The World Below

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The World Below
World below.jpg
First US edition
Author S. Fowler Wright
Country United States
Language English
Genre Science fiction novel
Publisher Collins (UK)
Longman (US)
Publication date
1929 (UK)
1930 (US)
Media type Print (Hardback)
Pages 344
OCLC 6574474

The World Below is a science fiction novel by author S. Fowler Wright. It was first published in 1929 by Collins. The novel was originally intended as a trilogy, however, the third part was never written. The first part was originally published separately as The Amphibians by Merton Press in 1924. The second part was published separately by Galaxy Science Fiction Novels in 1951 and was also titled The Worlds Below.

Plot introduction[edit]

The novel concerns a man who travels 500,000 years into the future with the aid of a time machine. There he encounters a race of intelligent furry beings, the Amphibians. With their help he explores the planet and is eventually captured by the Dwellers, super-intelligent beings who direct the destinies of the planet.

Critical reception[edit]

Boucher and McComas praised the 1949 edition, citing its "sociological criticism, spiritual stimulation and satire of high order."[1] L. Sprague de Camp characterized it as "one of the most remarkable science-fiction stories ever written," saying that "For atmosphere the book is absolutely unsurpassed, and for exciting action it rates high." de Camp, however, also faulted the novel's "long philosophical arguments" in dialogue between its hero and his non-human companion, particularly their "straw-man" elements.[2]

Publication history[edit]

  • 1929, UK, Collins OCLC 6574474 Pub date 1929, Hardback
  • 1930, US, Longmans Green OCLC 1935968 Pub date 1930, Hardback
  • c. 1949, UK, Books for Today OCLC 3426322 Pub date c. 1948, Hardback
  • 1949, US, Shasta Publishers OCLC 2196790, Pub date 1949, Hardback
  • c. 1950, France, Le Sillage, Pub date c. 1950, Hardback, as Cette sacree planète


  1. ^ "Recommended Reading," F&SF, February 1950, p.106
  2. ^ "Book Review", Astounding Science Fiction, April 1950, pp.143–45


  • Chalker, Jack L.; Mark Owings (1998). The Science-Fantasy Publishers: A Bibliographic History, 1923-1998. Westminster, MD and Baltimore: Mirage Press, Ltd. p. 593. 
  • Crawford, Jr., Joseph H.; James J. Donahue; Donald M. Grant (1953). "333", A Bibliography of the Science-Fantasy Novel. Providence, RI: The Grandon Company. p. 72. OCLC 3924496. 
  • Tuck, Donald H. (1978). The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction and Fantasy. Chicago: Advent. p. 470. ISBN 0-911682-22-8.