Planetoid 127February 26, 2013
Here, have some super weird, left field Edgar Wallace. Planetoid 127 is short, a little bit terrible, and sort of like what might happen if Edgar Wallace were writing Tom Swift.
Tim Lensman is Tom Swift, only more stupid. Chap West is Ned Newton, only…well, a lot more stupid. Elsie West is Mary Nestor, only smarter. The three of them are punting down a river somewhere, and stop to call on Tim and Chap’s science teacher, Professor Colson, who fairly obviously has a way of predicting the future, and is using it to get rich on the stock market. Tim doesn’t see that that’s what’s happening, because he’s not that bright, but a financier named Hildreth does, and is determined to discover the secret of Colson’s success…or kill him trying (as I would write if I was creating a blurb for the back of a book).
He does kill him, and then Tim inherits all of Colson’s stuff. And then, I dunno, stuff happens. When you get to the point where Colson dies, everything else is set up, and it’s not strictly necessary to read the rest. I mean, I did read the rest, obviously, and it was fine. I was entertained, if frustrated by Tim’s general idiocy.
So, here’s a thing: Colson tells Tim, shortly before he dies, that his secret notebook explaining everything is hidden in “the obvious place” and that he’s not a very good stonemason. After Colson is killed, Tim goes looking in fireplaces and stuff. It’s only when he looks out of his window in the middle of the night and sees someone knocking over Colson’s obelisk covered in code that it occurs to him that it might make a good hiding place. Fortunately, Wallace follows this up with a motorcycle chase.
It’s entertaining. I didn’t want to stop reading. But…come on, Edgar Wallace. This thing is ridiculous.