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Saturday, October 6, 2007

Tom Swift and His Great Searchlight Now Online

The fifteenth episode in the Tom Swift adventures, Tom Swift and His Great Searchlight, 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.

This is an adventure which is, in some ways, as fresh as today's headlines. Our intrepid boy inventor undertakes to develop a stealthy aerial vehicle with long-range electromagnetic sensors in order to secure the borders of the United States (the subtitle is “On the Border for Uncle Sam”) after being persuaded by a federal agent that securing the homeland is the moral equivalent of war. Of course, a few things have changed since this book was originally published in 1912—the occupant of the White House is William Howard Taft, the border is that with Canada, the miscreants crossing it are smugglers looking to evade the protectionist duties of the United States, and the adventurers become revenuers are aided in their mission by an Indian from upstate New York named Big Foot who says, “How”, “heap”, and asks for firewater and “baccy” in return.

As usual, I have corrected typographical and formatting errors I spotted while editing the text, but have deferred close proofreading until I get around to reading the book on my PDA. Consequently, corrections from eagle-eyed readers are more than welcome. Please note the comments in the main Pocket Library page before reporting archaic spelling (for example, “gasolene”, “to-morrow”, or “clew”) as an error.

This book, along with the previously posted Tom Swift and His Giant Cannon brings the Tom Swift saga from its inception in 1910 to the end of 1913 for a total of sixteen books. Nine public domain Tom Swift novels remain, and I'll continue to add them to this collection at the rate of two or three 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 to be even more absurd), so none of these can be posted before 2019.

Posted at October 6, 2007 19:55