Capped by a silver figure of Cerberus, the three-headed hound that guards the gates of Hell, an ancient glass vial contains ordinary-looking dust. Once inhaled, however, the dust exhibits extraordinary powers, transporting a trio of adventurers from the early twentieth century to the year 2118. The time-travelers emerge into Philadelphia's brutal totalitarian state, where the city hall is a temple, a statue of William Penn is worshipped as an idol, and the citizens are crushed under the religious tyranny of the Penn Service and its Superlatives.
This 1919 classic was the first alternate-world fantasy. Loaded with action and humor, the imaginative extravaganza anticipates the work of Philip K. Dick. Author Francis Stevens actually Gertrude Bennett, a pioneer of science fiction and fantasy was praised by H. P. Lovecraft as ranking among "the top grade of writers," and her dystopian political and social satire continues to captivate modern readers. "A much-sought rarity." Analog.