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Tarrano the Conqueror

Ray Cummings

Book Overview: 

In "Tarrano the Conqueror" is presented a tale of the year 2430 A.D.--a time somewhat farther beyond our present-day era than we are beyond Columbus' discovery of America. My desire has been to create for you the impression that you have suddenly been plunged forward into that time--to give you the feeling Columbus might have had could he have read a novel of our present-day life.

To this end I have conceived myself a writer of that future time, addressing his contemporary public. You are to imagine yourself reading a present day translation of my original text--a translation so free that a thousand little colloquialisms will have crept into it that could not possibly have their counterparts in the year 2430.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .he issued short commands; they took their places at the instrument tables. Then he led us from the room through an arch, over a small trestle, into a tiny inner courtyard. A tropical garden, surrounded by blank circular walls of the building. A patch of blue sky showed above it. A garden secluded from prying eyes, with only a single spider bridge crossing overhead. Vivid flowers and foliage made it a bower. Brown bark paths laced it; a tiny fountain splashed in the center.

Tarrano sat on the rim of the fountain; he gestured to a white stone bench where we three sat in a row, Elza between us. It made me feel like a child.

"Your father is dead." He was addressing Elza; and then Georg. "That is unfortunate. He was a good man. I'm sorry."

His voice was soft and musical. He sat there on the fountain rim, an elbow on his crossed knees, chin resting in his hand, his eyes studying us. A small, slight figure of a man, no more than thirty-five. Simply d. . . Read More