inside Planet Earth: Science Fiction Ideas on the Center of the Earth Part 2

About a variety of science fiction stories and novels that deal with ideas about what is inside planet Earth.


The Goddess of Atvatabar, William Bradshaw, 1892. A group of explorers sail through the hole in the South Pole and down a vortex into an inner world to reach the continent of Atvatabar, which has a technologically advanced society. Its cavalry uses mechanical ostriches. Life is restored to dead bodies through the yearning of the souls of separated lovers which recharges a huge spiritual battery. (This book is also based on the "holes-at-the-poles" theory.)

The Land of the Changing Sun, William N. Herben, 1894. While soaring in a balloon over the North Pole, Henry Johnston and Charles Thorndyke descend and are taken into a cavern containing an underground city. Here a manmade electrical sun runs on a track, changing colors with the hours. The civilization is feudal.

Etidorpha, John Uri, 1895. The narrator, I Am-a-Man, is taken by a blue-skinned, eyeless creature through a Kentucky cavern into a world in the inner earth. They cross a lake in a metal boat that goes 900 mph by means of an ethereal current or magnetic force. (The writer of this novel explains that the earth was formed as a sphere of energy, which spun through space collecting dust as a bubble might.)

The Great Stone of Sardis, Frank Stockton, 1897. In the ultramodern world of 1947, Roland Crewe of Sardis, N.J., invents an X-ray mechanism with which he can see through the earth. Much to his surprise, he sees a clear transparency 14 mi. down. To check it out, he invents a projectile, with which he bores down to find that the earth's core is solid diamond.

The Secret of the Earth, Charles Beale, 1899. Financed by a being from the inner world, Guthrie and Torrence Attlebridge, co-inventors of the airplane, travel north to the Pole and enter the interior of the earth. Here they find roofless houses and a city of white and gold, a paradise that was man's 1st home.

Underground Man, Gabriel Tarde', 1905. A catastrophe had driven men underground where they have founded a utopia with thermic cataracts, monocycles, electric trains, and a population whose growth is regulated by birth control.

The Smoky God, Willis George Emerson, 1908. Voyaging through an opening at the North Pole, explorer Olaf Jansen enters a world, the cradle of the human race, called Eden. It contains a central sun and is inhabited by 12' giants. Electricity operates flying cars and surcharges gorgeous fruits and vegetables. (The book is heavily footnoted with references to scientific writings that take up more space than the text.)

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