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If representatives of an advanced civilization were to visit our planet today, would they be impressed or dismayed by the way we live?When three adventurers, Bastin, Bickley and Arbuthnot, are marooned on a South Sea island, they discover an ancient crystal sepulchre. Inside are two Atlanteans who have been in a state of suspended animation for 250,000 years!One of the awakened sleepers, the haughty Lord Oro, is the last of the Sons of Wisdom, a superior race who'd relied on their advanced technology to subjugate the planet's lesser peoples. The other Atlantean is Oro's daughter, Yva, heiress to the title of Queen of the Earth... who falls in love with Arbuthnot.Using astral projection, Lord Oro visits London and the battlefields of the Western Front. Unimpressed with the state of the world in the early 20th century, he sets out to do what he's apparently done once before — use a colossal gyroscope to drown the planet, and restart the course of human history.A darkly humorous look at the politics and conflicts of his own era by an author best known for swashbuckling adventure novels (including the hugely popular King Solomon's Mines) set in the context of the Scramble for Africa.
H. Rider Haggard was a popular English writer of adventure novels set in exotic locations, including King Solomon's Mines (considered one of the first of the Lost World genre) and She. When The World Shook, which features suspended animation and a machine capable of changing the tilt of the earth, is the most science-fictional of his writings.James Parker was born in London in 1968. He is the author of Turned On: A Biography of Henry Rollins and a contributing editor at The Atlantic.
Table of Contents
Chapter I. Arbuthnot Describes Himself
Chapter II. Bastin and Bickley
Chapter III. Natalie
Chapter IV. Death and Departure
Chapter V. The Cyclone
Chapter VI. Land
Chapter VII. The Orofenans
Chapter VIII. Bastin Attempts the Martyr's Crown
Chapter IX. The Island in the Lake
Chapter X. The Dwellers in the Tomb
Chapter XI. Resurrection
Chapter XII. Two Hundred and Fifty Thousand Years!
Chapter XIII. Oro Speaks and Bastin Argues
Chapter XIV. The Under-world
Chapter XV. Oro in His House
Chapter XVI. Visions of the Past
Chapter XVII. Yva Explains
Chapter XVIII. The Accident
Chapter XIX. The Proposals of Bastin and Bickley
Chapter XX. Oro and Arbuthnot Travel by Night
Chapter XXI. Love's Eternal Altar
Chapter XXII. The Command
Chapter XXIII. In the Temple of Fate
Chapter XXIV. The Chariot of the Pit
Chapter XXV. Sacrifice
Chapter XXVI. Tommy
Chapter XXVII. Bastin Discovers a Resemblance
NOTE By J. R. Bickley, M.R.C.S.
Think of them! The unmeasured space of blackness threaded by those globes of ghastly incandescence that now hung a while and now shot upwards, downwards, across, apparently without origin or end, like a stream of meteors that had gone mad. Then the travelling mountain, two thousand feet in height, or more, with its enormous saucer-like rim painted round with bands of lurid red and blue, and about its grinding foot the tulip bloom of emitted flame. Then the fierce-faced Oro at his post, his hand upon the rod, waiting, remorseless, to drown half of this great world, with the lovely Yva standing calm-eyed like a saint in hell and watching me above the edge of the shield which such a saint might bear to turn aside the fiery darts of the wicked. And lastly we three men flattened terror-stricken, against the wall.
Nightmare! Imagination! No, these pale before that scene which it was given to our human eyes to witness.
And all the while, bending, bowing towards us — away from us — making obeisance to the path in front as though in greeting, to the path behind as though in farewell; instinct with a horrible life, with a hideous and gigantic grace, that titanic Terror whirled onwards to the mark of fate.