THE INVISIBLES: A NOVEL. Akron, Ohio, New York, Chicago: The Saalfield Publishing Company, 1903. Octavo, pp. [1-6] 7-329 [330-332: blank] [note: first and last leaves are blanks], four inserted plates with illustrations by Winfield S. Luken, original pictorial red cloth, front panel stamped in green, white and gold, spine panel stamped in green and gold. First edition. The correct first printing with 1902 copyright date and title page dated 1903 (a later printing lacks the date on the title page). A lively old-time thriller. A secret society, The Invisible Hand, plans to overthrow Czarist Russia. The scientist-members of this terrorist organization, numbering some two thousand men, have invented explosives of fantastic power, built a submarine and created artificial diamonds, which they store in their headquarters, a seemingly endless series of caves near Chattanooga, Tennessee. Unfortunately, a French detective, who has devoted much of his career to tracking down the terrorists, and his companion find a way into the cave system and begin looting the society's treasure. The intruders are killed, but an explosion of natural gas kills all the members of the society's council except Jean Valdemere, its leader. The submarine is destroyed and the treasure is lost, but Valdemere, a man with paranormal abilities, vows to rebuild the organization. "Plots and conspiracies, with influence from the dime novel and Victor Hugo ... Of no literary merit, but a curious example of subculture fiction trying to move up." - Bleiler, Science-Fiction: The Early Years 419. Clareson, Science Fiction in America, 1870s-1930s 163. Bleiler (1978), p. 43. Not in Reginald (1979; 1992). Hubin (1994), p. 165. Smith, American Fiction, 1901-1925 C-402. Large used bookstore stamps upside down on rear paste-down. Some wear to cloth at edges, some darkening of spine panel, some of the white chalk stamping on the front cover rubbed away, a good copy. (#165176).
No statement of printing.