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Sunday, December 27, 2009

Tom Swift and His Aerial Warship Now Online

The eighteenth installment in the Tom Swift adventures, Tom Swift and His Aerial Warship, is now posted in the Tom Swift and His Pocket Library collection. As usual, HTML, PDF, PDA eReader, and plain ASCII text editions suitable for reading off- or online are available.

In this installment of the Tom Swift saga, published in 1915, war has erupted in Europe, and our intrepid inventor, concerned with maintaining the technological deterrent of an under-armed and isolationist “Uncle Sam”, has taken upon himself the task of constructing “on spec” a six hundred foot long airship equipped with four inch recoil-compensated guns, precision-targeted bombs, and rapid-fire defensive arms. One might say, from an after-the-innocence post-war perspective, that Tom had anticipated the inevitable involvement of his nation in the European conflict or, perhaps, that he'd been one of the first to twig to the fact that becoming a “merchant of death” was the way to riches in the “progressive” war-socialism state soon to supplant the individualist entrepreneurial society which nurtured him and he came to exemplify.

But nefarious “foreign spies” covet Tom's dreadnought of the clouds, and an implausible coalition of French, German, Russian, and British malefactors (hey, aren't these guys fighting one another?) conspire to destroy Tom's invention and, failing at that, hijack it for their own evil ends. But all ends well, thanks (uncharacteristically for a Tom Swift novel) not due to the ingenuity and pluck of the protagonist, but to a bolt from the blue.

Because there were a number of scanning artefacts and typographical errors in the source document, I subjected it to a careful proofreading. Consequently, I believe this text has fewer errors than other novels initially posted in this series. Prove me wrong! Send your corrections with the feedback form, and please cite the context of any changes you submit.

This book brings the Tom Swift saga from its inception in 1910 through 1915 for a total of eighteen books. While the first novels in the series came fast and furious, starting in 1912 one book per year was published. Seven public domain Tom Swift novels remain, and I'll continue to add them to this collection at the rate of one or two a year. There are a total of forty adventures in the original Tom Swift series, but those published between 1923 and 1941 will not enter the public domain until 95 years after their copyright date (assuming the law isn't changed before then), so none of these can be posted before 2019.

Posted at December 27, 2009 02:56