Dakta death, horrible beyond the weirdest fever-dreams of Earth-men, faced Space Ship Commander Gerry Norton. The laconic interplanetary explorer knew too much. He stood in the dynamic path of Lansa, Lord of the Scaly Ones, the crafty monster bent on conquering the fair City of Larr and all the rich, shadowless lands of the glorious Amazons of Venus.
They made good officers most of the time, but occasionally they had fits of feminine temperament.
* * * * *
At last there came the day when the yellowish, cloud-veiled mass of Venus filled half the sky ahead. Watches were doubled up. Rocket motors were cut down as the attraction of the planet pulled them onward. Then the forward rocket-tubes began to let go for the braking effect, and the flame of the discharges filled the control room with a flickering yellow light.
As they entered the outer atmosphere layers of Venus, the effect of air on the sun's rays gave them natural sunlight and blue skies again for the first time in over six weeks. Something about the effect of yellow sunlight slanting in the portholes raised the spirits of all of them, and men were whistling as they went about their work. Gerry brought the ship to a halt a few thousand feet above the endless, tumbled mass of clouds that eternally covered all of Venus. They were now near enough to be fully caught in the rotation
While the "science" portion of this story is both childish and outlandish, it is nevertheless entertaining to read. I skipped over many portions of boring descriptions, but the author kept me wanting to read on. The ending is stupid and trite, so don't look for a lot of satisfaction there.
A novella that has it all: a race of (mostly) women, assertive, wearing loincloths and gold breastplates, clever reptile invaders, an invisible city, a helicopter rocket ship or two, a Scottish engineer, trecherous Earthmen, deathrays, and passenger dolphins. When the author got stuck on a plot point, he just made up something new.
It's a comic book without the pictures.
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