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The Girl in the Golden Atom

Ray Cummings

Book Overview: 

While examining a golden ring under a microscope, a chemist discovers a sub-atomic world. During his examination of this world he sees a beautiful young girl. After developing chemicals that will allow him to either shrink or grow larger in size, he and three friends journey to this small world.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .I knew I was not so large, now, as when I was here before.

"Remembering the amount of the drug I had taken coming down, I took now twelve of the pills. Then, in a sudden panic, I hastily took two of the others. The result made my head swim most horribly. I sat or lay down, I forget which. When I looked up I saw the hills beyond the river and forest coming towards me, yet dwindling away beneath my feet as they approached. The incline seemed folding up upon itself, like a telescope. As I watched, its upper edge came into view, a curved, luminous line against the blackness above. Every instant it crawled down closer, more sharply curved, and its inclined surface grew steeper.

"All this time, as I stood still, the ground beneath my feet seemed to be moving. It was crawling towards me, and folding up underneath where I was standing. Frequently I had to move to avoid rocks that came at me and passed under my feet into nothingness.

"Then, all at once,. . . Read More

Community Reviews

One of my first thoughts, as I read, was about those old, old text based computer games where, if you wanted the program to repeat a full description every time you entered a room, you could type the command "maximum verbosity"... Someone typed that command with this book!

Keeping in mind this boo...more

This is a rather odd book, but not without charm. It is 1920s SF—but even by 1920s standards, the science is barking mad. The protagonist theorises that every atom contains a literal universe of its own, and naturally he turns out to be right. He invents a method of seeing inside atoms—apparently...more

If you are a fan of vintage science fiction, this is an acceptable book. It does tend to drag in places particularly where politics and government is discussed. The concept of a world, contained on an atom of a gold wedding band is rather intriguing to me. As a Green Lantern fan, fantasy ring sto...more

An early, pre-Doc Smith and Burroughs old school sci-fi (written between 1919 and 1920). "The Chemist said... to the Doctor next to the Banker... who sat by the Big Business Man and the Very Young Man". In spite of the time it was written, is a decent story. The miniaturization theme has often be...more

This is one of the early classics of American science fiction. It was originally published in the pulp magazine All-Story Weekly in 1919. Book publication followed in 1922. It was an immediate success and the basic idea was one that the author retuned to rather obsessively in his subsequent incre...more

The story was good. And the "science" was pretty much what you would expect from the era.

What really stood out for me was the not so subtle struggle between socialism and fascism (or capitalism, depending on your political viewpoint). A lot of these issues can easily apply to our society.

Il mio voto sarebbe 2.5. Non è il genere di fantascienza che prediligo, la "scienza" su cui si basa il romanzo non ha molto senso, nemmeno considerando che è stato scritto nel 1922, e i personaggi sono piuttosto stereotipati. Detto ciò, l'idea di un altro universo minuscolo contenuto in un atomo...more

It's always an experience to read books from the 1900s. Although I found the story interesting and it kept me wanting to read more, there were many moments that pulled me back to reality. For example, the men test a new drug on an animal, then beat it to death with a poker for a fireplace with no...more

Not bad- and considering this from 1919 pretty good. Starts out a bit slow- after the setup (a chemist discovers a sub-atomic world in the gold of his mother's wedding ring and shrinks himself to explore it) we have a long first person narrative of the "I saw this and that and met so and so" vari...more

They don't write adventure stories like this, any more! The characters have names like "the Chemist" and "the Very Young Man," the prose style seems torn from the pages of a Victorian-era National Geographic, and the natives of the tiny world inside the atom - the "Oroids" - are described with th...more

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