Commentary, Nathaniel Cannon and the Lost City of Pitu No. 1

Okay. I’m far too excited about this to say much coherently, but I’ll give it a go anyway. First: I owe a debt of gratitude to my friend and collaborator John Brimlow, who has many stories of his own to tell in this shared universe, and without whose enthusiasm for zeppelins, airplanes, and their intersection I doubt this project would have ever seen the light of day.

Second: I am in love with this universe. Seriously. What’s not to like? Not only is it cool, it’s also far and away the best-realized universe I’ve been involved in to date. It’s chock-full of little details I can mention offhand to lend authenticity to the world.

For a pulp genre piece, it’s also well-researched (because this sort of history is like catnip for me). I have a directory full of scanned maps of regions that will be of interest in this story from the 1920s and 1930s. I obtained a pair of 1930-edition atlases from AbeBooks. In fact, let me quote to you from one of them:

Celebes. This is an island of the most picturesque and unique scenery, with an estimated area of 72,679 square miles. Primeval forests, netted with almost invisible paths, mantle the surface. A large part of the island has never been explored by white men. The climate is tempered by the surrounding sea, and the heat is seldom oppressive. Timber, rice, sago, and sorghum are the chief products. The natives excel in athletic sports. Their religion is a mixture of Mohammedanism and superstition.

I particularly like the sentence about primeval forests. I’m not nearly that good at description. I suppose the fact that an atlas writer from 1930 is far and away better than I am says something unflattering about me, but I guess he was a professional.

Anyway, before I start to ramble, I’ll close by saying I hope you enjoy the reading as much as I have the writing.

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