Is there a hollow earth/subterranean worlds story that doesn’t feature some sort of natural light source to stave off the dark?
Morgo the Mighty takes place in a series of massive caverns located beneath the Himalayas. Each cavern is lit by a different degree and spectrum of light. The deeper one goes into the caves the brighter the light becomes. The explanation of where the light comes from is a bit ridiculous but probably no more so than the idea of a series of massive caves, teeming with life, located beneath the Himalayas.
If I ever do manage to do a rewritten and illustrated version of the story I plan to have the light originate from a different source than in the original novel. That source will probably be no less ridiculous than the source in the original.
Morgo the Mighty takes place in Surrilana, a vast cavern – series of caverns actually – beneath the Himalayas. Our protagonist, Jerry McRory, is hired to fly a plane through the mouth of a cave in the side of one of the mountains. While McRory believes that his employers claims of a great treasure are nonsense he never stops to ask what seems like a more obvious question – “Where I going to land this plane in a cave?”
What’s a pulp novel without a villain?
Zorimi, the archfiend of Morgo the Mighty, works hard to earn his keep.
He wears a cowl to hide his identity. The fact that he’s in a cavern, far away from any of the civilized folk who might recognize him, is of no consequence.
He has an army of scaled men at his command. That’s scaled, as in “scaly” like a lizard or snake. In the novel they are referred to as Silurians but it’s unclear if they are actually reptiles or if they are a species of humans with reptilian features.
He has a thing in a pit to which he sacrifices victims.
He keeps a collection of severed heads.
He has a nubile young virgin locked away in his fortress.
He’s tailor made to act as the villain in a movie serial. Given that the author, “Sean O’Larkin” had a play made into a film, perhaps Zorimi was auditioning for such a role.
In Morgo the Mighty, the Surrilana caverns get brighter the deeper the one goes. In the brightest cavern the light is bright white and the flora and the fauna is white as well. Hopefully I managed to depict that.
Back in 2012 I serialized Morgo the Mighty, a pulp adventure set in an vast cavern system beneath the Himalayas. Someday I’d like to adapt the story into an illustrated novel. In the meantime, here’s Jerry McRory, our hero and narrator, attempting to avoid being eaten by one of the fauna of Surrilana.
I’ve created a Morgo the Mighty page here at Skookworks. It includes all the Popular Magazine covers, the interior art, and downloads of the complete novel in both a Word doc and a PDF version.
Over at the Oz-Squad.com site, Lizzie the Girl Knight has six chapters available for your reading pleasure.
The Little Matchgirl – A Dangerous Run – The Killing – A Princess – and a Strange Coincidence
The Kites – The Storm – The Dragon – An Unexpected Trip – The Forest at Desert’s Edge
A New World – The Orchard – The Dwarves – The Strange Door – and a Terrifying Predicament
Shutting the Door – Queen Lang Li – A Hurried Departure – The Golden Bricked Road – Stalked by a Monster
The Long Walk – A More Dangerous Path – Another Door – Lang Li’s Veranda – Peril!
Tom and Patches Worry -Battling the Skutters – A Make-Shift Raft – The Whirlpool – The Head in the Bag
So what did I learn from retyping Morgo the Mighty?
Number one: I wouldn’t have written the same sentences that Mr. O’Larkin did. I had to keep myself from changing the syntax of his writing. His sentences were just differently constructed than felt comfortable to me.
Number two: The synopses I’d read about this serial were mostly wrong. I didn’t have a problem with that. There are plenty of underground worlds populated by prehistoric animals. Another one wasn’t needed.
I’ve got plans for Derro, Morgo and Nurri Kala but I’ve got to clear my decks of other projects before I can devote any real attention to them. Hopefully sooner, rather than later, you’ll see them again.
I tried finding information about this serial’s author but came up light. The internet is filled with information but only the stuff that’s important to people who are alive and online now. Any further research I do will probably have to be done the old fashioned way, at a library or a records office. “Sean O’Larkin” was a pseudonym for John F. Larkin Jr. He seems to have written fiction for the pulps and scripts for plays. I don’t know when he was born or when (if) he died.
Sean O’Larkin Bibliography
* The Arson Mob, (na) The Popular Magazine Jun #2 1930
* The Devil’s Widow, (sl) The Popular Magazine Aug #1, Aug #2, Sep
#1, Sep #2 1929
* Exit Laughing, (ss) Cosmopolitan Jan 1931
* Flaming Ice, (na) The Popular Magazine Dec #2 1930
* A Hollywood Murder Mystery, (ss) The Popular Magazine Mar 1931
* The Jade Blade, (na) The Popular Magazine Oct #2 1929
* Morgo the Mighty, (n.) The Popular Magazine Aug #2, Sep #1, Sep #2 1930
* Morgo the Mighty, (sl) The Popular Magazine Oct #1 1930
* On the Spot, (ss) The Popular Magazine Feb #2 1930
God Save the Queen! a farce in 3 acts
Sean O’Larkin pseudonym of John F. Larkin Jr.
copyright Aug 21, 1930
Society Girl [SG]. Film.
Dirs. George King and Sidney Lanfield. Adapt. Charles Beahan.
Dialogue Elmer Harris. Featuring Spencer Tracy, Peggy Shannon and
Production History: Fox Film. Released June 1932.
Source: Based on the play Society Girl by John F. Larkin, Jr., (aka
Sean O’Larkin) and Charles Beahan.