Beyond Thirty

by Edgar Rice Burroughs
Reviewed date: 2013 Jan 28
Rating: 2
124 pages
cover art

The Great War raged on. Minefields and submarine warfare cut the European continent off from the rest of the world. Two hundred years later, the Pan-American Federation spans the globe from pole to pole--but nobody has crossed the longitudes of 30dW or 175dW in living memory. Of conditions in the east, nothing is known.

Enter: Lt. Jefferson Turck, commander of the aero-submarine Coldwater, on patrol along thirty. Accident or sabotage damages Coldwater's gravitation-screen generators, and she sinks to the surface. Without engines, she drifts across thirty. With no way to return home, Turck determines to head for England, hoping to find provision, and to explore the unknown lost continent.

He does find England, but it is overrun with tigers, lions, and elephants--descended from zoo specimens. The natives are primitive barbarians, but Turck falls in love with Victory, the queen of "Grabitin." Later, Turck explores Germany, where the finds the locals similarly primitive. But here he meets a company of black Africans, a frontier outpost of a vast Christian empire based in Ethiopia.

Sadly, the proud Abyssinian empire is locked in a fearsome war with the yellow hordes of China. The Chinese overrun Germany; Turck and Victory are taken prisoner. The Chinese treat them as honored guests upon learning of Victory's royalty. They travel by railway to Peking, where they learn that China has conquered all of Asia and the Pacific. Of the Great War, "there was no victory for any nation embroiled in that frightful war. [...] Those who did not fight were the only ones to reap any of the rewards supposed to belong to victory."

Communication between China and Pan-America is quickly established. With Chinese and Pan-American cooperation, the future for Europe looks bright: "A new epoch for Europe is inaugurated, with enlightened China on the east and enlightened Pan-America on the west--the two great peace powers whom God has preserved to regenerate chastened and forgiven Europe." The precise fate of Africa and the Abyssinian empire is left unmentioned.

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