PULP MAGAZINE PREFACE TO
THE GIRL OF PELLUCIDAR SERIES
Some of you oldsters who can still remember the history you learned
many years ago will recall that Pellucidar was discovered in January 1913,
by David Innes and Abner Perry, a discovery which was quite as accidental
as was Columbus' discovery of America some four hundred twenty years previously,
but none the less epochal.
Columbus started out for India and discovered a new world. David
Innes and Abner Perry started out to prospect for coal in an invention
of Perry's which they called an Iron Mole, and they discovered a new world
-- at the center of the Earth.
Columbus never really got to America; but Innes and Perry got to
Pellucidar, and they are still there. They found it inhabited by
men still in the Stone Age of evolution and by strange forms of life which
had developed along very different lines from similar species in the outside
They have made it their life work to bring civilization to the poor,
benighted humans of Pellucidar; at leas Perry has. Perry was an old
man when he came to Pellucidar, an old scientist -- a sweet and lovable
character. He has done the best he could to bring the blessings of
civilization to the Pellucidarians. He found them killing one another
with stone hatchets, stone tipped spears, and a few bows and arrows.
He gave them gunpowder. He built a navy and armed it with cannon.
For you who may have forgotten, may I remind you that there
is no such thing as Time in Pellucidar. A stationary sun hangs perpetually
at zenith. It is always noon, and one of the psychological effects
of this is most weird. As I write this, David Innes and Abner Perry
have been in Pellucidar for twenty-seven years; yet they are no older than
when they left the outer crust! At least, they look and feel no older.
Where there is no way of measuring time, there can be no passage of time.
When Pellucidarians are tired, they crawl into a dark cave and sleep; when
they are hungry, they eat. An hour, a day, a month, or a year may have
passed on the outer crust where all men are the slaves of Time; but in
Pellucidar it is still noon just as it was when they started doing whatever
they may have been doing; therefore, they are no older, not even by a second.
This, I think you will agree, is quite sound reasoning. Suppose you
started to build a house at noon on a certain day and finished it at noon
on t he same day -- you wouldn't be any older, would you? And it
is always the same day in Pellucidar. It always has been.
Another unique characteristic of Pellucidar is that it is horizonless.
Wherever you may be standing on the surface of Pellucidar there is no horizon.
You are standing on the inside surface of a sphere. The ground rises
gently all around you, the view fading away gradually in the distance,
limited only by the power of your vision. Always the sun is directly
above you and your shadow directly beneath you.
When Dave Innes left Sari to go in search of von Horst, Perry was
toying with the idea of an aeroplane. Now, Abner Perry is a scientist.
He knows a great deal about a great many things; he knows a little about
a great many other things, and he knows nothing about a considerable number
of things. On the outer crust he was, by choice, a metallurgical engineer.
He was never an aeronautical engineer; but, being Perry, he would
build an aeroplane. As you may recall, one of his first inventions after
he reached Pellucidar was gun powder. What he achieved looked like gun
powder, smelled like gun powder, and tasted like gun powder. All
that was wrong with it was that it wouldn't burn. Dave Innes suggested
that they might use it as a fire extinguisher. That hurt Perry. Of
course, he succeeded in manufacturing gun powder later by the well known
system of trial and error.
PULP MAGAZINE PREFACE TO
THE TIGER GIRL EPISODE
In this ever-changing world it is sometimes difficult to keep abreast
of historical events, but who is there who does not know that strange
stone age world at the center of the earth, which was discovered by David
Innes and Abner Perry many years ago? Into this stone age world they
brought some of the blessings of civilization, such as gunpowder, rifles,
and cannon. They built a navy and established a federation of states,
which they called the Empire of Pellucidar. Perry even built an aeroplane,
which would not fly, and a balloon, which did; and which broke loose and
carried Dian the Beautiful, David Innes' mate, into a strange land beyond
the nameless strait which connects the Sojar Az with the Korsar Az; and
forms the southwestern boundary of the land mass where lies the land called
Sari, which is the home of David Innes and Dian the Beautiful and Abner
Down upon this strange land, near the farther shore of the nameless
strait, drifted the balloon in which was Dian the Beautiful. It was
a strange, a terrifying, land to her, this terra incognita of her people;
but she was well received, for the yellow race which inhabited that portion
of the country felt that she must be a goddess coming down out of the heavens;
and they treated her as such until Hor, the high priest, fearing her increasing
power, turned the people against her, and Gamba, the king; so that they
barely escaped from the city with their lives.
With bronze swords and bronze daggers and fire, they constructed
a canoe and set forth upon the waters of the nameless strait in an attempt
to cross it and reach the continent where lies Sari, while David Innes
drifted southward from Sari in another balloon which he had had Perry build,
in the hope that thus he might find Dian.
At the same time, Hodon the Fleet One, with a small ship and a few
warriors, was searching the vast Lural Az for O-aa, whom he knew to be
drifted upon the ship Sari.
The wind and a powerful ocean current had carried the Sari and little
O-aa into the nameless strait and thrust her ashore near the city of Tanga-Tanga,
who had fought with the men of Lolo-lolo for possession of Dian the Beautiful
when her balloon had grounded between the two cities. They had lost
Dian the Beautiful; now they had another Noada, or goddess, in the person
of O-aa, who was making herself unpopular with the high priest and the
king b y tossing the money offerings which the people brought to her temple
back to them; because, being a girl of the stone age, she knew nothing
about money; and it delighted her to see the people scramble for it.
This is all history, with which, of course, you should be familiar.
PULP MAGAZINE LAST PARAGRAPH OF TIGER GIRL
(Originally meant to be the
closing story of the sequence)
As the Lo-har beat back toward the nameless strait on its return voyage
to Amoz it sighted such a ship as no one there had ever seen; and Dian
feared that it was a Korsar. The little Lo-har tried to escape, but
the ship overhauled her as though she were anchored; and when it fired
a shot across her bow, she came about; and then Hodon and O-aa and David
Innes and Dian the Beautiful were reunited, for this strange ship was the
clipper John Tyler.
Blurb Originally Intended for the Hard Cover Dust Jacket Flap
While this could scarcely be called "A collection of flowers of literature,"
it might still be called a sort of anthology -- an anthology of adventure.
It is a tale not alone of the adventures of the girl, O-aa; but of those
which befell Hodon the Fleet One and Dian the Beautiful and Abner Perry
and David Innes and the little old man from Cape Cod, whose name was not
Dolly Dorcas, and many others.
It will take you to strange lands across the nameless strait in the
Stone Age world at the Earth's Core, and to adventures upon the terrible
seas of Pellucidar. It will take you form the terrors with which
you have been for years accustomed -- the terrors of a world gone mad with
hate -- to the cleaner, finer terrors of prehistoric hunting beasts and
savage, primeval man.
The primary cause of many of the adventures which befell the nice
and un-nice characters whose stories unfolded between these covers was
Abner Perry's insatiable urge to invent. Had he not invented a balloon,
very little of this you are about to read would have happened.
On the other hand, the ships he built, the cannon and muskets and
gunpowder he produced made it possible for many of these characters to
live to tell of their adventures.
But may you do not like adventure? Then do not read this story.
For it is replete with adventure and mystery and despair and courage and
loyalty and -- love.
We think you will love little O-aa and her astounding mendacity.
Perhaps you will be shocked by the little old man whose name is not Dolly
Dorcas and who had an inordinate appetite for human flesh, especially Swedes,
a lovely old gentleman from Cape Cod where the cranberries come from.