Thursday, April 15, 2010

Race in Roy Rockwood's 1910 juvenile adventure novel Through Space to Mars

Fans, writers, editors and scholars who are studying the topic of race in early science fiction will find interest in Through Space to Mars, or the Longest Journey on Record (1910), a boy's adventure book written by Roy Rockwood. The fourth novel in Rockwood’s Great Marvel juvenile series starring delinquents Mark Sampson and Jack Darrow, Professor Amos Henderson, handyman Andy Sudds, and an African-American named Washington White, Through Space to Mars is replete with disturbing dialogue. For example:
"Well, here we are," announced Jack, about three hours later, as the train pulled into a small station. "And there's Washington on the platform waiting for us."

Jack hurried out of the car, followed by Mark.

"Hello, Wash!" cried the fat lad. "How are you? Catch this valise!" and he threw it to the colored man before the train had come to a stop. Washington deftly caught the grip, though he had to make a quick movement to accomplish it.

"I 'clar t' gracious!" he exclaimed. "Dat suttinly am a most inconsequential mannah in which to project a transmigatory object in contiguousness to mah predistination."

"Whoa, there!" cried Jack. "Better take two bites at that, Wash!"

"Dat's all right, Massa Jack," answered the colored man. "I'se glad to see yo', an' I suttinly hopes dat de transubstantiationableness ob my—"

"Wow!" cried Jack. "Say that over again, and say it slow."

"Don't yo' foregather mah excitability?" asked the colored man rather anxiously.

"Yes, I guess so. What's the answer? How's the professor? How's Andy? What's the matter? Why did he send for us?"
You can read Through Space to Mars online or download it through Project Gutenberg or

1 comment:

Doc Mars said...

The cover looks exactly like a 50's russian one.