Reading this book took me back to my childhood. The Tom Swift series, along with The Hardy Boys, anchored my love of reading at an early age. When I entered the first grade, I knew nothing about how to read, but I took to it like a duck to water, invoking that old bromide. We were instructed to keep records and, at the end of the year, I won the prize for reading the most books.
TOM SWIFT AND THE VISITOR FROM PLANET X was the seventeenth in the series and came out in 1961. I’m sure I never read this one. I don’t remember a lot about the books, other than they were a lot of fun for a young boy just finding his way. I do remember titles though and this wasn’t one I read. Everything came from the school library(my small town had a very tiny, one small room public library at the time) and I inhaled all they had. The series continued until 1971 and I definitely had left the Swift books behind long before then. Heinlein at age twelve had turned me on to real science fiction.
Tom Swift Jr is busily engaged in his latest invention, a robot casing to house their coming visitor from outer space. The Swifts had been in radio contact with them for a while now and the visitor was an electronic form of intelligence, thus the robot. The alien would be able to operate it and it’s appendages, thus facilitating communication.
They weren’t the only ones preparing for the arrival. A rebel group from the country of Brungaria was building to a revolutionary takeover of their country and wanted the alien to strengthen their hold when they did take over. Tom had had run ins with them in the past.
Along about the same time, unexpected earthquakes were happening around the country. When they seem to destroy defense American plants at every turn, Tom suspects the Brungarians of being responsible and starts to think how he would do the same thing. Some kind of sonic wave which leads him to design a new invention, which he dubs to Quakelizer to counteract the effects, quickly getting detectors and machines built in the Swift Enterprises plants to safeguard the countries defenses.
This book was goofy fun and reminded me of those early days when reading was taking hold of me. It is available free from Amazon on their Kindle books. Also, in the original Swift series from the early part of the century, the first twenty-four are in the public domain and available free. I took a chance on their bundled package and got all twenty-four for $1.99.
I’ll be checking them out from time to time and may report on them.
For other Forgotten Books, go to PATTINASE.