RONDAH; OR, THIRTY-THREE YEARS IN A STAR. Philadelphia: T. B. Peterson & Brothers, . Octavo, pp. [17-21] 22-230 [231-240: ads] [note: text complete despite gap in pagination], flyleaves at front and rear, original decorated olive cloth, front and spine panels stamped in black, white endpapers with floral pattern printed in green. First edition. According to The American Catalogue, this book was published simultaneously in cloth at 75¢ and in paper at 50¢. We have not seen a paperbound copy of the book (it is advertised on page 41 of the clothbound copies), but suspect that the first 16 pages of that issue contain advertising matter which was not included in copies of the hardbound issue. A highly imaginative story in which the protagonists are transported from an Adirondack mountain summit in a spacecraft propelled by an explosion "to a planet of unspecified origin which has only partly cooled. Winters last 20 years (during which they hibernate), and the little planet's most notable inhabitants are a bird people of vegetable origin who are born in enormous pods. One of the first science fiction novels to create a truly alien world and a truly alien life-form." - Locke, A Spectrum of Fantasy, p. 70. The "tale's several protagonists travel through the Solar System in a large asteroid (not a star). Transported to this asteroid by a pre-arranged explosion, the central figure of the tale becomes king of the native bird-people, in fact of vegetable origin, who are replaced by ferocious elves when the worldlet cools down. Much happens. In the end, the protagonist, with his woman, seems destined to rule the Universe. The book is a cacophony of irreconcilable elements, but the author's extremely fertile imagination, when harnessed, manages to create a tale which significantly prefigures 20th-century cosmological space opera." - Clute and Nicholls (eds), The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction (1993), p. 333. "A primitive eccentric novel that might be characterized as a descendant of Jules Verne's HECTOR SERVADAC extensively redirected into mythic thought. A resume cannot convey the strange flavor of RONDAH, which is both overwritten and elliptic, trite and highly imaginative, confused in narrative and rich in throwaway ideas ... Despite literary faults, an important document in late Victorian science-fiction." - Bleiler, Science-Fiction: The Early Years 584. Clareson, Science Fiction in America, 1870s-1930s 250. Locke, Voyages in Space 64. Bleiler (1978), p. 61. Reginald 04381. Wright (III) 1540. Cloth worn at spine ends and corners, some rubbing to fore and bottom edges, a very good copy. (#167308).
No statement of printing.