What makes these specially interesting is the fact that Zaidie's and Rollo's helmets are connected with a telephone wire only about three feet long. The novel was a sequel to The Man Who Shook the Earth , in which the authors not only describe the first atomic explosion in history but also a spacecraft propelled by nuclear energy. In Moon Maker , an asteroid is discovered to be on a collision course with the earth. The spaceship is sent on a mission to rendezvous with the asteroid and, if possible, divert it from its orbit. The female astronaut in this story takes a much more active role in the adventure than any previous contender.
First off, she's not only beautiful but a mathematical genius who is is the first to discover and calculate the asteroid's orbit, she is also responsible for determining the trajectory the spacecraft needs to follow in order to accomplish its world-saving mission.
When she learns that she is to be left behind, she stows away aboard the spaceship. A good thing, too, since her presence turns out to be vital to the success of the mission.
A GLIMPSE OF THE SINLESS STAR
At one point in the story, Rhoda has an adventure of her own when she becomes lost on the surface of the moon. She nearly dies in her effort to return to the ship and it's only through her strength and perseverance that she survives. By the early decades of the twentieth century, the idea of women in space was no longer a novel idea and while they hardly appeared with anything like regularity, neither was it especially unusual for a woman to be depicted piloting a spaceship or exploring another world.
By the s and s, women astronauts were not only commonplace, many were starring in their own series of popular novels and short stories, such as the fabulous Gerry Carlyle. Perhaps most importantly, they were, like Rhoda Gibbs, depicted as being invariably intelligent, competent and heroic.
The A. Filed to: books Filed to: books books women conquest of the moon andre laurie george griffith honeymoon in space stanley wood arthur train robert wood moon maker man who shook the earth. Share This Story. How do you know that the inhabitants of Venus, if there are any, dress at all? As soon as they got back on board the Astronef and had taken their breathing-dresses off, Redgrave and the old engineer, who appeared to take no visible interest in their new surroundings, threw open all the sliding doors on the upper and lower decks so that the vessel might be thoroughly ventilated by the fresh sweet air.
Then a gentle repulsion was applied to the huge snow mass on which the Astronef rested. She rose a couple of hundred feet, her propellers began to whirl round, and Redgrave steered her out towards the centre of the vast cloud-sea which was almost surrounded by a thousand glittering peaks of ice and domes of snow. Let's go down and see what there is on the other side.
He sent a message down the speaking tube to Murgatroyd, who was below among his beloved engines, and the next moment sun and clouds and ice-peaks had disappeared and nothing was visible save the all-enveloping silver-grey mist. For several minutes they remained silent, watching and wondering what they would find beneath the veil which hid the surface of Venus from their view.
Then the mist thinned out and broke up into patches which drifted past them as they descended on their downward slanting course. Below them they saw vast, ghostly shapes of mountains and valleys, lakes and rivers, continents, islands, and seas. Every moment these became more and more distinct, and soon they were in full view of the most marvellous landscape that human eyes had ever beheld. The distances were tremendous. Mountains, compared with which the Alps or even the Andes would have seemed mere hillocks, towered up out of the vast depths beneath them.
Up to the lower edge of the all-covering cloud-sea they were clad with a golden-yellow vegetation, fields and forests, open, smiling valleys, and deep, dark ravines through which a thousand torrents thundered down from the eternal snows beyond, to spread themselves out in rivers and lakes in the valleys and plains which lay many thousands of feet below. Did you ever see anything like it? It's neither moonlight nor sunlight. See, there are no shadows down there; it's just all lovely silvery twilight.
Lenox, if Venus is as nice as she looks from here I don't think I shall want to go back. It reminds me of Tennyson's Lotus Eaters, 'The land where it is always afternoon. We are thirty million miles nearer to the sun than we were on the earth, and the light and heat have to filter through those clouds.
They are not at all like earth-clouds from this side. It's the other way about. The silver lining is on this side. Look, there isn't a black or a brown one, or even a grey one within sight. They are just like a thin mist, lighted by millions of electric lamps. It's a delicious world, and if it isn't inhabited by angels it ought to be.
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While they were talking, the Astronef was still sweeping swiftly down towards the surface through scenery of whose almost inconceivable magnificence no human words could convey any adequate idea. Underneath the cloud-veil the air was absolutely clear and transparent; clearer, indeed, than terrestrial air at the highest elevations, and, moreover, it seemed to be endowed with a strange luminous quality, which made objects, no matter how distant, stand out with almost startling distinctness.
The rivers and lakes and seas, which spread out beneath them, seemed never to have been ruffled by the blast of a storm or wind, and shone with a soft silvery grey light, which seemed to come from below rather than from above. The atmosphere, which had now penetrated to every part of the Astronef, was not only exquisitely soft but also conveyed a faint but delicious sense of languorous intoxication to the nerves.
Do you notice how curious the water looks after the earth-seas; bright silver, instead of blue and green? There's nothing to be afraid of. You'll never make me believe that a world like this can be inhabited by anything dangerous. They can fly themselves. That was a rather wicked remark of yours about the half-way house to Heaven; but those certainly look something like angels.
As Zaidie said this, after a somewhat lengthy pause, during which the Astronef had descended to within a few hundred feet of the mountain-spur, she handed a pair of field-glasses to her husband and pointed downward towards an island which lay a couple of miles or so off the end of the spur. Redgrave put the glasses to his eyes, and, as he took a long look through them, moving them slowly up and down, and from side to side, he saw hundreds of winged figures rising from the island and soaring towards them. If those aren't angels, they're certainly something like men, and, I suppose, women too, who can fly.
We may as well stop here and wait for them. I wonder what sort of an animal they take the Astronef for. He sent a message down the tube to Murgatroyd, and gave a turn and a half to the steering wheel. The propellers slowed down and the Astronef landed with a hardly perceptible shock in the midst of a little plateau covered with a thick soft moss of a pale yellowish green, and fringed by a belt of trees which seemed to be over three hundred feet high, and whose foliage was a deep golden bronze.
They had scarcely landed before the flying figures reappeared over the tree-tops and swept downwards in long spiral curves towards the Astronef. The flying figures which came hovering near to the Astronef, without evincing any apparent sign of fear, were certainly the strangest that human eyes had looked upon. In some respects they had a sufficient resemblance to human form for them to be taken for winged men and women, while in another they bore a decided resemblance to birds.
Their bodies and limbs were almost human in shape, but of slenderer and lighter build; and from the shoulder-blades and muscles of the back there sprang a pair of wings arching up above their heads. The body was covered in front and down the back between the wings with a sort of tunic of a light, silken-looking material, which must have been clothing, since there were many different colours. In stature these inhabitants of the Love-Star varied from about five feet six to five feet, but both the taller and the shorter of them were all of nearly the same size, from which it was easy to conclude that this difference in stature was on Venus, as well as on the Earth, one of the broad distinctions between the sexes.
They flew once or twice completely round the Astronef with an exquisite ease and grace which made Zaidie exclaim: "Now, why weren't we made like that on Earth! Then several of the winged figures alighted on the mossy covering of the plain and walked towards the vessel. Half bird, half human, and soft, downy feathers instead of hair.follow
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I wonder whether they talk or sing. I wish you'd open the doors again, Lenox. I'm sure they can't possibly mean us any harm; they are far too innocent for that. What soft eyes they have, and what a thousand pities it is we shan't be able to understand them. They had left the conning-tower and both his lordship and Murgatroyd were throwing open the sliding doors and, to Zaidie's considerable displeasure, getting the deck Maxims ready for action in case they should be needed.
As soon as the doors were open Zaidie's judgement of the inhabitants of Venus was entirely justified. Without the slightest sign of fear, but with very evident astonishment in their round golden-yellow eyes, they came walking close up to the sides of the Astronef; Some of them stroked her smooth, shining sides with their little hands, which Zaidie now found had only three fingers and a thumb.
Many ages before they might have been bird's claws, but now they were soft and pink and plump, utterly strange to work as manual work is understood upon Earth. I haven't. I suppose it's the way they talk. I'd give a good deal to be able to understand them. But still, it's very lovely, isn't it? Unearthly, of course it is; but then we're not on Earth. Now, Zaidie, they seem to talk in song-language. You did pretty well on Mars with your sign-language, suppose we go out and show them that you can speak the song-language, too.
But music is the universal language on Earth, and there's no reason why it shouldn't be the same through the solar system.
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Come along, tune up, little woman! They went together down the gangway stairs, he dressed in an ordinary English tweed grey suit, with a golf cap on the back of his head, and she in the last and daintiest of costumes which had combined the art of Paris and London and New York before the Astronef soared up from Central Park. The moment that she set foot on the golden-yellow sward she was surrounded by a swarm of the winged, and yet strangely human creatures.
Those nearest to her came and touched her hands and face, and stroked the folds of her dress. Others looked into her violet-blue eyes, and others put out their queer little hands and touched her hair.
This and her clothing seemed to be the most wonderful experience for them, saving always the fact that she had no wings. Redgrave kept close beside her until he was satisfied that these strange half-human, and yet wholly interesting creatures were innocent of any intention of harm, and when he saw two of the winged daughters of the Love-Star put up their hands and touch the thick coils of her hair, he said:. They seem to think that your hair's part of your head.
It's the first chance you've had to work a miracle, so you may as well do it.
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