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Armageddon 2419 Ad de Philip Nowlan
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Armageddon 2419 Ad (original: 1928; edição: 1978)

de Philip Nowlan (Autor)

Séries: Buck Rogers (1)

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403648,141 (3.23)9
The groundbreaking novella that gave rise to science fiction's original space hero, Buck Rogers. In 1927, World War I veteran Anthony Rogers is working for the American Radioactive Gas Corporation investigating strange phenomena in an abandoned coal mine when suddenly there's a cave-in. Trapped in the mine and surrounded by radioactive gas, Rogers falls into a state of suspended animation . . . for nearly five hundred years.   Waking in the year 2419, he first saves the beautiful Wilma Deering from attack and then discovers what has befallen his country: The United States has descended into chaos after Asian powers conquered the world with advanced weaponry centuries before. All that's left are ragtag gangs battling for survival against their brutal overlords.   But when Rogers shows them how to band together and fight for more than mere survival, he sparks a revolution that will decide the fate of the future world.   This ebook has been professionally proofread to ensure accuracy and readability on all devices.… (mais)
Membro:DoomBooks
Título:Armageddon 2419 Ad
Autores:Philip Nowlan (Autor)
Informação:Ace Books (1978), Edition: First Edition, first printing, 195 pages
Coleções:SciFi/Fantasy
Avaliação:
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Armageddon 2419 A.D. de Philip Francis Nowlan (1928)

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This is a darned entertaining bit of classic pulp sci-fi, complete with post-apocalyptic dystopia and evil overlords. It's also the first appearance in print of Anthony Rogers, who in later treatments got the nickname "Buck", although this one takes place completely on Earth, and in fact in North America. And once you get past the idea that a man could pass out in a Pennsylvania coal mine full of radioactive gas and then awaken, 500 years later, perfectly fit and preserved, well, the rest of the science isn't actually all that bad. OK, except for the death rays. But: death rays!

This book and its sequel [b:The Airlords of Han|6328975|The Airlords of Han|Philip Francis Nowlan|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1328308448s/6328975.jpg|6514606] demonstrate what seem to me to be some really progressive ideas about the capabilities of women and their roles in society. While there may appear to be a racist tinge or even bias to the book, if that bothers you I encourage you to read on through the sequel; things are not quite as they seem at first.

Now, if you're a fan of the Buck Rogers comic strip, serials, or TV show, I should warn you that it's not the same, and some familiar characters will be absent. It's also not Flash Gordon :-).
( )
  JohnNienart | Jul 11, 2021 |
Disappointing. I should cut it quite a bit of slack since it's nearly 90 years old, but still...

I'd rather have spent the time re-watching some old episodes of the Buck Rogers TV series. Cheesy as they were, they were still more entertaining. ( )
  OgreZed | Sep 15, 2020 |
Bland. Uninteresting. Mainly action. ( )
  fduniho | Dec 22, 2011 |
This edition (Ace Book Number F-188) combines the first novella Armageddon 2419 A.D. (1928) with its immediate sequel, The Airlords of Han (1929); as the cover blurb indicates, these novels were the bases of the "Buck Rogers" comic strip (as well as the various adaptations of same in other media -- radio, movie serial, 2 TV shows, etc.), although the main protagonist and first person narrator here is always called Anthony, very occasionally Tony, Rogers.

Anthony Rogers is a WWI veteran of the U.S. Army Air Corps who is flung into suspended animation in a freak accident and awakens nearly 500 years later in an America reduced to a near barbaric state by the "Mongols" who have overrun the Earth. That there are roving bands of forest- and cave-dwelling Americans at all is at first deemed a testament more to the relative unimportance of the Americans to the "Mongols" or "Hans" rather than to their intrinsic qualities -- although, once you get past the prologue, much chest-beating nationalistic and racial pride ensues. (Most of the American gangs appear to be comprised of WASPs, with the exception that proves the rule of one Dave Berg.) Rogers soon falls in with a band, or gang, of Americans, meets the love of his life (and future wife), the adolescent Wilma Deering (Rogers says that Wilma "was only thirteen or fourteen years old at the time of the last air raid" [p. 37]; one doubts if Wilma is even eighteen when Rogers meets her), and proves himself an invaluable asset with his ready adaptability and firsthand experience with early 20th century military tactics.

The combined books are seminal works of science fiction, and are intermittently interesting as simple stories of adventure (although Nowlan's action scenes don't begin to approach those of, say, Edgar Rice Burroughs or Robert E. Howard at their peak); unfortunately, they are also seminal works in the "yellow peril" tradition, more offensive in their way than the work of Sax Rohmer (creator of Fu Manchu and a couple of lesser "yellow peril" menaces). This Ace Books edition trims three summary paragraphs from the opening of The Airlords of Han (which begins with Chapter VII, on p.95); apparently some of the more egregious racial stylings were also toned down: the first sentence of this chapter (and the first sentence of the fourth paragraph of TAoH) reads here as "By the Spring of 2420 A.D., a short six months after these events, the positions of the Mongolian and our forces in America had been reversed"; in the original text, as transcribed on Project Gutenberg (http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/25438), "Mongolian" reads as "Yellow," and "our forces" as "White Races."

The epilogue of The Airlords of Han tries to ameliorate the prejudices previously displayed against the "Mongols" (read: Chinese) by positing that the "Hans" were actually an alien race that "mated forcibly with the Tibetans, thereby strengthening their physical structure to earthly speech and habits, and in some strange manner intensifying even further their mental powers" (p. 189), and asserting that Anthony and Wilma Rogers felt no animosity towards "the noble brown-skinned Caucasions [sic] of India, the sturdy Balkanites of Southern Europe...the simple, spiritual Blacks of Africa", or even "the non-Han Mongolians of Japan and the coast provinces of China" (pps. 188-89). This bit of special pleading is rather analogous to a bigot saying that he has no problem with blacks who "know their place."

It should be noted that Anthony Rogers is also an exponent of a time-honored trope in adventure fiction: the white man who is so masterful that he surpasses the natives of the land that he operates in, from James Fenimore Cooper's Hawkeye to Talbot Mundy's Athelstan King to ERB's Tarzan. That WWI strategy and tactics could prove useful in overthrowing 25th century air supremacy is rather suspect; and while much of the "future science" that Rogers explains in too-exhaustive detail is pretty much balderdash, one especially risible note is sounded when Rogers describes himself as having "a Twentieth Century urge to see with my own eyes rather than through a viewplate" (p. 183): even adhering strictly to WWI this is wildly inaccurate.

It should come as no surprise that the rampant racism of these books is accompanied by a casual sexism: Nowlan's Rogers refers to women as "girls", even if they are portrayed as stabbing, shooting, blowing up and disemboweling uncountable numbers of faceless "Hans." Men, of course, are referred to as "men," never mind the parlance typical of the gang or military unit.

All in all, this omnibus edition is of interest mostly as a curiosity and a precedent than for its own merits as an adventure story or sci-fi jeremiad; OTOH, one can't help but wonder what Nowlan and his more ardent fans would make of David Wingrove's post-modern take on the "yellow peril" in his Chung Kuo series.... ( )
2 vote uvula_fr_b4 | May 25, 2009 |
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The groundbreaking novella that gave rise to science fiction's original space hero, Buck Rogers. In 1927, World War I veteran Anthony Rogers is working for the American Radioactive Gas Corporation investigating strange phenomena in an abandoned coal mine when suddenly there's a cave-in. Trapped in the mine and surrounded by radioactive gas, Rogers falls into a state of suspended animation . . . for nearly five hundred years.   Waking in the year 2419, he first saves the beautiful Wilma Deering from attack and then discovers what has befallen his country: The United States has descended into chaos after Asian powers conquered the world with advanced weaponry centuries before. All that's left are ragtag gangs battling for survival against their brutal overlords.   But when Rogers shows them how to band together and fight for more than mere survival, he sparks a revolution that will decide the fate of the future world.   This ebook has been professionally proofread to ensure accuracy and readability on all devices.

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