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The Great Stone of Sardis

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Published: 1898
Language: English
Wordcount: 59,070 / 168 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 76.7
LoC Category: PS
Downloads: 1,723 6687

A classic nineteenth-century portrayal of an irresponsible scientist who creates hazardous devices-- set in 1947 this futuristic novel recounts arctic submarine exploration and a journey to the earth's center.

Show Excerpt

all the time he was at work. He had his instruments with him, and he was turnin' down his different kinds of lights, thinkin', of course, that he could see through any kind of coverin' that we put over our machines; but, bless you! he couldn't do nothin', and I could almost hear him swear as he rubbed his eyes after he had been lookin' down for a little while."

Clewe laughed. "I see," said he. "I suppose you turned on the photo-hose."

"That's just what I did," said the old man. "Every night while you were away I had the lens-room filled with the revolving-light squirts, and when these were turned on I knew there was no gettin' any kind of rays through them. A feller may look through a roof and a wall, but he can't look through light comin' the other way, especially when it's twistin' and curlin' and spittin'."

"That's a capital idea," said Clewe. "I never thought of using the photo-hose in that way. But there are very few people in this world who would know anything about my new lens mach

Reader Reviews

Average Rating of 2.7 from 3 reviews: ***
JoJo Biggins

If you like ancient literature, you may like this. It's in the style of HG Wells, and I found it so boring that I quit after the first few chapters.

Henry L. Ratliff

(1898) Sci-fi (Inventions) / Adventure (Scientific exploration)

R: * * * *

Plot bullets

  • A scientist is so talented that he must split his efforts.

  • He sends one group of helpers, in a submarine of his invention, to try and find the North Pole.

  • He concentrates his personal time on an invention to look into the center of the Earth.

  • He then applies his acceleration bullet to make a hole to explore the wonders inside the Earth.

  • The Stone? Well you did know that the center of the Earth is not a solid iron core. but a big diamond, didn't you?

H. E. Parmer

Essentially two narratives in one, this follows the adventures of a crew of explorers as they navigate their submarine under the ice to the open water at the North Pole. (Don\'t ask.) Meanwhile, their employer and inventor of their craft, who\'s following their journey from his digs in New Jersey via telegraph -- the submarine\'s trailing a super-light, super-strong telegraphic cable -- inadvertently drills a 16-mile-deep hole into the Earth, leading to a surprising discovery.

Unfortunately, the submarine plot line is distinctly sub-Vernian, nor are the doings back in New Jersey all that interesting, either. There is an odd little note of pathos in the polar narrative, though, as the explorers encounter the last surviving whale.

Although this doesn\'t measure up to \"The Great War Syndicate\", it still has its low-key charms for admirers of Late Victorian SF.



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