The Poison Belt, by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle


Orthodox Herbertarian

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Professor Challenger series, which included the books The Lost World, this one, The Poison Belt, The Land of Mist, and two short stories, The Disintegration Machine and When the World Screamed are all very fine examples of early British SF. This one in particular was a quintessential British catastrophe yarn that sits well among the social disaster tales of Wells and the cozy catastrophes of later writers such as Wyndham and Hoyle, because it is essentially an intermediary step between the absolute destruction of Wells and the measured situations of Wyndam's work that really affected none of the characters too badly, and often in the end provided opportunities for growth and more traditional SF style transformation. Of the period's SF writers Doyle may have been one of the most accomplished stylistically, which was good for him because his skills at SF innovation were not up to par...Please click here, or on the book cover above, to be taken to the complete review..

Anthony G Williams

I was a huge fan of Arthur Conan Doyle's SFF mysteries when I was a lad four or five decades ago. Especially The Lost World, of course, but I remember The Poison Belt as if I'd read it only last month. One of the earliest global catastrophe stories!