The Last New Yorkers
Beyond the Great Oblivion
was at his side, and, like him, staring out into the clear sunshine, out over the vast expanses of the city.
A moment's utter silence fell. Quite clearly hummed the protest of an imprisoned fly in a web at the top of the window. The breathing of the man and woman sounded quick and loud.
"All wrecked!" cried Beatrice. "But--then--"
"Wrecked? It looks that way," the engineer made answer, with a strong effort holding his emotions in control. "Why not be frank about this? You'd better make up your mind at once to accept the very worst. I see no signs of anything else."
"The worst? You mean--"
"I mean just what we see out there. You can interpret it as well as I."
Again the silence while they looked, with emotions that could find no voicing in words. Instinctively the engineer passed an arm about the frightened girl and drew her close to him.
"And the last thing I remember," whispered she, "was just--just after you'd finished dictating those Taunton Bridge
The Darkness and Dawn trilogy is composed of three separate novellas, all available here as one document, or as separate manuscripts:
• The Last New Yorkers
• Beyond the Great Oblivion
• The Afterglow
Written by George Allan England (1877–1937), an American writer and explorer, the story introduces us to Allan Stern and Beatrice Kendrick who have miraculously survived an Earth-destroying cataclysm by going into suspended animation in the same office and waking up a millennium later at the exact same time for no definite reason ever explained.
They then wander through the rest of the story having incredible adventures to rival the pulps of the classic age, express their love for each other (for pages and pages and pages), have more incredible adventures they survive by the skin of their teeth, express their love for each other for many more pages, express their disdain for religion and capitalism, face death square in the chops, express more of their love for each other, express how the new world they are going to rebuild will be a socialist paradise, fight to the death with a monster or two, express their love for each other, and ... well, you get the picture.
Along the way we learn that concrete and steel are eternal, that 1,000-year-old food in the tin still tastes good, that Allan can rebuild a pre-WWI plane from deer hides, that fur coats stored carefully for a millennium can still be worn, that people can go into suspended animation and wake up with the clothes rotting off their bodies without any harm to themselves (or even feeling hungry), that a ten-century-old bullet can still fire without any problem, that air pressure does not change to any serious degree if you go to the bottom of a canyon that is well over 50 miles deep, and did I mention that concrete will outlast the heat death of the universe?
And along the way, you'll probably read that Allan and Beatrice are rather fond of each other.
And saints preserve us, but writing this review, I just realized that the author and the main character share the same name which means this story is a type of Mary Sue tale!
Regardless, if you like pulp adventures with lots of action and high body counts, then you have just found paradise.
Just don't analyze the tale too closely.
Craig Alan Loewen
Pretty good but did contain elements of the predjudice of its day.