LES XIPÉHUZ. Paris: Société du Mercure de France, 1896. Octavo, light yellow wrappers printed in black, fore and bottom edges untrimmed. Second, expanded edition. This edition adds "Le Cataclysme," pp. [123]-180. "The first two items of spinoff from LA LÉGENDE SCEPTIQUE (1887, but written earlier), both published in advance of it in 1887, were 'Les Xipéhuz' (tr. as 'The Xipehuz') and 'Tornadres' (reprinted as 'Le Cataclysme' and tr. as 'The Cataclysm'). The latter describes odd material and psychological phenomena that occur on a hill that is, in fact, a huge mass of extraterrestrial matter fallen on the Earth's surface in the distant past, during a meteor shower with whose recurrent shooting stars it has a mysterious affinity. The former, which is one of the classics of roman scientifique, describes the appearance on Earth in prehistoric times of a population of bizarre alien creatures seemingly displaced from another spatial dimension and not fully accommodated to the geometry of ours. The humans of the era battle to oppose and obliterate the invasion, successfully in the end, though not without enormous difficulty. In the meantime, attempts are made to comprehend something of the language and reproductive 'biology' of the Xipéhuz -- although they do not appear to be organic beings -- produce a few tentative conclusions that only serve to emphasize their utter strangeness." - Stapleford, The Plurality of Imaginary Worlds: The Evolution of French Roman Scientifique, p. 384. Anatomy of Wonder (1981) 1-142; (1987) 1-79; (1995) 1-79; and (2004) II-926. Angenot and Khouri, "An International Bibliography of Prehistoric Fiction," SFS, VIII (March 1981), 47. Bleiler, Science-Fiction: The Early Years 1918. Survey of Science Fiction Literature II, pp. 513-18 and V, pp. 2516-19. A very good copy. (#162842).

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