Coming-Race-webresThe author was a bestseller in his day and turned out a stream of popular novels that earned him a fortune. He also coined a number of well known phrases such as “the pen is mightier than the sword,” “the great unwashed,” and “pursuit of the almighty dollar”(the very first paragraph of this book), not to mention perhaps the worst opening line in history, “It was a dark and stormy night.”

THE COMING RACE was an early example of science fiction that a lot of folks believed real(supposedly there was a secret Vril Society though no one has ever found definitive proof). First published in 1871 anonymously, it was soon acknowledged as his. VRIL: The Power of The Coming Race(first title) concerned a subterranean winged race wishing to reclaim the surface world their ancestors once lived upon. Their underground world was filling up. The200px-Edward_George_Earle_Lytton_Bulwer_Lytton,_1st_Baron_Lytton_by_Henry_William_Pickersgill novel first popularized the hollow Earth theory and later led to some of my favorite works. These people powered their fantastic devices with something known as Vril, a liquid that could, depending on how it was used, be a destroyer or a healer. They could access it with their minds.

Our hero, alone after his friend is killed in a fall, explores the world and meets the people and strange creatures, flying machines, the like, learning their history as he becomes proficient in their language.