Professor Jameson’s Adventures in the Universe Vol.2 by Neil R. Jones
(Professor Jameson, 4-6)
The second volume of the explorations of Professor Jameson. Forty million years after his death, Professor Jameson’s brain is reanimated and placed into a mechanical body. His adventures in his second, immortal life take him across the universe.
Professor Jameson’s Adventures in the Universe Vol.2 – The second volume of the explorations of Professor Jameson. Forty million years after his death, Professor Jameson’s brain is reanimated and placed into a mechanical body. His adventures in his second, immortal life take him across the universe. In this volume, Professor Jameson makes a return the the world of his origin, Earth. There he confronts his greatest obstacle- himself.
Into the Hydrosphere (1933)
Time’s Mausoleum (1933)
Chapter I – Planet of the Uchke
Chapter II – The Backward Path
Chapter III – River of Life
Chapter IV – Across the Years
The Sunless World (1934)
Chapter I – Planets of Darkness
Chapter II – Death’s Cavern
Chapter III – Hostility
Chapter IV – The Ancient Menace
Chapter V – Cosmic Cataclysm
Neil Ronald Jones (1909–1988) was not prolific, and little remembered today, except for his Professor Jameson series. And yet this one series of stories was quite groundbreaking and consequential.
Isaac Asimov read The Jameson Satellite as a young boy. He later said, “Jones treated them (the Zoromes) as mechanical men, making them objective without being unfeeling, benevolent without being busybodies.” He cited Jones’ Zoromes as the “spiritual ancestors” of his positronic robot series and credited them as the origin of his attraction to the idea of benevolent robots.
Jones himself, once said he was inspired to invent the Zoromes by H. G. Wells’ Martians from The War of the Worlds, whose weak bodies were augmented by giant war machines.
Professor Jameson’s Adventures in the Universe Vol.2 has 3 illustrations.
Excerpt: Into the Hydrosphere
LIKE a ghost of the cosmos, the space ship of the Zoromes flitted silently into the rapid growing sunlight of a star. To one side lay the crescent of a large planet, rough, jagged mountain peaks presenting a serrated embroidery for the surrounding twinkle of the far-off stars. Ahead, in the path of the space ship, yet farther distant than the planet they were passing, a smaller world gleamed like a bright jewel, shedding a dazzling lustre incomparable. Its brilliance was quite in contrast to the dull crescent of the outer planet.
From afar, the greater brilliance of the small world had aroused the curiosity of the twenty machine men. Always on the outlook for the unusual, and more than willing to digress from the general route they were pursuing in the direction of distant Zor, the travelers sped on toward the bright comet.
“Why do you suppose it gleams so brightly?” queried 88ZQ4, who among the Tripeds had been known as Brlx.
Professor Jameson regarded the planet they were approaching rather critically. Then he gave reply.
“It may possibly be the quality of the atmosphere. Then again, the surface of the planet may be an endless sea, at least on the hemisphere facing us. The latter supposition seems more probable.”
6W-438 left his place at the telescope. “It is no use trying to see anything there until we are in a position where the sun will be directly behind us.”
Grouped about the professor stood his metal companions, nineteen in number, all tried and true. Four of them, 88ZQ4, 92ZQ153, 5ZQ35 and 45ZQ42 were as yet a bit unexperienced, being the recent converts from the planet of the double sun, yet they had proved themselves on several planets since leaving their own world. Brlx, Ravlt, Glrg and Jbf were no longer known by their unclassified names but, like Professor Jameson, 21MM392, possessed numeric classification in the exacting category of the Zoromes.
The remaining fifteen machine men were from the original stock who had found the professor’s rocket satellite in the shadow of the dying world. These fifteen were fortunate to have escaped the deaths meted out to their companions in the solar system of the Tripeds.
Their attention was now centered upon the bright planet ahead of them. Little observation was accorded the large world they were passing. Telescopic observation had revealed a rough, sterile surface of upflung mountains, rare atmosphere, and meteoric craters. The world beyond interested them more.
Had they observed the larger world more closely, they might have seen dark, lurking shapes which hung upon their path, approaching them cautiously from behind. Several of them crept closer to flank the craft of the Zoromes. The first intimations the machine men had of the mysterious followers was a sickening jar which ran through the ship.
Instantly, all was pandemonium, yet from all the immediate confusion there resolved a definite order as machine men ran helter skelter to their various positions.
“A meteor,” exclaimed 38RU-497, “Our repulsion rays have become imperfect!”
“Meteor nothin!” was 29G-75’s startling announcement. “Space ships — out there!”
He waved a tentacle towards several dark shapes which hung close to them on three sides. The grim, silent followers were visible where the sunlight from the nearby star struck against their sides. While the machine men watched, an iridescent flash spouted menacingly from one of the dark ships. Again came the jarring crash as the space ship of Zor listed to one side.
“They’re attacking!” exclaimed Professor Jameson. “Man the destroyers!” With alacrity, several of the machine men leaped to the weapons of offense. A glare of light stabbed the vacuum, flashing against the nearest ship from which had come the power beam. For a split second, the intense light supplanted the position of the lurking craft. When it disappeared, the space ship was gone. 56F-450 trained his piece on another of the mysterious ships. With its companions, the shadowy craft turned tail and fled, but not before the machine man’s ray split the darkness once more. The second ship suffered the fate of the first. The others retreated from sight, proving the adage of discretion versus valor.
“What were they?”
“And from where did they come?” These were the questions the machine men flung at one another, yet there were none among them who really knew. 41C-98 ventured the obvious solution.
“They probably came from that world.” He designated the mountainous surface of the crescent which stood out so sharply against the star sprinkled background.”
“We can investigate later,” said 44U-21. “Right now, the little world is more important.”
“But what if they attack us again?” asked 5ZQ35.
“They won’t,” 56F-540 replied. “Not after the way I blew those two ships of theirs into nothingness. We proved rather conclusively that we are their masters in regard to weapons.”
The ships of the machine men sped on in the direction of their main objective. By approaching the little world at right angles to their previous course, they were enabled to view it to better advantage. During the maneuvering, a sharp watch was kept for the ships which had displayed their animosity so recently, but nothing more was seen of them.
6W-438 at his position near one of the farther range telescopes of the ship did state, however, that he was pretty sure he had seen several small dots descend into the far-off mountain passes of the larger world. This rather corroborated the assertion of 41C-98.
“We’ll go back that way after we explore this other planet,” said the professor.
Little did they realize the startling events to befall them ere they reached the larger world, nor did they reckon on the time to be spent on the smaller world which now grew larger before them.
Excerpt From: Neil R. Jones. “Professor Jameson’s Adventures in the Universe Vol.2.”
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