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. Small bookseller's stamp on front free endpaper and title page. Binding a bit leaned, touch of wear to lower corner tips, tiny stain on front cover, top edge of text block dusty, several signatures proud, somewhat amateur repair to inner rear hinge, a very good copy. Still a better than average copy of a scarce book. (#79735).
No statement of printing. Later impressions are so marked; a copy with "FOURTH EDITION" on the title page has been seen.