By Otis Adelbert Kline
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It was encouraging. Last September, Grosset & Dunlap reprinted the book in the popular edition. In a bulletin to their salesmen they recently reported that, despite the fact that they had not made any special effort to push it, and that it was a first novel, it was enjoying a continuous and persistent resale--something unusual for a first novel. They suggested that their salesmen remember this item when calling on the trade. This, also, was encouraging. Since then, Argosy has serialized and McClurg has published in book form two more novels -- Maza of the Moon and The Prince of Peril, the latter a companion story to The Planet of Peril.
I accordingly recopied my pencil-marked version, and sent it on. Good old Bob Davis, dean of American editors, held it so long I had some hope: that he was going to buy it. But it came back, eventually, with a long, friendly letter asking to see more of my work. I later learned that he had just bought the first of Ralph Milne Farley's famous radio stories, the scene of which was on the planet Venus, and whose settings, therefore, were somewhat similar to mine. After that, I spent enough money on express and postage to buy a good overcoat, sending the story around the country, and out of it.
He told me of the nebulae, which might be giant universes in the making, and that beyond the known limits of our own universe it was possible that there were countless others, stretching on into infinity. My childish imagination had been fired by these things, and I had read voraciously such books on the subject of astronomy as were available in my father's well-stocked library. He supplemented and encouraged this reading by many interesting discussions, in which a favorite subject for speculation was the possibility that planets, other than our own, were inhabited.