Masterworks of Adventure: Atlantis and Lemuria

The Ultimate Anthology

Atlantis tales were one of the most popular Lost World sub-genres of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. This Masterworks of Adventure anthology is a collection of classic tales considered to be among the best and most influential works. We started with 333: A Bibliography of the Science-Fantasy Novel, by Crawford, Donahue and Grant (1953), which lists the best works published before 1950, then cross-referenced them with Science-fiction, the Early Years by Everett Franklin Bleiler and Jessica Amanda Salmonson’s Lost Race Check Guide, the ultimate checklist for collectors. You’ll find stories told in a variety of styles:adventure, dystopian, dark fantasy, philosophical adventure and pulp fiction. Some have been made available for Kindle for the very first time and are exclusive to ROH Press.

American Edition: 12 works
European and Australian Edition: 16 works
Canadian Edition: 23 works

What people are saying

The Lost Continent: "Splendidly colourful, imaginative and gloriously entertaining." ~ Lin Carter

Atlantida: “Well imagined, with much scholalry detail on the geography of French north Africa and the classical literature on Atlantis. The narrative is fast-moving and hold's one's interest well. All in all, perhaps the best of the older Atlantis fictions..” ~Everett Franklin Bleiler, Science-fiction, the Early Years

The Toll of the Sea: “One of the better lost races of the period, with well-realized moments, a convincing culture, reasonable characters, and competent writing.” ~Everett Franklin Bleiler, Science-fiction, the Early Years

Queen of Atlantis: Much the best of the Atkins adventures.” ~Everett Franklin Bleiler, Science-fiction, the Early Years

When the World Shook: “A really splendid romance, rich in color, fresh and gorgeous in its imaginative qualities and power, and needless to add, absorbingly interesting...” ~The New York Times (1919)

The Scarlet Empire

Chapter 1: Wherein I Take the Fatal Plunge

AS I SIT ON MY broad veranda gazing out to sea I live again through those strange events which make the past appear as some fantastic dream. For many years I have shrunk from taking the world into my confidence, for I have feared abnormally the ridicule of men. But now why need I care? My part on this stage of life is nearly played, and to me applause has lost its charm and scorn its sting. So, while waiting for the final curtain, I shall employ myself as suits my fancy. I shall write the tale of my life, or rather of that remarkable period which began with my twenty-fifth year and which was heralded in by the following announcement in one of the popular dailies:

“Yesterday afternoon, about two o’clock, a young man at Coney Island was seen to jump off the long pier which richly deserves to be called the Suicides’ Promenade. His body was not recovered, although Officer Michael Rafferty of the Broadway squad, who was having his day off and who happened to be on the pier at the time, made a gallant and desperate effort to rescue the youth. It is regarded as remarkable that after he sank into the water his head did not reappear at the surface, and it is the theory of Officer Rafferty that the body must have been caught by a strong undercurrent. Inquiry at Precinct Station No. 7 later disclosed that John Walker of 407 East 38th Street is missing and there is evidence to show it was he who so successfully sought a watery grave. Walker was said by his landlady to be a rather quiet individual but with strong views as to the evils of the trusts and the hardships thrust upon the poor of this day by the money kings. It is supposed that he tired of life’s struggle and sought release in death from the sufferings entailed by poverty. He had no known relatives.”

I have this item framed and hanging in my library. It is now forty years since it was printed. Little do those who happen to read it imagine that it refers to me—to me, the hale and portly man of business, the owner of this magnificent home, with all its cooks and butlers, the well-known financier and respected citizen, the Honourable Cyrus J. Brown. But truth is often stranger than fiction, and this item of news certainly does refer to me. Were Officer Rafferty alive today I think I could prove to him that I have knowledge of what happened on the pier that day which only the man who jumped to his supposed death could possess. But, unfortunately, the worthy Rafferty has been gathered to his fathers, and thus I am deprived of producing the only human witness, aside from myself, who could in any degree testify to the truth of what I now relate. I confess that I feel some misgiving lest I ask too much of the credulity of men, but the word of a gentleman is not to be lightly questioned. I shall, in this story, be as veracious as my memory of those distant events will permit.
I remember distinctly that prior to my memorable visit to the pier I was in somewhat indigent circumstances. These circumstances compelled me to fast for protracted periods, and my clothes became faded and threadbare. For weeks I spent my waking hours in walking the streets and communing with myself as to the selfish aspect of worldly affairs, the lack of wisdom displayed in the management of things in general, and the manner in which a man like myself would set things right if mankind would only permit it. I had become an inner member of an organization which had for its purpose the reformation of society in such a way that no one would have more of this world’s goods than another, and all would know the luxury of leisure and high living. Sometimes in the evenings we would make speeches on the street corners, and though, like the abolitionists of old, we were greeted occasionally with derision from those who were hostile to our propaganda, yet there generally gathered about us a knot of eager-eyed men who drank in our fervid eloquence with insatiable thirst. By degrees I became deeply and more deeply immersed in my chosen pursuit of righting the evils of the day, and as my means diminished, the less diligent I became in my search for remunerative employment. Thus in time I learned that the reformer’s path is strewn with thorns, and as I took my last saunter on the pier my soul was possessed with bitterness. It was no wonder that, reaching the place from which to jump, I addressed the universe in the following strain:
“Hell no longer has terrors for me. I have lived on the earth—there can be no greater hell than that. What fools these mortals be who prate about their liberties! Liberty to starve, liberty to slave, liberty to kill one’s self—curses on such liberty! They say that the majority rules. What a delusion! Why, if the majority rules, should a few be allowed to reap advantages not enjoyed by the majority? Why should penury and plutocracy grow side by side? Why should parasites pass their days in sumptuous idleness, while the majority become bent with ceaseless toil?
Yet these deluded pack-horses for the few fail to see that the majority rules only in the abstract, and they refuse to allow those who would aid them to come to their relief. The world is sadly in need of reform, but it refuses to be reformed, therefore will I bid it farewell. I go where I no longer shall be a slave to beings no better than myself, where all are on a par, where in truth the majority rules—I go to enter into the democracy of the dead.”
I turned to wave a last farewell to earth when I saw Officer Rafferty closely observing me, and then, without more ado, I made the fatal plunge.