The Heads of Cerberus The Book that Created Dystopian Sci Fi

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Sinopsis

This book, set in a dystopian Philadelphia in 2118, invented a new, creepier kind of dystopian Sci Fi.

  • Perhaps the first science fantasy to use the alternate time-track, or parallel worlds, idea. -Groff Conklin
  • A pioneering variation on the parallel worlds theme. -Boucher and McComas
  • A highly imaginative work, one of the classics of early pulp fantastic fiction -Everett F. Bleiler

“Stevens, to her credit, manages to keep her story taut and suspenseful, at the same time that she injects pleasing snippets of humor here and there, mainly thanks to the character of Arnold Bertram, a portly thief who had tried to rifle Trenmore’s safe back home and had also been thrown into the year 2118 as a result.

The author presciently posits the coming of a second World War, and yet her Philadelphia of two centuries hence still somehow contains “clanging street cars,” shooting galleries, and “movie” theaters. (I love that fact that Stevens puts the word “movie” in quotes; first used around 1911, it must have still seemed a newish, slangy word by 1918!) A pseudo-scientific explanation, at the novel’s end, for all the mishegas that had come before goes far in claiming for the book its place of pride in the early sci-fi field... a most entertaining and atmospheric read.”

-Sandy Ferber, fantasyliterature.com

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