• Martyn Rhys Vaughan


One of the enduring tropes of SF is the "Hollow Earth" concept, where the traveller encounters a subterranean world filled with monsters and (perhaps) beauteous maidens.

Although Edgar Rice Burroughs is renowned for this type of story, he is far from the originator of the idea.

Ludvig Holberg (1684-1754) was born in Bergen, Norway. His novel, written in Latin, "Niels Klim's Underworld Travels" tells of how the eponymous hero falls into a shaft near Bergen which transports him to the centre of the Earth, which has its own inner sun and system of planets. He falls on one called Nazar. Nazar is divided into different countries, and the one in which he lands is ruled by intelligent, walking trees (another first for Holberg). He travels throughout Nazar discovering strange customs such as one in which only the young are allowed to rule. In another, he is shocked to find sexual equality and campaigns to have females removed from public office. Eventually, the Nazarians tire of him and he is banished to the inner surface of the great void, which is inhabited by intelligent monkeys; one of whose females is desirous of mating with him. Fortunately, he falls into another shaft which has the opposite polarity and returns him to the surface where he discovers he has been away for 12 years.

1 view0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

A Quote From "The Last Man"

What are we, the inhabitants of this globe, least among the many that people infinite space? Our minds embrace infinity; the visible mechanism of our being is subject to merest accident. Day by day we

Mary Shelley - Part Four

Mary Shelley Part Four: THE LAST MAN This work appeared in 1826, with the writer being described simply as "The Author of Frankenstein." The setting is England in the early 2070s. It is now a republic

Mary Shelley - Part Three

MARY SHELLEY – Part Three So what is it about Mary Shelley’s work that establishes it as the first modern SF story? The answer lies in Victor Frankenstein’s attitudes and methods. As he begins his wor

©2019 by Martyn Rhys Vaughan. Proudly created with