Armageddon 2419 AD
Armageddon 2419 AD is a science fiction story by the US author Philip Francis Nowlan and first appeared in the August 1928 issue of the SF pulp magazine Amazing Stories . The sequel, The Airlords of Han , appeared in Amazing Stories in 1929 . In 1962 the two stories were linked to the novel as a posthumous fix-up (Nowlan died in 1940). In 1978 a version that was again heavily revised by Spider Robinson was published .
The story describes an eschatological catastrophe ( Armageddon ) in America in the 25th century. The whole country was conquered by the Mongolian-Chinese Han . The Han are very advanced in technology and have large planes with disintegrator radiation weapons that are atomizing and therefore deadly. From time to time they invade the American country to track down the last of the “Wild Americans” so that they don't become a threat to Han culture.
The last Americans live in small networked groups and hide from the Han in the woods. They hope to secretly rebuild their civilization through the development of the new technologies "Ultron" and "Inertron".
Inertron is a substance with reverse gravity or anti- gravity properties: a person who straps around a certain amount of inertron, usually that of their own body weight, becomes correspondingly lighter. If this person now attaches a jumper to their back - these are rocket motors with an inertron coating - they can fly over the land in long leaps.
Ultron, on the other hand, is an absolutely invisible and non-reflective substance with a high molecular density and moderate elasticity. It has the property of 100% conductivity of electromagnetic rays such as light, electricity and heat. In addition to rocket launchers and radio frequencies that the enemy cannot track down, the resistance fighters want to use these two technologies in the fight against the "Hans".
The main character and narrator in Armageddon 2419 AD is Anthony Rogers, who is later referred to in the various comic strips, radio shows and film series as " Buck Rogers ". Rogers recounts the events of the "second war of independence" which leads to the Americans' first victory over the Hans.
The concept of the unconditional struggle of a white race against a threatening, inhuman yellow race has often been criticized as racist. Nowlan took up an idea that was widespread in the western world at the time and was referred to as the " Yellow Peril ". In other books, comics and films of that time, the villain is embodied by an Asian arch villain. A well-known example is the novel and film character Dr. Fu Manchu or the despot Ming in " Flash Gordon ".
- First printing:
- Part 1: Armageddon — 2419 AD In: Amazing Stories , August 1928. Reprinted: Amazing Stories , April 1961.
- Part 2: The Airlords of Han. In: Amazing Stories , March 1929. Reprinted: Amazing Stories , May 1962.
- US Paperback: Armageddon 2419 AD Avalon, 1962. Also available as: Ace Books (F-188), 1963.
- UK Paperback: Armageddon 2419 AD Panther, 1976, ISBN 0-586-04299-7 .
- Revised version of Spider Robinson : Armageddon 2419 AD Ace Books, 1978, ISBN 0-441-02939-6 .
- Current English edition: Armageddon 2419 AD Wildside Press, 2008, ISBN 978-1-4344-7003-4 .
- Collective edition of the two stories: Armageddon 2419 AD and The Airlords of Han. Dover Publications, 2017, ISBN 978-0-486-79540-9 .
- E-book: Armagedon 2419 AD Project Gutenberg Australia.
- German translation: Armageddon 2419: a science fiction story. Translated by Meiko Richert. Edition Dornbrunnen, Berlin 2016, ISBN 978-3-943275-16-2 .