Futility Wreck Of The Titan

Fiona Nitschke

Fiona Nitschke

Member
Smith and Alicia,

Rather th


Smith and Alicia,

Rather than lock the duplicate thread, I've moved your posts into the existing discussion - and I thought you'd be interested in it too.
Happy


Apart from Alicia's suggestion of Spignesi's book there are cheap paperback editions of Robertson's book available. Also, as Mark posted above, the complete text is available online at http//www.msu.edu/~daggy/cop/effluvia/twott.htm. This is the amended 1912 version of the text, slightly changed to bring Titan's specifications and circumstances more into line with Titanic than was the case in the 1898 version.

The full text of Robertson's novella is reproduced in Martin Gardner's Wreck of the Titanic Foretold?. Gardener, a skeptic, examines Titan's story (1912 and 1898) against the Titanic disaster. For an opinion on this book, you could do a lot worse than see Michael Tennaro's review: http://www.titanicbooksite.com/author%20pages/gardnermartin.html. George Behe's Titanic Psychic Forewarnings of a Tragedy also examines Futility and has conclusions similar to those of Gardner. A few years ago, Parks Stephenson wrote up an excellent point by point examination of the novella against the facts of the disaster, but a quick skim hasn't found it yet.

Another thread you might find interesting is in the archive: Morgan Robertson was dirt poor.

Cheers,
Fiona
 
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Cara Ginter

Member
Honestly, I read this book, an

Honestly, I read this book, and unless I read a messed up version, I can see nearly no similarities to the ship in the book and of Titanic.
Unless I misread the text (which was all together possible!), the main character lived on an iceberg or ice shelf for a while, with a child, and was attacked by a polar bear. Seems to me that it varies just a tiny bit from the story of the Titanic.
Just my opinion,
Cara
 
Michael H. Standart

Michael H. Standart

Member
>>Honestly, I read thi

>>Honestly, I read this book, and unless I read a messed up version, <<

I don't think you read a messed up anything and I don't think you misread the text. A lot has been made of how precient "Futility" was, but even in the edited post-Titanic version, it doesn't have much resemblance to the real disaster beyond the collision with the iceberg and the loss of the vessel.
 
Paul Rogers

Paul Rogers

Member
"..it doesn't have

"..it doesn't have much resemblance to the real disaster beyond the collision with the iceberg and the loss of the vessel."

Mike is spot on in relation to the disaster itself. However there were similarities between the two ships; as well as the name, of course. Alicia Windsor noted these similarities above, on 25th March 2003. These - and the similar name - were what got people talking.
 
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monica e. hall

Member
Poor Mr.Robertson, not that he

Poor Mr.Robertson, not that he sounds particularly nice, but that's not the point. He lived and wrote 120+ years ago, and had no idea his potboiler would be so vindicated by subsequent history. He, at least, had some foresight, but I don't think we can criticise him for either his failure to get it 100% right, or for his (to us, lamentable)prejudices.

Philosophically, I reckon this thread belongs in Spooky.
 
Michael H. Standart

Michael H. Standart

Member
>>He, at least, had so

>>He, at least, had some foresight, but I don't think we can criticise him for either his failure to get it 100% right, or for his (to us, lamentable)prejudices.<<

I agree. The criticism, in my opinion, goes to those who read far more into the story then was actually there.
 
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Matthew Newman

Member
Sorry if this has been asked a

Sorry if this has been asked already, but was Mr. Robertson even alive to see the actual Titanic's sinking? If so, did he have anything to say on the subject afterward?
 
Michael H. Standart

Michael H. Standart

Member
According to This Wikpedia Article Mr. Robertson died on March 24, 1915. I don't know that he had much if anything to say on it, though I suppose "I toldja so" is not outside the realm of possibility.
 
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Roy Kristiansen

Member
>>He lived and wrote 1

>>He lived and wrote 120+ years ago, and had no idea his potboiler would be so vindicated by subsequent history.

I'm not sure where the "120+ years" figure comes from. Robertson's dates are 1861-1915 and he wrote the first version of "Futility" in 1898.

Robertson sailed on the Great Lakes and was aware of the trends toward bigness - in shipbuilding and everything else. He wasn't the only one to have thoughts on this. There was a very vocal "anti-bigness" faction that compared bigness-for-its-own-sake to elephantiasis! And what's the virtue in that, they asked. Robertson concocted a ship at the outsized extreme of any trend he could reasonably imagine and then wrecked it on an iceberg. But there was plenty of literature where icebergs figured disastrously into tales of sea voyages.

Death by iceberg was on many people's minds when they set out to cross the Atlantic. Today, planes sometimes crash and space flights sometimes go horribly wrong and people embark on those with full knowledge that they might not be coming back. If Robertson were alive today, he might be writing "Airport"-style books, or something like Apollo 13. Or even something on the Discovery Channel's Extreme Engineering proposals. The fact that, sooner or later, one of these projects is bound to fail spectacularly doesn't require much prescience, or pre-vision.

Even a little research into the mythological Titans will show how Robertson got his ship's name so right and how the White Star Line got it so wrong. The WSL can only be said to have chosen the proper name for Titanic in view of what ultimately happened to it, although that was never in their plans.

I put Robertson down as a product of his time who just happened to get lucky with one or two of his books. Nothing supernatural is involved, really.

Roy
 
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Roy Kristiansen

Member
Of course, supernatural specul

Of course, supernatural speculation is more fun!
'-)

Roy
 
Dave Gittins

Dave Gittins

Member
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!
 
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Roy Kristiansen

Member
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).
:)

Roy
 
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Paul Donohue

Guest
Hi!
I'm looking for a pub


Hi!
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?
Thanks,
Paul

[Moderator's note: This post was originally posted in a separate thread, but has been moved to the one discussing the same subject. JDT]
 
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Robert H. Gibbons

Member
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

Dave Gittins

Member
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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