Tag Archives: Alice MacGowan

A PESTILENT VAPOR (1903): ANCIENT SCIENCE FICTION

Future washington d.c.A PESTILENT VAPOR (1903) – Written by Alice MacGowan, this neglected story introduced a figure who should have become as famous in his way as H.G. Wells’ Invisible Man. 

The tale is set in “the far future” of 1950. The mad scientist Dr Sylvester assassinates the U.S. President for refusing to grant Sylvester the appointment he wanted to an overseas post where he could continue his bizarre experiments.

The not so good doctor is taken into custody and gets even more spiteful satisfaction out of the way the country is rife with rioting and protests. Dr Sylvester wants to further his plans by exploiting the spreading anarchy and disappears from his prison cell.

Sylvester has discovered a way of transforming his body into a gaseous state. When no one was watching him he turned into a vapor and drifted out of the prison, returning to his human form when he had reached safety. Continue reading

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