Futility Wreck Of The Titan

Dave Gittins

Apr 11, 2001
Names connected with the Titan

Names connected with the Titans are not always unlucky. To my knowledge there have been three ships named Titanic, including one named after the disaster. Two of them served their owners well for many years. One was a bit of a flop!

There are many tugs named Titan. They get along OK.

Sometimes the hex still works. A local toy shop called Toytanic has just closed down!
Feb 24, 2004
Hi, Dave!

I don't think

Hi, Dave!

I don't think the name is a jinx; I was thinking of the mythological implications beyond merely its "sheer size."

Another ship named "Titan" that came to a bad end was the large luxury yacht in Willis O'Brien's uncompleted film, "Creation" - which led directly to his working on the special effects of "King Kong" (1933).


Paul Donohue

I'm looking for a pub

I'm looking for a public domain copy of "Futility or the wreck of the Titan" published in the late 1890's that described the wreck of a luxury liner that hit an iceberg on its maiden voyage to New York. Some say it was edited in a 1912 reprint to fit the facts better.

The only copy I've ever seen was in the Columbia University Library. It had the second half cut out of the binding, probably due to the anti-Semitic tone of that part of it. Does anybody know where I can get a complete copy as a free download from anywhere?

[Moderator's note: This post was originally posted in a separate thread, but has been moved to the one discussing the same subject. JDT]
Sep 26, 2009
It appears this website has th

It appears this website has the whole book on-line, chapter by chapter.

http://www.titanic- titanic.com/wreck_of_the_titan_1.shtml

I am not sure who owns the rights to this book, since I believe it was reprinted at least once during the Cameron frenzy, and I think 7C's Press published a compilation reprint. Robert H. Gibbons

Dave Gittins

Apr 11, 2001
Thanks to the Gutenberg Projec

Thanks to the Gutenberg Project, I've just read Robertson's "prophetic" story Beyond the Spectrum.

This story is grossly mis-represented on many web sites. It is said to foretell aspects of WW II in the Pacific, including aircraft and nuclear weapons. This pure boloney.

The only resemblance to the Pacific war is that Japan begins attacks on US warships without a declaration of war. The rest is nothing like the real war. Here are some facts.

Japan is intent on attacking San Francisco, not Hawaii. The attack is a complete failure.

There are no aircraft and no "sun bombs".

The story is not a book. It's a short story.

The special weapon in the story is a kind of ray gun. An American inventor makes a powerful arc light, with a reflector that focuses it into a narrow beam. By the usual sci-fi mumbo jumbo, he removes all visible light from the beam, leaving only ultraviolet. This invisible beam can be shone into the eyes of a ship's crew at night, blinding them for a week or so.

The Japanese copy the invention and turn it on US warships. These struggle into port, crewed by cooks, stokers and other crew from below decks. (Why the Japanese didn't sink the ships while their crews were disabled I leave to Robertson).

The inventor goes out against the Japanese, having equipped his crew with spectacles that protect them against the weapon. The Japanese are defeated, America triumphs and Robertson gets a prize for a silly story.

This tale can be read at the Gutenberg Project, which has appended it to The Wreck of the Titan. There's also a tale called The Pirates which has some wonderfully awful dialogue.

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