________________ CM . . . . Volume XXII Number 23 . . . . February 19, 2016


Professor Challenger: New Worlds, Lost Places.

J. R. Campbell & Charles Prepolec, eds.
Calgary, AB: Edge/Hades, 2015.
250 pp., trade pbk. & e-Book, $15.95 (pbk.).
ISBN 978-1-77053-052-2 (pbk.), ISBN 978-1-77053-053-9 (e-Book).

Subject Headings:
Science fiction, Canadian (English).
Challenger, Professor (Fictitious character)-Fiction.

Grades 7 and up / Ages 12 and up.

Review by Ronald Hore.

***½ /4



But we were not alone, and Challenger had plenty to say. I had never known a man with so many opinions on flora, and if it hadn't been for the discomfort of the sprung seats, I would have cheerfully feigned sleep to stopper my ears. But of course, it was difficult to keep one's eyes shut when one was being launched almost through the roof of one's conveyance.

"Where did they find this monstrosity?" I grumbled to myself, rubbing a spot on my leg that I feared pierced by the vicious springs.

Challenger's hearing was preternaturally good. "Our driver? He does seem particularly rustic. What do you know about this village we're going to? Sogmoyn?"

"Seghmoin." I took off my spectacles and rubbed them on my handkerchief, mulling a bit. "I don't know much. It's quite ancient, with signs or stories of settlement going back to the Iron Age. The name certainly implies age—I believe the word
segh is Old Irish for, umn, d-d-d-deer."

He raised a brow. "Afraid of deer, are you Ellsworth?" (From the story "Hind and Horn".)

Professor Challenger: New Worlds, Lost Places is a collection of tales based on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's character of Professor Challenger, the most famous of which is probably The Lost World. Although perhaps not as familiar to some readers as Doyle's best known other creation, Sherlock Holmes, Professor George Edward Challenger is a force to be reckoned with and has appeared in films as well as several adventure stories.

      This volume consists of 250 pages divided into a foreword, an introduction, and 10 stories told in the style of the original tales and created especially for this anthology. At the end of each story is a brief bio of that author. The collection ends with six pages of information on other books by this publisher.

      The first tale is "Hind and Horn", a story of Challenger and an associate going out into the remote Irish countryside to investigate the recent find of an ancient bog mummy.

      The next story, "The Shug Monkey", has Challenger and one of his former associates, the reporter Malone, investigating reports of a strange creature on the loose near a rural English village.

      This is followed by "The Chrystal Minders", an adventure involving mysterious crystals and quite possibly a mad scientist.

      "The King of the Moon" is a Jules Verne-style tale involving a crash-landing and escapades on a Victorian-style version of our moon.

      Next is "To One Table", a story involving a dinner party that goes very wrong, and dinosaurs.

      The collection's next story is "The Fool's Sea", a tale of things large and monstrous and living down in the bottom of the ocean deeps.

      "The Eye of the Devil" tells of events which take place in the depths of a tin mine and which lead to monsters that may have an extra-terrestrial origin.

      "Professor Challenger & the Crimson Wonder" mixes strange characters, a mysterious red plant, and even Sherlock's brother, Mycroft Holmes of the government secret service, in a tale where Challenger must once again hold the fate of the planet in his large hands.

      The story titled "Time's Black Gulf" brings strange goings-on right into the midst of the Challenger household and forces his friends to take desperate measures in order to save his life.

      In "Out of the Depths", Professor Challenger and associates venture into the world beneath our hollow Earth, discover a Nazi menace there, and finally end up back in the jungles of the original Lost World.

      Professor Challenger is a collection of well-written tales of Victorian-style derring-do. If readers enjoy the format with familiar characters reappearing in several of these stories, they can immerse themselves and get lost in worlds that never were, but perhaps should have been, if only in our over-developed imaginations.

Highly Recommended.

Ronald Hore, involved with writers groups for several years, dabbles in writing fantasy and science fiction in Winnipeg, MB.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
Hosted by the University of Manitoba.

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