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The Raid on the Termites

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Author: Paul Ernst
Published: 1932
Language: English
Wordcount: 26,899 / 86 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 77.3
LoC Category: PS
Downloads: 1,556
Added to site: 2008.11.13
mnybks.net#: 22621
Origin: gutenberg.org

Armed with splinters of steel, two ant-sized men dare the formidable mysteries of a termitary.

Show Excerpt

han a man of science, Matt towered over the average man and carelessly dominated any assembly by sheer force of mentality. He even towered a little over big Jim Holden now, as he absently shook hands with him.

"Come in, come in," he said, his voice vague. And to Denny: "I'm busy as the devil, but you can watch over my shoulder if you want to. Got something new on. Great thing--though I don't think it'll have any practical meaning."

The two padded after him along a dusty hallway, up a flight of stairs that was little more than a ladder, and into the cavernous loft of the old barn which had been transformed into a laboratory.

Jim drew Denny aside a pace or two. "He says he's got something new. Isn't he afraid to show it to a stranger like me?"

"Afraid? Why should he be?"

"Well, ideas do get stolen now and then, you know."

Denny smiled. "When Matt gets hold of something new, you can be sure the discovery isn't a new kind of can-opener or patent towel-rack that can be 'st

Reader Reviews

Average Rating of 4 from 2 reviews: ****
2015.10.13
Lisa Carr
****.

A ripping adventure tale of two men shrunk to a quarter of an inch high using Element 85 (don't ask--look it up) who infiltrate a termite's nest, just for a look around. No women, they would just get in the way, only men, doing man stuff.
Although the characters are supposed to have opposite personalities, they blur together once the adrenalin flows, and I couldn't keep the entomologist straight from the adventurer.
Oddly, this would be a better story set on another planet, without the shrinking ray, and with a hive-society of aliens. The hive brain would not seem so outlandish. Still, for a pulp story it's pretty engrossing.

2009.01.18
Pulpophile
****.

A fine adventure in the pulp tradition. Reminiscent of H.G. Wells's First Men in the Moon, but without the commentary on society. Interesting to note that the author, writing fully in the mindset of the time, did not grant the queen of the termites her rightful authority. As far as he was concerned, if there was a big brain running the termite society, it would have to be a guy.


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