THE CRACK OF DOOM. London: Digby, Long & Co., 1895. Octavo, pp. [1-8]  2-214 [215-216: ads] + 8-page publisher's catalogue dated "May 1895" inserted at rear, original red cloth, front cover stamped in black and gold, spine panel stamped in gold, publisher's monogram stamped in blind on rear panel, white endpapers with floral pattern printed in olive green. First edition. Cromie's third, and most ambitious science fiction novel, a thriller set a hundred years in the future in which a "group of madmen are barely thwarted in their plot to use an atomic device to undo creation." - Brians, Nuclear Holocausts: Atomic War in Fiction, 1895-1984, p. 4. "Literate, not outstanding as fiction, but historically very significant for its clear fictional statement of matter and energy." - Bleiler, Science-Fiction: The Early Years 506. Cromie's "use in this novel of a nuclear device to shake civilization marks the first occurrence of a theme which would dominate the next century." - Clute and Nicholls (eds), The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction (1993), p. 281. Clareson, Science Fiction in America, 1870s-1930s 209. Clarke, Tale of the Future (1978), p. 21. Locke, A Spectrum of Fantasy, p.61. Stableford, Scientific Romance in Britain 1890-1950, p. 122. Suvin, Victorian Science Fiction in the UK, p. 60. Bleiler (1978), p. 53. Reginald 03633. Armorial bookplate of J. A. Mullens affixed to front paste-down and ink ownership signature on front free endpaper. Spine panel a bit sunned and foxed, lower corner tips rubbed, two faint, tiny spots on rear cover, mild foxing to half title leaf, a very good copy with a nice bright front panel. A superior copy of a scarce book rarely found in nice condition. (#147960).
No statement of printing. Later impressions are so marked; a copy with "FOURTH EDITION" on the title page has been seen.