Covers by Georgia Rucker. Page last updated July 12, 2018

The Hollow Earth
Return to the Hollow Earth
Notes on Return to the Hollow Earth
by Rudy Rucker

Two Steampunk  SF Novels & a Book of Notes.
Coming from Transreal Books in August, 2018!

* The Hollow Earth, 3rd Ed. Hardback, Paperback.
* Return to The Hollow Earth, Hardback, Paperback.
* The Hollow Earth & Return to the Hollow Earth (Omnibus Volume)
       Paperback, Ebook.
* Notes for Return to the Hollow Earth. Hardback.

Page Contents
Summary of the Hollow Earth Novels
Notes on Return to the Hollow Earth
Blurbs & Reviews
Backstory & Video

Summary of the Hollow Earth Novels

Suppose Earth is hollow, like a tennis ball. And you're weightless in there! The wondrous Hollow Earth holds jungles, seas, native tribes, flying pigs, killer nautiluses, giant ants, and live flying saucers. Godlike sea cucumbers at the Hollow Earth's core illuminate the great spherical space with branching rays of pink light.

Over twenty years ago I wrote a steampunk novel called The Hollow Earth. And now I'm publishing Return to the Hollow Earth. It will appear in ebook, paperback, and hardback formats.  And I'll issue a new, third edition of the earlier novel as well.  The backer rewards at all levels will include ebook or print editions of The Hollow Earth and Return to the Hollow Earth.  The higher-level rewards will also include an ebook or hardback of my book-length Notes for Return to the Hollow Earth.

In The Hollow Earth, we meet our narrator Mason Reynolds, a seventeen-year-old youth from 1850. He leaves his father's Virginia farm with the black Otha, befriends the dissolute Edgar Allan Poe, and falls through a thousand-mile-deep hole in Antarctica. Within the Hollow Earth Mason woos and wins Seela, who lives upon a giant flower. 

At the core of the Hollow Earth they find the sky-surfing tribe known as the black gods. Nearby are a cluster of great sea cucumbers, who are known as the woomo. Otha stays at the core.  Mason, Seela, and Poe make their way out through the crust and back to Earth. Due to their time in the strong light of the woomo, their skins are now black. At the end it seems as if Poe dies. This third edition of The Hollow Earth is lightly revised so as to fit with the sequel.

 Return to the Hollow Earth is once again in the steampunk mode, with young Mason as our narrator. In 1850, Mason and Seela embark upon a perilous trip around Cape Horn to San Francisco. Their ship sinks, but they're saved by a tentacled, flying nautilus—and now they learn that Poe’s not dead after all. Poe leads them on a return voyage to the Hollow Earth, passing through the throat of a thousand-mile-deep maelstrom at the North Pole. In the Hollow Earth, they learn that the woomo sea cucumbers mean to send them them on a epic mission across space and time. And the initial stage of this mission brings them to Santa Cruz, California---in the year 2018!

You can browse a webpage version of The Hollow Earth, 2nd Ed. Note that the 2nd edition does not fit as smoothly with Return to the Hollow Earth as does the new 3rd edition of The Hollow Earth.

Notes on Return to the Hollow Earth

Notes for Return to the Hollow Earth is the length of a novel, and includes about 40 illos, many in color, plus my writing notes over the year it took to write Return to the Hollow Earth. I'll print a limited edition of twenty-five color-illustrated hardbacks of the the Notes. I'll also print a black-and-white paperback edition, and maybe distribute an ebook version as well. And I have an online webpage version of Notes for Return to the Hollow Earth right here for you to browse, with color illos and working links.


Shown below are some of my Hollow-Earth-related paintings that are discussed and reproduced in the Notes.


The drawing below is a map of the Hollow Earth, taken from the editor's note at the end of The Hollow Earth, 2nd Ed.

Reynolds Drawing of Hollow Earth


And here's three covers that appeared on the first of the two novels, The Hollow Earth.

av The Hollow Earth The Hollow Earth

Morrow/Avon cover by Romas. Monkeybrain Books cover by John Picacio. Transreal Books cover by Rudy Rucker.

1st Edition, Hardback & Paperback, Avon Books, 1990. Out of print.
2nd Edition, Paperback, Monkeybrain Books, 2006. Out of print.
2nd Edition, Ebook, Transreal Books, 2013. Out of print.

Blurbs & Reviews for The Hollow Earth

Rucker never wants for new inventions... Irresistible.
     — Washington Post Book World.

Jam-packed with Rucker’s dada-gaga, aurora-borealism, and gargantuan playfulness.  Rucker is one of my all-time favorite writers.  He warms the cockles of my heart and fires up the little gray cells.
     — Philip Jose Farmer.

Terrific... A thrilling-wonder sci-fi novel...  Rucker’s Poe is the most endearingly repulsive character I can recall having met in fiction.
     — Fantasy & Science Fiction.

Edgar Allan Poe would have loved this book — and so will you!
     —  Robert Bloch, author of Psycho.

A craftily conceived adventure story, full of wonder, beauty and humor ... Goofily outlandish ... The Hollow Earth is a treat.
     — San Francisco Chronicle.

I never doubted that Mr. Rucker knew the way, and I never lost interest in the plucky young Mason and the redoubtable if reprehensible Eddie Poe, who encounters in real life every one of the nightmares he has so memorably to paper.
     —  The New York Times Book Review.

It’s more fun than anything I’ve read in I don’t know how long, and it’s certainly the reigning king of the ‘hollow Earth’ novels.  Rucker has an enviable imagination, an astonishing ear for language, and a rare sense of proportion and humor.  I wish books like this would come along more often.
     — James P. Blaylock, author of The Digging Leviathan.

Rudy has written the Great American Science Fiction Novel.
     — Marc Laidlaw, author of Kalifornia.

Backstory & Video

For the backstory on how I wrote my two Hollow Earth novels, see my blog post, "Writing Return to the Hollow Earth"

And here's a promo video about the Hollow Earth novels. I made it for a Kickstarter fundraiser for the books in May, 2018.