Armageddon 2419 A.D. by Philip Francis

Published: 1928

Genre: science fiction

Length: 115 pages

Setting: future Earth (2419 A.D.)

Interest: It showed up as a free book in one of my feeds (you can find it at Gutenberg) and advertized itself as the original Buck Rogers novel. I enjoyed watching Buck Rogers when I was younger and so picked it up. I choose it this time because I was looking for something at the novella length.

Summary: Tony Rogers gets trapped in a mine and undergoes suspended animation, waking 492 years later. The society he wakes to is in hiding from the ruling Hans (who took over the world from Mongolia). Rogers fits into this new society easily, quickly adapting to the group mentality and new technology like jumper belts. He helps the Wyoming gang he joins fight back against the Hans and wipe out the Singsings, a traitorous gang of Americans.

Final thoughts: Nowlan’s idea of what science will discover in 500 years is fascinating. He bases much of his story line on inertron (a substance with negative weight), ultron (an invisible substance with excellent conductive properties), and ultraphones. You can tell scientists were just starting to understand the atom when Nowlan wrote the story. There was also some anti-Asian racism coming through, with how Nowlan depicted the Hans throughout the story, which again reflects society when Nowlan wrote the story. About the only similarity with the TV show was the initial premise (suspended animation for nearly 500 years) and the character names, while the society itself is completely different. There is at least one more book in the series, but I didn’t enjoy this one enough to search it out.

Title comes from: The year is when Rogers wakes up from suspended animation. The Armageddon part of the title is just pulpy goodness.

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