Professor Jameson’s Adventures in the Universe, Vol. 4 by Neil R. Jones
(Professor Jameson, 10-12)
The fourth 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.
The fourth volume of the explorations of Professor Jameson. In the first story, the Professor and the other machine-men on their cosmic exploration, intervene into the internal politics of a pair of worlds undergoing a political upheaval and usurpation of power.
In the last two stories, the machine men explore a curious world that seems to be semispherical. A variety of life-forms are encountered (and some battled with) that all use the gravitational anomalies of this planet in unique ways.
Twin Worlds (1937)
Chapter I – A Colossal Wheel
Chapter II – The Exile
Chapter III – The Lost Projectile
Chapter IV – Menacing Tides
Chapter V – Beneath the Wheel
Chapter VI – A Perilous Voyage
Chapter VII – Lost in the Sea
Chapter VIII – Zoromes Besieged
On the Planet Fragment (1938)
Clement’s Discovery In 1968
Chapter I – Horrors in the Dark
Chapter II – The Land of Exhaustion
Chapter III – Over the World’s Edge
Chapter IV – Victors and Vanquished
Chapter V – The Ooaur Village
Chapter VI – “Like Islands in the Sky”
The Music-Monsters (1938)
Chapter I – Demons of the Inferno
Chapter II – The Lake of Fire
Chapter III – The Forest Villages
Chapter IV – Adrift
Chapter V – The Crash
Chapter VI – Mysteries of the Night
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. 4 has 7 illustrations.
Excerpt: Twin Worlds
A Colossal Wheel
SWIFT and silent, like a wandering meteor, the space ship of the Zoromes flitted into the swelling brilliance of what from a distance had been a glowing point against a jet background of vast, illimitable space, only a star among myriads of stars, but now, on closer proximity, a gigantic sun, a perpetual furnace of the cosmos.
Thirty-nine machine men gazed in eager anticipation as the various planets were picked out and classified. Delicate instruments supplemented the mechanical eyesight of the Zoromes.
“There are four planets,” Professor Jameson summarized after careful examinations had been made. “Two of them on the opposite side of the sun, one at right angles to our approach and another we will soon pass.”
The worlds on the other side of the sun, two in number, glowed as small, fixed orbs of light, duller and less scintillating than the fiery stars in the vastness beyond.”
“One planet directly at opposition with the space ship’s approach, appeared like a tiny full moon, while a companion world, farther removed from the sun, appeared through the telescopes as a gibbous orb. The world at right angles was visible as a quarter sphere without the aid of magnifying instruments.
The world they were soon to pass lay directly ahead of them and was not visible due to the fact that the side they were approaching was the night side.
“One thing seems certain,” was 744U-21’s opinion. “The world which we are soon to reach will be possessed of no atmosphere. Had it air, we should be able to see it even though we are coming towards its dark side. Suffusion of sunlight through the atmosphere often produces a circle of hazy light.”
20R-654 turned the course of the cosmic traveler to one side as they came within a quarter million miles of the nearest planet. Like a great arched silver light, the horned crescent of the visible world loomed large. Closely, the machine men examined what they could see of its surface.
“There is no air,” said 12W-62. “It is unlikely that the planet supports life.”
“Its surface is a vast, frozen desert.”
“The world rotates.”
More of the huge planet became visible as the space ship passed to one side. One quarter of the entire surface now lay open to the examination of the machine men. They discovered from afar only a dead, barren span of desolation and apparent uninhabitation.
The professor turned from his position at a telescope as 41C-98’s thought wave struck him, a thought wave tremulous with rising excitement. The professor believed that 41C-98 had possibly picked out some startling detail of the world they were passing, a detail which had so far escaped the examination of the others. To his surprise, he found that the machine man was not even looking at the world they were passing. He was staring off in another direction without the aid of a telescope. His mind vibrated to discovery.
“There are five worlds, 21MM-392, not four!” he exclaimed.
“Is there one farther out in space that we missed?” the professor queried.”
“No! There is a world between the two we saw the other side of the solar body! The nearer of the two eclipsed the one we failed to see!”
“A remarkable coincidence,” the professor observed.
All the machine men now stared across space at a new planet seemingly not far removed from the nearer of the two worlds they had previously seen.
“The central one of the three planets must be very large,” said 119M-5, “for from this distance it appears nearly as large as the other one which is much closer.”
Glasses were leveled in the direction of the newly discovered world. The planet behind them, growing from gibbous to full, was nearly forgotten.
“That world is not far removed from the other, 119M-5,” 29G-75 stated from his position at a telescope. “They are very close.”
“Does it possess an orbit of its own around the sun?” queried 744U-21.
For a short time, the machine men observed the new world carefully.
“It seems to revolve about the other world.”
“A moon, a very large moon,” 6W-438 observed.
“Nearly as large as the planet itself.”
“I believe you will find on further examination that the two bodies revolve about each other on a common orbit about the sun,” the professor stated. “They are undoubtedly twin worlds. One is as much a moon to its companion as it is versa.
“They are third in line from the sun. There is but one outer world beyond their orbit.”
The professor now took the glass. Carefully, he estimated the distance between the two worlds as not much more than a hundred thousand miles, while their respective diameters he figured were five thousand miles and five thousand, five hundred miles.
“One of them is inhabited, I believe!” 744U-21 exclaimed. “I can see what appears to be a city on the smaller world!”
“Are there many of such?”
“It is rather hard to tell.”
“The space ship came closer to the objects of the machine men’s scrutiny. At the professor’s suggestion, the ship was driven between the twin worlds, giving the machine men a closer view of both planets. From a distance of fifty thousand miles, they examined both worlds.
“I am sure of the city I saw on the smaller world,” said 744U-21, “yet now that I look at the same spot where it should be, according to the speed of rotation, I can find nothing but a vast expanse of water.”
“It is strange,” 6W-438 agreed. “The same thing happened with me in the case of an island I was viewing.”
Excerpt From: Neil R. Jones. “Professor Jameson’s Adventures in the Universe Vol.4.”
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