By: Morgan Robertson
Futility, Or the Wreck of the Titan
This novel was published a full 14 years before the sinking of the Titanic, but listeners may be surprised at how many parallels this fictional tale has with subsequent true events. The Titan is the largest and most technologically advanced steamship of her time. She is considered unsinkable. Her full speed crossings of the Northern Lane Route carry her rich passengers in the highest standards of luxury and comfort. The less well-off travel in rougher quarters but still benefit from the speed of travel...
By: Knut Hamsun (1859-1952)
Hunger (Norwegian: Sult) is a novel by the Norwegian author and Nobel Prize winner Knut Hamsun and was published in its final form in 1890. The novel has been hailed as the literary opening of the 20th century and an outstanding example of modern, psychology-driven literature. It hails the irrationality of the human mind in an intriguing and sometimes humorous novel. Written after Hamsun's return from an ill-fated tour of America, Hunger is loosely based on the author's own impoverished life before his breakthrough in 1890...
By: Kate Percival
The Life and Amours of the Beautiful, Gay and Dashing Kate Percival, the Belle of the Delaware
This surprisingly explicit sample of Victorian erotica follows the sexual awakening and subsequent adventures of its author, Kate Percival, the "belle of the Delaware." Content warning: this one is definitely NC-17 rated.
By: Maria Thompson Daviess (1872-1924)
Nickols Powers is in love with the beautiful Charlotte and desperate to marry her. Charlotte however, is independent and reluctant to accept his religious views as a good wife should. However, she may still be convinced by the charismatic preacher building a new church in her own backyard.
By: John Webster (c.1580 - c.1634)
The Duchess of Malfi
John Webster's bloody Jacobean tragedy exposes the decadence of the Italian court. The virtuous Duchess of Malfi, a young widow, secretly marries her steward Antonio, and is subsequently persecuted by her brothers: the sexually obsessed and eventually mad Ferdinand, and the corrupt Cardinal.
By: John Luther Long (1861-1927)
Madame Butterfly is the story of the young Japanese girl Cho-Cho San, who marries a flighty American naval officer, and is thenceforth outcast from her relatives. Anxiously she awaits the return of her beloved husband, but when he finally anchors in the harbour, Cho-Cho San does not get the happy ending she was hoping for. This short story by John Luther Long has inspired Giacomo Puccini to write the opera of the same name. (Introduction by Availle)
By: Lord George Gordon Byron
Don Juan, Canto V
Juan, captured by Turkish pirates and sold into slavery is bought by a beautiful Princess as her toy-boy. Dressed as an odalisque, he is smuggled into the Sultan’s harem for a steamy assignation. Unbelievably, Byron’s publisher almost baulked at this feast of allusive irony, blasphemy (mild), calumny, scorn, lesse-majeste, cross-dressing, bestiality, assassination, circumcision and dwarf-tossing. This was the last Canto published by the stuffy John Murray (who had, however, made a tidy fortune on the earlier parts of the Epic)...
By: Friedrich de La Motte-Fouqué (1777-1843)
Undine is a novel by Friedrich de la Motte Fouqué concerning Undine, a water spirit who marries a Knight named Huldebrand in order to gain a soul. It is an early German romance, which has been translated into English and other languages. The novel served as inspiration for two operas in the romantic style by Ernst Theodor Amadeus Hoffmann and Albert Lortzing, respectively, and two ballets: the nineteenth century Ondine and the twentieth century Undine. An edition of the book was illustrated by Arthur Rackham...
By: Rex Stout
Under the Andes
Under the Andes was written by Rex Stout years before his creation of the immensely popular Nero Wolfe series of novels, and while perhaps his future writing style is still blossoming, certainly his knack for weaving a fantastic tale of mystery and adventure will have most readers anxious for the next phase of adventure at every turn. The story finds two brothers and a pretty female companion on a journey which eventually takes them to a series of underground caves under the Andes of South America, where they encounter a lost tribe of Incas who have apparently survived hundreds of years oblivious of the outside world...
By: Helen Rowland (1875-1950)
A Guide to Men: Being Encore Reflections of a Bachelor Girl
A series of occasionally witty one-liners, poems and considerations on the subject of Men, Women and their Conjunction. By turns tender, bland, sexist (in both directions!) and funny.
By: James Blish (1921-1975)
The Thing in the Attic
Honath the Pursemaker is a heretic. He doesn’t believe the stories in the Book of Laws which claims giants created his tree-dwelling race. He makes his opinion known and is banished with his infidel friends to the floor of the jungle where dangers abound. Perhaps he’ll find some truth down there. – The Thing in the Attic is one of Blish’s Pantropy tales and was first published in the July, 1954 edition of If, Worlds of Science Fiction magazine.
By: Frederik Pohl
The Knights of Arthur
Sailors Sam Dunlap and Arthur check in to a New York hotel to await their mate Vern Engdahl when a girl shows up proposing to purchase Arthur. They need guys like Arthur to help run the city, and the fact that he fits in a small suitcase is even better. – The Knights of Arthur was first published in the January 1958 edition of Galaxy Science Fiction magazine.
Tunnel Under The World
This famous Pohl story explores cybernetic robots and implanted personalities in a way that certainly expanded my way of looking at reality. Is that wall really real? or is it just kinda, sorta real? And who am I? The protagonist, Guy Burckhardt, wakes up screaming from a horrible dream of explosions, searing fire, choking gas and other terrible ways to die. But he wakes up so it must have been just a bad nightmare, right? To find out that piece of information you will need to listen to this inventive and scary story.
By: James Schmitz (1911-1981)
Ancient living machines that after millennia of stillness suddenly begin to move under their own power, for reasons that remain a mystery to men. Holati Tate discovered them—then disappeared. Trigger Argee was his closest associate—she means to find him. She's brilliant, beautiful, and skilled in every known martial art. She's worth plenty—dead or alive—to more than one faction in this obscure battle. And she's beginning to have a chilling notion that the long-vanished Masters of the Old Galaxy were wise when they exiled the plasmoids to the most distant and isolated world they knew....
By: F. Marion Crawford (1854-1909)
An American Politician
In 1880’s Boston, Mass. the good life is lead according to all the Victorian era societal rules of the New World. Political ambitions and the business of making money go hand in hand. A Senate seat suddenly opens up due to the current junior senator’s unexpected death, and the political machinations to fill the seat begin. Senatorial candidate John Harrington is a young idealist who thinks that fighting for truth and justice, regardless of political affiliation, is the way. But he is told he can’t possibly win because he isn’t partisan enough...
By: Henry W. Lucy (1845-1924)
Faces and Places
Faces and Places is a collection of articles on nineteenth century travel, events and personalities by the British journalist Henry Lucy, who wrote for the Daily News, a London newspaper. His open letter To Those About to Become Journalists rings as true today as when it was written.The first article, “Fred” Burnaby, includes a lively account of a balloon trip, while Night and Day on the Cars in Canada and Easter on Les Avants relate Lucy’s experiences of rail travel at that time. Other travel tales (A Night on a Mountain, Mosquitoes and Monaco, and Oysters and Arcachon) provide an insight into the Victorian Englishman’s attitude to Europe...
By: Baroness Orczy (1865-1947)
I Will Repay
This is a sequel novel to the Scarlet Pimpernel. The second Pimpernel book written by Orczy, it comes (chronologically) third in the series and should be read after Sir Percy Leads the Band and before The Elusive Pimpernel.
By: Charles Monroe Sheldon (1857-1946)
In His Steps
In His Steps takes place in the railroad town of Raymond. The main character is the Rev. Henry Maxwell, pastor of the First Church of Raymond, who challenges his congregation to not do anything for a whole year without first asking: “What Would Jesus Do?” (taken from Wikipedia)
By: Lucian of Samosata (120—180)
Trips to the Moon
The endeavour of small Greek historians to add interest to their work by magnifying the exploits of their countrymen, and piling wonder upon wonder, Lucian first condemned in his Instructions for Writing History, and then caricatured in his True History, wherein is contained the account of a trip to the moon, a piece which must have been enjoyed by Rabelais, which suggested to Cyrano de Bergerac his Voyages to the Moon and to the Sun, and insensibly contributed, perhaps, directly or through Bergerac, to the conception of Gulliver’s Travels. The Icaro-Menippus Dialogue describes another trip to the moon, though its satire is more especially directed against the philosophers.
By: Thomas Love Peacock
Deep in the fens of the British coast sits the gloomy mansion that goes by the name Nightmare Abbey. It is inhabited by persons of very low opinion of the human race, and in fact they pride themselves in the depths of their detestation. Others of its denizens believe the ultimate exercise and product of the human mind ought to be chaos. Now let the young master of the house get snared by the wiles of a beautiful young lady. And for good measure, toss in another beautiful young lady. Now Scythrop...
By: Ontario Ministry of Education
The Ontario Readers Third Book
The Ontario Readers is a school book first published in 1909, by the Ontario Ministry of Education, containing short excerpts of literary works, both stories and poems, geared to grade-school age children.
By: George Sylvester Viereck (1884-1962)
The House of the Vampire
The House of the Vampire is a 1907 novella that is a very unusual vampire story. A young writer comes under the powerful influence of a mysterious older master, who seems to have left a trail of ruined proteges in his wake. The story is as much about the nature of artistic creation as it is a chilling vampire tale.
By: Nella Larsen (1891-1964)
Quicksand is a 1928 novel by Nella Larsen, a writer of the Harlem Renaissance. It focuses on Helga Crane, a mixed-race woman who is a schoolteacher in the American south. As the novel opens, she suddenly decides to give up her teaching position and go north, back to her roots in Chicago. Helga's restless search for identity is semi-autobiographical, inspired by Larsen's own struggles to reconcile her mixed heritage with the racism of 1920s America. Although this novel was published after 1923, the copyright was never renewed and is therefore in the public domain. (Introduction by Elizabeth Klett)
By: Clifford D. Simak (1904-1988)
In a future time, the solar system is powered by one energy source, controlled by one huge organisation, which has plans to use this control to dominate the planets. Unknown to them, a couple of maverick scientists accidentally develop a completely new form of energy supply and threaten the corporation's monopoly. Naturally, the corporation can't allow this to happen... A stunning story about the manipulation of pure energy, climaxing in interstellar conflict.
By: Clifford Simak (1904-1988)
Hellhounds of the Cosmos
From Astounding Stories of 1932. Earth is being attacked by horrible black monsters that appear from nowhere and destroy and kill everything and everyone in their paths. Nothing affects them, nothing stops them; they are impervious to all weapons. Earth is doomed. But there is one hope and it rests on the shoulders of 98 brave men. Can they do it? can they find a way of retaliating? Listen and find out.
Clifford Simak deals with the implications of time travel in his own unique way in this story. What if a group of guys did it on their own, without any help from government or industry? On a shoestring,so to speak? Would anyone believe them? What would you do if you could go back 150,000 years to a time when mastodons and saber toothed tigers roamed North America? And what happens when they run out of money? All these questions are explored in the usual humorous, wry Simak way in this story.
By: James Whitcomb Riley (1849-1916)
James Whitcomb Riley was an American writer, poet, and best selling author, born in the town of Greenfield, Indiana. During his lifetime he was known as the "Hoosier Poet" and "Children's Poet" for his dialect works and his children's poetry respectively. His poems tended to be humorous or sentimental, and of the approximately one thousand poems that Riley authored, the majority are in dialect.
In The Dark
James Whitcomb Riley was an American writer, poet, and best-selling author. During his lifetime he was known as the "Hoosier Poet" and "Children's Poet" for his dialect works and his children's poetry respectively. His poems tended to be humorous or sentimental, and of the approximately one thousand poems that Riley authored, the majority are in dialect. Riley began his career writing verses as a sign maker and submitting poetry to newspapers. Thanks in part to an endorsement from poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, he eventually earned successive jobs at Indiana newspaper publishers during the latter 1870s...
By: Sir Hall Caine
Sir Thomas Henry Hall Caine, CH, KBE (14 May 1853 – 31 August 1931), usually known as Hall Caine, was a British author. He is best known as a novelist and playright of the late Victorian and the Edwardian eras. In his time he was exceedingly popular and at the peak of his success and his novels outsold those of his contemporaries. Many of his novels were also made into films. His novels were primarily romantic in nature, involving the love triangle, but they did also address some of the more serious political and social issues of the day...
By: Joseph Sheridan LeFanu (1814-1873)
The Room in the Dragon Volant
J. Sheridan LeFanu's Gothic mystery novel is narrated by Richard Beckett, a young Englishman abroad in Napoleonic-era France. He falls instantly in love with a mysterious and imperiled Countess, whom he glimpses momentarily behind her black veil. In order to be near her, he takes a room in the Dragon Volant (the Flying Dragon), a haunted inn that has been the site of mysterious disappearances.
By: Fritz Leiber (1910-1992)
The Creature from Cleveland Depths
“The Creature from Cleveland Depths” also known as “The Lone Wolf” tells the story of a writer and his wife who refuse to move below-ground after the cold-war gets hot. The underground society discovers a decline in their ability to creatively innovate, and must consult with surface dwellers to develop products that satiate the needs of a people living like moles. But the latest product to result from this alliance, “The Tickler” has frightening implications that only our heroes seem to notice. – This story appeared in the December, 1962 issue of “Galaxy” magazine.
The Night of the Long Knives
"I was one hundred miles from Nowhere—and I mean that literally—when I spotted this girl out of the corner of my eye. I'd been keeping an extra lookout because I still expected the other undead bugger left over from the murder party at Nowhere to be stalking me." In a Post apocalyptic world, the few people left must be strong. And must not hesitate to kill. Of course, killing another Deathlander was one of the chief pleasures and urges of all the solitary wanders in this vast wasteland. Kill and kill again. But this other was a girl and that brought up the second great urge: sex. Which was it to be today? Perhaps both?