Tumithak of the Corridors by Charles R. Tanner

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“Tumithak of the Corridors” is a 1932 science fiction novella by Charles R. Tanner. It is about a man in a far future Earth who dares to confront the aliens that have taken over the planet.

Non-Spoiler Summary

Tunnel by Dushan Hanuska, CC 2.0 license

As a young man living far beneath the surface of the Earth, Tumithak discovers an ancient book which tells how the Shelks came to occupy our planet. It also gives Tumithak hope and courage that they can one day be defeated. Many years later he decides to make the long journey to the surface and kill a Shelk – just to prove to others that it can be done. Thus begins the adventure of a lifetime as Tumithak journeys through cities both friendly and hostile, is met by light-blind creatures who have trained animals to help them capture prey, enters a fabulous hall of fat men who worship the aliens, and finally discovers the surface of Earth as well as his fear of open spaces! If he succeeds in his quest then untold fame will be his, but if he fails… well then he’ll just be dinner for the Shelks!

My Two Cents

  • Story: 4 stars – This was an interesting and unique story, and kept my interest nicely the whole way through.
  • Writing: 3 stars – Keep in mind that it was written almost 80 years ago! Still, it is hard not to notice the old language used to tell the story.
  • Fun Factor: 4 stars – I loved the underground tunnels – and the aliens from Venus! This was a good, old-fashioned adventure story.
  • If you enjoyed this story be sure to check out “The Valley of Spiders” by H.G. Wells – about three men who discover a barren valley full of creepy crawlies!

Where To Get Tumithak of the Corridors

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2 thoughts to “Tumithak of the Corridors by Charles R. Tanner”

  1. A great story for its era (pre-Golden Age), and one that’s still fun to read. The author does a wonderful job of world building: most other authors in that era would have started with the Shelk’s invasion of the earth; Tumithak starts 2,000 years later, and gradually fills the reader in on who rules the earth and why humans hide underground.

  2. @Dr. Caligari:

    Yeah, that is a good point about how the author starts 2,000 years later. That is more common in modern lit, but really was something new in 1932!

    This was a great story – I really enjoyed it!

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