THE SCIENTIFIC ADVENTURES OF BARON MUENCHHAUSEN (1915-1917) – Written by the iconic Hugo Gernsback in the years before he launched his own publication, these sci-fi tales presented the 1700s Baron being alive and having wild adventures. (The cover spelling does not match the one Gernsback used.)
Like most people I know, I just roll my eyes at the Baron Muenchhausen tall tales, so that’s why I used Hugo’s name in the blog post title. Hugo as the writer of this series of short stories is the REAL draw. The following items first appeared in the magazine Electrical Experimenter.
I MAKE A WIRELESS ACQUAINTANCE (May 1915) – Gernsback’s fictional counterpart I.M. Alier is a radio enthusiast and one day picks up transmissions from THE Baron Muenchhausen. The Baron tells him that in the 1700s he was injected with special embalming fluid which actually put him in suspended animation.
He emerged from that state a few years back and, forced to flee Germany over past offenses, has been having amazing scientific adventures. Alier is skeptical, but the Baron proves his claim by using some of the advanced science he has discovered to change the color of part of the moon. This convinces the narrator.
HOW MUENCHHAUSEN AND THE ALLIES TOOK BERLIN (June 1915) – Alier learns that the Baron has been helping the French in the World War. Among his inventions was a tunneling device for launching sneak attacks but the Central Powers were able to reverse-engineer the technology, resulting in another deadlock.
The Baron and his friend Professor Flitternix have devised anti-gravity screens for a spaceship. They plan to fly the vessel – called the Interstellar – to the moon. Continue reading