenty items for 2020.

Nth ManTHE Nth MAN (1920?)

Author: Homer Eon Flint

“Ancient” Kaiju! An enormous humanoid being with skin like turtle shells rises from the depths to rampage across the United States. The entity is intelligent and lays down political and economic ultimatums to the career politicians of Washington DC and to the plutocrats who pull their strings. Though the enormous Nth Man is told that his demands will be met, the tycoons betray him. They construct a high-tech army to try to kill the giant when he returns and the battle is on.

FOR MY REVIEW CLICK HERE   

Mexican MysteryA MEXICAN MYSTERY (1888)

Author: W. Grove

An inventor in 1860s Mexico seeks favor with Emperor Maximilian by devising an actual “thinking” train engine complete with mechanical arms which allow it to function without humans manning it. The intelligent construct develops a predatory mentality, then goes on a wild killing spree throughout the country while outfighting its human foes at nearly every turn.

FOR MY REVIEW CLICK HERE 

The Wreck of a WorldTHE WRECK OF A WORLD (1889)

Author: W. Grove

Followup novel to Grove’s A Mexican Mystery. Think of this as a Diesel-Punk version of the Terminator Future War. This time around Grove depicts intelligent train engines who are even capable of designing AND constructing others of their kind. Soon the train engines construct intelligent versions of various other machines and set out to exterminate humanity. Features armies of “intelligent” machines against armies of human beings using non-motorized weaponry. Great post-apocalyptic tableau but with a Nineteenth Century sensibility.

FOR MY REVIEW CLICK HERE  

In search of the unknownIN SEARCH OF THE UNKNOWN (1904)

Author: THE Robert W. Chambers

A collection of short stories featuring the zoologist Gilland, who works for the turn-of-the-century Bronx Zoo. He’s sort of a mix of Frank Buck, Indiana Jones and Doctor Who. Gilland’s zoological researches pit him against subaquatic mermen, rampaging dinosaurs, invisible swamp-dwelling cryptoids and gigantic humanoid women. He romances lovely ladies, too.

FOR MY REVIEW CLICK HERE 

casanovas-icosameronTHE LAND OF THE MEGA-MICRES (1788)

Author: THE Giovanni Giacomo Casanova

The story of an Inner Earth realm called Protocosmos and its civilization which predates any from the surface world. A man and a woman become stranded in that subterranean world inhabited by 18-inch tall humanoids of assorted colors. Casanova painstakingly detailed the bizarre physiognomy, reproductive habits and culture of these Inner Earth beings. In addition there are giant, four-legged birds which are used as air transport throughout Protocosmos.

FOR MY REVIEW CLICK HERE  

Adventures of a micromanTHE ADVENTURES OF A MICRO-MAN (1902)

Author: Edwin Pallender

Long before The Incredible Shrinking Man or Honey, I Shrunk The Kids came this tale of a scientist who accidentally shrinks himself and a handful of friends and family down to about a half-inch in size. They are trapped in this state for ten days or until his colleagues return to the lab the following Monday and can be alerted to their condition. The foursome must survive in the scientist’s back yard the few days until then against insects, spiders and many other menaces which are quite deadly at their size.

FOR MY REVIEW CLICK HERE

Frank L PackardAN INTER-PLANETARY RUPTURE (1906)

Author: Frank L. Packard

This is an early Space Opera set in the year 3102 A.D. Earth and its space colonies wind up in a war with Mercury and its space colonies over Mercury’s intention to claim the valuable asteroid Mizar. The superior Mercurian space fleet succeeds on all fronts, ultimately landing an invasion army on the Earth itself before being driven back.

FOR MY REVIEW CLICK HERE 

Incubated GirlTHE INCUBATED GIRL (1896)

Author: F.T. Jane

A sinister British Egyptologist plans to use chemicals and hieroglyphic instructions from an ancient burial chamber to “grow” women in large eggs. All but one of his attempts fail, and he names that lone success Stella. He keeps detailed scientific notes on her as she grows. Eventually Stella is a beautiful woman but is uninterested in sex or romance. The sociopathic being preys on everyone around her and is capable of absorbing their talents and abilities. Ultimately she forms her own religion with herself as its deity AND clergy. When Stella learns she can absorb entire souls from the people around her, the terror deepens.

FOR MY REVIEW CLICK HERE   

Stolen PlanetTHE STOLEN PLANET (1906)

Author: John Mastin

Edwardian Brits invent anti-gravity, then construct a spaceship, assemble a crew and fly off for the Sirius star system. They discover planets with enormous ruins, hostile alien races and a space creature which they adopt as a pet. After avoiding various disasters the explorers return to Earth but unleash a gravitational disaster as they are toting a stolen planet with them.

FOR MY REVIEW CLICK HERE

Blood and IronBLOOD AND IRON (1917)

Authors: Robert H. Davis & Perley P. Sheehan

During the First World War, one of Kaiser Wilhelm’s scientists is experimenting on maimed and mutilated soldiers – both dead and alive – trying to create unstoppable cyborg soldiers. After 240 failures, the 241st attempt succeeds and the Kaiser anticipates having a high-tech army that will sweep the Allied Powers before it.

FOR MY REVIEW CLICK HERE

Man From SaturnTHE MAN FROM SATURN (1890)

Author: Unknown

A Saturnian named Willmoth joins his former teacher Elwer in the latter’s newly invented flying machine. The pair explore all of Saturn, including a hidden underground civilization plus humanoids of many shapes and sizes – some who ride enormous lizards. After modifying their flying machine for interplanetary travel, Willmoth and Elwer explore assorted planets in our solar system until ultimately Willmoth becomes stranded on primitive Earth. After thousands of years he despairs of ever “civilizing” us, and tells his life story to an 1890s Earthling before passing away.

FOR MY REVIEW CLICK HERE

Man From SaturnA PESTILENT VAPOR (1903)

Author: Alice MacGowan

This quasi-imitation of The Invisible Man goes far beyond what H.G. Wells had the nerve to do. In the “far future” year of 1950 the mad Dr Sylvester discovers a chemical process which lets him transform his body into a gaseous state at will. He can then re-form when he pleases, too. When the U.S. President refuses to facilitate the scientist’s further experiments, Dr Sylvester wants revenge. No prison can hold him and no walls can keep him out, so the mad doctor assassinates the president and unleashes an Anarchist uprising across the country.

FOR MY REVIEW CLICK HERE  

Man From SaturnBEYOND THE ETHER (1898)

Author: W. Cairns Johnston

A bizarre jumble of concepts thrown together Ed Wood-style. Two Ivy League buddies use their scientific discoveries to perfect a spaceship and a means of suspended animation during the long journeys between worlds. They have adventures on Mars and Jupiter, encounter demons and angels, learn odd religious lessons and at last return to Earth.

FOR MY REVIEW CLICK HERE

John Daniel 2ADVENTURES OF JOHN DANIEL (1751)

Author: Ralph Morris

When John Daniel and his lady love become shipwrecked on an uncharted isle they settle down and start having children. One of their sons, Daniel, turns out to be a scientific genius who creates a very powerful flying machine. John accompanies Daniel on a test flight which goes wrong and lands the pair in adventures on the Moon and against a race of part-fish/ part-humans back on Earth.

FOR MY REVIEW CLICK HERE 

auroraphoneTHE AURORAPHONE (1890)

Author: Cyrus Cole

An Earth scientist in the 1800s perfects a device called the Auroraphone. This invention allows him to communicate with the inhabitants of Saturn via radio waves. Over the course of the communication the Earthling learns a great deal about Saturn’s incredibly advanced technology. Features an early example of a Robot Rebellion when the Saturnians’ android slaves launch a revolt. Massacres ensue.

FOR MY REVIEW CLICK HERE 

germ-growersTHE GERM GROWERS (1892)

Author: Robert Potter.

This novel is a very early work dealing with alien abduction of human beings for sinister purposes. It also explores biological warfare and the whole Ancient Alien concept. Especially from the angle that those Ancient Aliens became humanity’s “gods” and “demons.”

FOR MY REVIEW CLICK HERE

Rivals of H.G. WellsTHE ULTIMATE INHERITORS (1914)

Author: Berg Bellair

It’s “Ancient Creature Feature” time as spiders in the American Southwest become mutated by uranium deposits in the soil and grow to enormous size. Led by a heroic scientist, humanity battles the spiders with our guns blazing. Features very tense scenes of a handful of besieged survivors fighting off the huge arachnids from the top of a lonely mesa. This is the REAL Kingdom of the Spiders.   

FOR MY REVIEW CLICK HERE

Fallen RaceTHE FALLEN RACE (1892)

Author: Austyn Granville

Kangaroos forcibly intermarry with Australian aborigines to produce a hybrid race called the Anonos. These “man-supials” (sorry) have fur, stubby arms and really long tongues but are otherwise human, albeit not very intelligent. The Anonos have crude technology and have constructed a primitive city for themselves, hidden deep in the Outback. A survivor from a research expedition stumbles upon the Kangaroo-men, goes on to be their ruler and ultimately dreams of humans and Anonos living side by side in harmony. NOT a Yahoo Serious movie … but it should be.

FOR MY REVIEW CLICK HERE 

Darwinian SchoonerA DARWINIAN SCHOONER (1893)

Author: William Alden

Extraordinarily intelligent baboons kill every crew member on a sailing ship, then go on to terrorize the prize crew left on the vessel when another ship comes along. Better than it sounds. The story has an eerie air of ambiguity and suspense that anticipates the novel and movie The Birds from decades later.

FOR MY REVIEW CLICK HERE

Guardian of Mystery IslandTHE GUARDIAN OF MYSTERY ISLAND (1896)

Author: Edmond Molcini 

Off the coast of Maine lies Mystery Island, a dreaded place avoided by all northeasterners. One skeptical traveler dares to brave the island alone. Once there he discovers a madwoman and her dog, plus weeds which, when consumed, can prolong human life nearly twice its normal span. Unfortunately the island is also home to an enormous man-eating plant which uses its vine-like tentacles to pull prey toward it to feed upon.

FOR MY REVIEW CLICK HERE   AND FOR MY ORIGINAL LIST OF TEN DIFFERENT WORKS OF “ANCIENT” SCIENCE FICTION CLICK HERE   FOR THE FOLLOWUP LIST OF EIGHT DIFFERENT WORKS OF “ANCIENT” SCI FI CLICK HERE 

25 Comments

Filed under Ancient Science Fiction

25 responses to “TWENTY MORE “ANCIENT” SCIENCE FICTION STORIES

  1. I had never heard of any of these!!! Thank You and Cheers! 🙂

  2. Antonio

    These are so awesome for such old stories!

  3. Brian Hibbs

    BALLADEER’S BLOG AT GLITTERNIGHT.COM IS THE GREATEST BLOG ON THE WEB!

  4. Sable Nance

    BALLADEER’S BLOG AT GLITTERNIGHT.COM IS THE BEST BLOG ON THE WEB!

  5. Holly

    Too cool!!! I had no idea anybody except Verne and Wells were writing like this so long ago!

  6. Yoshiko

    I thought only Verne and Wells were writing science fiction that far back. Awesome to learn otherwise.

  7. Heidi MacDonald

    This list is one of the reasons I adore Balladeer’s Blog!

  8. Nicole

    I love love love these sold scifi stories!

  9. Stanley

    Nth Man blew my mind dude!

  10. Louise

    Your full length review of The Nth Man is very, very good!

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