Giants on The Earth
Reviewed date: 2010 Feb 11
I stumbled across this while looking for Giants in the Earth by O. E. Rölvaag. Both Rölvaag's novel and Meek's story take their title from Genesis 6:4.
There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown.
Beyond the title, I have to presume the stories are completely different. Rölvaag's novel, which I haven't read yet, is about immigrant pioneers in America. Meek's story is a science fiction piece that ran in Astounding, and it's full of Jovian overlords, benevolent Martians, and superweapons capable of destroying the very ether itself!
The writing is about what one would expect from the 1930s: the barest of character development, and lots of cheesy science. It's got B-movie written all over it. Let's start from the beginning. The best way I can describe it is a cross between Edgar Rice Burroughs and E. E. "Doc" Smith, except the writing isn't nearly as good.
Cruel Jovian overlords rule the Earth and enslave the population. (Why? Does Earth have a resource that Jupiter needs?) The Jovians take human women into their harems, and the halfbreed offspring are the Nepthalim. (Now that's worthy of comment. How come the two races can crossbreed?) The Viceroy Glavour tries to add the beautiful Lura to his harem, but is prevented because she is engaged to Damis, the Nepthalim son of the previous Viceroy of Earth. Enraged at Glavour, Damis joins the humans and leads a rebellion. They steal a Jovian spaceship and flit to Mars, where the super-evolved, peaceloving Martians give them powerful beam weapons that can vaporize the very ether itself! (That reminds me of the Norlaminians in Doc Smith's Skylark series. Super-advanced, peaceloving, benevolent, etc.) They bring the weapons back to Earth. Meanwhile, Lura has been abducted (shades of Burroughs!) so Damis must sneak into the Jovian palace on Earth to rescue her. Fortunately Damis knows about all the secret passageways in the palace (more Burroughs!) A fleet from Jupiter arrives on Earth just in time to get vaporized by the superweapons. Damis rescues Lura and they escape from the Jovian palace in a spaceship. They look below them and see that although the Martian superweapons completely destroyed the Jovian invaders, they also disrupted the Earth's rotation, causing an enormous flood that wipes out all life on Earth. Then a wonderful thing happens:
"Look, Damis!" exclaimed Lura in a hushed tone.
From the spray and mist below them leaped a living bridge of colored light. Above the sun it arced its way into the heavens in the direction in which they knew Mars lay.
"It is His promise," whispered Damis reverently, "that henceforth the planets will live in peace and amity and that nevermore will the Jovians be allowed to invade us."