The Goddess of Atvatabar
William Richard Bradshaw
(Eccentric Books, Sept. 28, 2014)
American millionaire Lexington White sails, on a ship of his own design, to find the North Pole. Instead he finds an opening to the Earth's interior which is populated by an advanced civilization. He and his crew are received as honored guests by the King of Atvatabar and take a tour of the country marveling at its technological, natural and spiritual wonders. White falls in love with Lyone, a young woman who is the incarnation of the supreme goddess of Atvatabar. Their sacrilegious relationship produces a crisis that leads to civil war. This is William R. Bradshaw's only novel and its story has strong influences of Jules Verne's "Journey to the Center of the Earth" and Rider Haggard's "She". However, Bradshaw has a wilder imagination that leads him to describe a fusion of technology and spiritualism in machines such as the "Sacred Locomotive", various ecstatic rituals, buildings and clothes of exquisite design and unusual fusions of plant and animal life, in a prose that becomes a kind of Victorian Hypnerotomachia. Richly illustrated by various artists, The Goddess of Atvatabar is a unique specimen of 19th century science fiction offering a rare glimpse to the techno-spiritual Victorian imaginary.