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Son Of Two Worlds [MultiFormat]
eBook by Edmond Hamilton

eBook Category: Science Fiction
eBook Description: Young Stephen Drew, Martian,. Crosses Space to Visit an Earth He Has Never Seen--and Finds that His Destination Proves the Planet of the Double Cross! Follow the Adventures of an Earthman Who Views a Futuristic World of Wonder--and Longs for Mars! Stephen Drew is his Earth name, but Young Stephen Drew Crosses Space to Visit an Earth He Has Never Seen--and Finds that His Destination Proves the Planet of the Double Cross! Follow the Adventures of an Earthman Who Views a Futuristic World of Wonder--and Longs for Another Planet! is his Martian name, and he has never been off the Red Planet before. When he goes to the mother world and meets his late father's business partner, he finds himself the center of a scheme to frame him and bilk him of his share of the system's wealthiest Tranium mine. With every Earthman's hand against him, he must run and fight for his life. His only hope is his enemy's secretary Josephine Duff, who is loyal to her boss; and the only Earthwoman who wants to help him, Gloria Shayne, is secretly in his enemy's pay. From Martian rock-dragons to super-cities of Tomorrow's science to floating gardens to the oppressed Martian ghetto, Ark Avul races to preserve his own life, liberate the suffering people of Mars, and bring a power mad Earthman to justice. Yet, when he does, it will cost him the one woman he truly loves! Cover: from a painting by Rudolph Belarski for the original magazine appearance.

eBook Publisher: Renaissance E Books/PageTurner Editions
Fictionwise Release Date: June 2010


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* * * *

INTRODUCTION

WHO WROTE THE 1ST "FUTURE HISTORY" SERIES?
Hamilton not Heinlein lays claim to charting SF's first true Future History.

Most science fiction references credit Robert A. Heinlein with devising the field's first organized future history -- a fictional projection of how events might turn out over a long span of time within which many an author's stories are set.

In support of this claim, they point to the March 1941 issue of Astounding, where too much fanfare by the awe-struck editor, Heinlein offered his now-famous chart of a possible future course for humankind over the next several centuries, showing for the first time when various of his stories took place in the chronology and how they were interrelated.

What most SF historians seem to have overlooked is that the chronology of another science fiction writers history of the future--which encompassed stories that had been written up to a full decade before Heinlein's first stories!--had been published nearly a year earlier in the May 1940 Thrilling Wonder Stories.

Ultimately this future history was to encompass the vast majority of Hamilton's stories, from the early tales like Crashing Suns, Outside the Universe and Locked Worlds of the mid-to-late 1920s through his later, critically-acclaimed, mature works of the 1960s such as The Star of Life, The Haunted Stars and Star Hammer.

It even encompassed the Captain Future stories, knitting all his work into a disparate whole. Various portions of this future were published in letters-to-the-editor and story-behind-the-story columns, as well as in footnotes to some novels.

Below from the May 1940 Thrilling Wonder Stories "The Story Behind the Story" column is the piece where Hamilton first laid out a major chunk of his chronology and provided a bit of background on how and why he evolved his future history. Preceding it are the original editorial headline and introducing Hamilton's somewhat informal essay.

"One of these days we expect to have Edmond Hamilton drop into our office, a voluminous Manuscript entitled "History of the Solar System," written on indestructible parchment, tucked under his arm. Until that time, however, we'll have to be content to let Author Hamilton disburse the doings of the worlds centuries hence in piece-meal form, in his various fictional offerings, and in this department. For Edmond Hamilton, as we have noted on a previous occasion, is the future's Number I historian. He has compiled the geographies, the habitats, the colonization's, the conquests and the wars of all the nine planets with encyclopedia-like thoroughness. And whenever he wants a plot for a story he merely thumbs through his fifty cubic feet of reference notes, finds a likely subject, and taps out a corking yarn. At any rate, that's how he explains the origin of his stories."

This is Edmond Hamilton's original 1940 description of his history of tomorrow:

The most ambitious piece of writing I have ever undertaken is one that will never be published. It is my "History of the Solar system," a nonfiction work to which I have been slowly adding for some time.

I began it as a simple chronology. It seemed to me that it was hard to write about the future if you did not have a fairly definite idea of your own of what the future was going to be like. A writer, I thought, ought to have some coherent framework on which to hang his tales of future events--then they would be apt to be more logical in each story.

I set up a simple chronology of the main events in the Solar System as I foresaw them. Please understand I make no claim to be a prophet. Nobody can really write the history of the future until it happens. But this is my own particular guess as to the way it may happen.

I've tried to stick to this framework in my stories since then. It covers only the main tides of future history, the greater crises and changes. There is plenty of room in it for an unlimited number of new stories, I believe. Now and then one of my older stories, written before I started adhering to the History, bobs up in a magazine. But in the main, as readers of Thrilling Wonder Stories and Its companion magazines will recognize, I have adhered to my chronology. (See current issue of Captain Future for history of Pluto. Ed.)

It may be interesting to give an idea of the scheme -of my History, by quoting here the titles of the first few sections of it.

"EXPLORATION AND COLONIZATION, 1971-2011." This deals with the first pioneering flights in space, from that of Johnson to the moon in 1911, up to the successful colonization of Icy Pluto. This was, of course, an era of rapidly expanding Earth Influence.

"THE FRONTIER ERA, 2011-2247" is the section devoted to the wild two hundred years in which the System Government, with headquarters on Earth, struggled to bring the half-explored nine worlds, with their colonists and native planetary peoples, under complete law and order, against the opposition of space-pirates, plotters and scientific criminals who In some cases actually threatened to overthrow the Government itself.

"ERA OF INTERPLANETARY SECESSION, 2247-2621." takes up the fateful four centuries in which the various colonized planets began to drift toward a desire for independence from the System Government. It describes the Martian Rebellion of 2463, the Swampmen Uprising on Venus, and the other bids for independence that the System Government struggled to put down. It ends with the date, August 17, 2621, when President Alderdice of the System government signed the fateful Recognition of Independence which recognized planets as free, self-governing worlds."

I need not go on with the History here, since the above will give an idea of its scheme. But, whenever I have had a little spare time I have added to this mass of material, sometimes drawing maps of the swamps and lands of Venus, or the mountain ranges of Uranus, sometimes writing a detailed little account of some event that particularly interested me. In fact, though I started the History simply for convenience, I soon found it a fascinating thing to work on."

Son of Two Worlds is an integral part of that sweeping future history, which we at Futures-Past Editions have named The Two Thousand Centuries.

Jean Marie Stine

2010


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