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January/February 2010
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The Triuneverse: A Scientific Romance, by R.A. Kennedy (dated 1962, but actually 1912)

EDWARDIAN Britain saw publication of several distinctive interplanetary novels worthy of retrospective consideration; the weird allegories of R. H. Wright's The Outer Darkness (1906) and Elizabeth Whiteley's The Devil's Throne (1903) both come to mind, as does Richard Lamport's Veeni the Master (1912), which opens with Earth's destruction and the soul transference of its "chosen ones" into the bodies of beings in another solar system.

Transference of Earth's population to another system also occurs in R. A. Kennedy's philosophical extravaganza, but the means by which this happens is far, far stranger. The Triuneverse opens with a scientist observing a strange phenomenon that presages the materialization of a visitor from the micro-universe. Much of the book is then taken up with a complex cosmological discourse between the two before the visiting scientist continues his journey into the macro-universe—with an unforeseen consequence.

The planet Mars reproduces by binary fission and the daughter cells devour each other until only one ravenous entity remains. This creature then systematically devours the outer planets before turning toward the Sun, a cataclysmic explosion results, and Earth is hurled into outer space with Mars in hot pursuit. Only the timely return of the visiting scientist saves Earth; the space-time fabric once more changes, Mars begins to shrink, and Earth ends up as part of the Alpha Centauri system with Mars the size of a pea under glass in a museum.

They don't get any stranger than that!

—John Eggeling

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