The Cosmic Courtship, like many other sci-fi tales of the early twentieth century, was first published as a serial story in a pulp fiction magazine. But what makes this tale stand out is its author: Julian Hawthorne, the son of American literary great Nathaniel Hawthorne. Now, a group of pulp fiction enthusiasts are working to restore this unique adventure and bring it back into print for readers everywhere to enjoy.
Julian Hawthorne’s tale was first published in 1917 as a serial story in pulp magazine All-Star Weekly. Cirsova Publishing, Michael Tierney, and Robert Allen Lupton comprise the group that is working to restore and republish it. Here is how they summarize the sci-fi tale.
Mary Faust, a brilliant scientist, has developed a machine that can allow the conscious human soul to explore the cosmos! Her promising young assistant Miriam Mayne has accidentally transferred her consciousness to Saturn, where she falls under the enchantment of an evil sorcerer! Jack Paladin, her love, sets out after her on a thrilling celestial journey to the ringed planet! Swashbuckling adventure and high romance await in Julian Hawthorne’s The Cosmic Courtship!
A Tale Nearly Lost
So it’s great that they’re republishing this work. But what was that part about restoring it as well? According to their Kickstarter page, Hawthorne’s sci-fi story is actually quite hard to find.
What do we mean by “essentially lost”? While The Cosmic Courtship is a work in the Public Domain and part of the world’s common literary heritage, there’s virtually no way for anyone to read it! It has only ever been printed in now very expensive and hard to find pulp magazines. Even if cost were not an object, availability often is. . . .
The main issues with a project like this are the investment of time and the risk to (often nigh-irreplaceable) physical materials required to reproduce the texts.
Historical Perspective of ‘The Cosmic Courtship’
Nathaniel Hawthorne is an author many people probably first encountered in high school. And like so many other authors from the early days of America, it probably seems like he existed eons ago. And yet his son wrote a science fiction tale in the 1900s. That in turn makes Nathaniel Hawthorne seem so much closer to us. Just a fascinating thing to consider.
The crowdfunding campaign set an initial goal of raising $500. It has blown through that. As of the time of the publication of this post, backers had pledged over $8,300. But don’t worry, if you want to get in on the action too, there’s still plenty of time (over 40 days).
All in all, The Cosmic Courtship by Julian Hawthorne looks like it would be fun to read. And it’s good to see that the effort to get it back in print is moving full speed ahead.