Science Fiction from a Dusty Shelf: A Short History of the Fantastic in Slovak Literature to 1948
Translated from the Slovak by Cyril Simsa
The history of Slovak science fiction (and the Slovak fantastic genres generally) is an area which has been seriously neglected by sf scholars in the English- speaking world. While Czech sf (especially its “star” writers like Karel Čapek and Josef Nesvadba) has an extensive literature in English, to the best of my knowledge, only one specialist article on Slovak sf or fantasy has appeared in English at time of writing, with one more in press (Srpoň, “Dr Gustáv Maurícius Reuss”; Niczky and Simsa, “Slovakia”).
To some extent this is, of course, because the Slovak sf canon is much smaller than that of the Czechs, and because it has not yet produced a writer who would transcend national barriers (in the way that Lem has done in Poland or the Strugatski Brothers in the former Soviet Union). The fact that the Slovaks began to map their genre history much later than the Czechs has also probably played a role. (To this day, there is nothing in the Slovak critical literature to compare with Ondřej Neff's groundbreaking history of Czech sf, Něco je jinak , or its bibliographic supplement, Tři eseje o české sci-fi ). Besides these simple demographic facts, however, one cannot help feeling that Slovakia (as the smaller and lesser-known part of the Czecho-Slovak federation) has suffered from a tendency to be overlooked by Western scholarship. Now that Slovakia has emerged as an independent country on the map of Europe, it is perhaps time for us to start paying a little more attention.
The following article, first published in the Slovak sf anthology Krutohlav '94, and reprinted in the Czech sf magazine Ikarie (April 1995), is the work of Jozef Žarnay, who is undoubtedly the foremost authority on the early history of Slovak sf. He is also one of the most important Slovak writers currently working in the sf field. Besides his numerous articles and lectures on the history of Slovak sf, he is the author of four successful sf novels and several short stories. His most popular novel, Tajomstvo dračej stene [1973; The Mystery of the Dragon Wall], was voted the best Slovak sf novel of all time by the readers of Ikarie in 1990. —Cyril Simsa
Sometimes it may appear that using the term “science fiction” in the context of Slovak literature is quite an audacious thing to do. It is not difficult to find oneself in the kind of situation which Ondřej Neff experienced when he was starting work on his cycle of studies about Czech sf. A certain friend of his is reputed to have reacted to his plans with the words: “What, you mean there is some Czech sf?” The situation of a person who wants to discuss the history of sf in Slovakia, where there has been a great deal less of this kind of literature than in the land of Jakub Arbes and Karel Čapek1 is even worse. A sceptic would probably come right out and tell us that there is nothing to write about. I would like, in this article, to make a start at overturning this opinion, by presenting a brief overview of the history of Slovak literary fantasy.
If we are to begin at the beginning, we must first of all consider the work of Gustáv Maurícius Reuss (1818-1861), a figure who plays a similar role in Slovak literature as that played by Lucian and Swift elsewhere.2 A physician by training and a polymath by inclination, Reuss lost no opportunity to popularise the science of his day and he was, amongst other things, a kind of external contributor to the efforts of his Czech contemporaries, J. E. Purkyně and Božena Němcová.3 Amongst his many works, we find also a novel, written in 1855-1856, with the long-winded title Hviezdoveda, alebo životopis Krutohlava, čo na Zemi, okolo Mesiaca a Slnka skúsil a čo o obežniciach, vlasaticiach, pôvode a konci sveta vedel [Starscience, or the biography of Krutohlav, what he experienced on Earth, around the Moon and the Sun, and what he discovered about orbits, comets, the origin and the end of the world].4 Ten years before the publication of Verne's From the Earth to the Moon, the heroes of this story set off on a journey to our satellite, in a balloon constructed by Slovak workmen and fitted with motors that run on gunpowder. One gem from the narrative: instead of stocking up on tinned food and other forms of provisions which are common today, they take with them several kinds of sausage, cheese, pickled cabbage and wine.5 Later, there follows a journey around the Solar System, during which Krutohlav and his friends visit the planets, something which Jules Verne's Hector Servadac managed only in 1877. Taken as a whole, it seems unlikely that the book will grab the attention of those contemporary sf fans who are looking first and foremost for an action-packed story. It is, however, a true original, and if anyone ever writes a more extensive history of Slovak fantasy in the future, Hviezdoveda will have a solid place in it.
While our best efforts have so far managed to uncover only this one work from the Austro-Hungarian era, in the period from 1918 to 1948 we already find a much larger number of authors writing what we would today call sf. It is interesting that the majority of the works from this period were produced by a single publisher, Spolok sv. Vojtecha [The Association of St Vojtech], whose Plamen [Flame] imprint was to some extent oriented towards this kind of work.6 Let us begin with Alexander Vaško (dates of birth and death not known), a former gunnery officer, who was the author of at least three novels of the fantastic.
The first was Odplata [1938; The Payback], in which we find two sf elements: one is the breeding of gigantic animals (e.g. a cow the size of an elephant), and the other is a technique for the directed transmission of electrical energy through the air. In common with Vaško's other works, the story takes place in Slovakia, which is being threatened at the time of the story by a fascist Germany. It is interesting to look at Vaško's description of the political situation: Germany first of all carries out an anschluss of Hungary and then begins to threaten Czechoslovakia. The world powers adopt a waiting posture; only the Soviet Union makes an attempt at a diplomatic intervention (written before Munich!). When German aggression towards the republic is repulsed by means of the electric rays mentioned above, a United Slavic States come into existence in Europe, and they begin to develop peacetime uses for the wireless transmission of electricity. The book is evidently marked by the influence of H.G. Wells, for its major themes are reminiscent of The War in the Air and The Food of the Gods, which belong among Wells' lesser-known works in Slovakia.
Vaško's second novel, Divotvorný kameň [1940; The Magic Stone], deals with a rather different subject. Here, a young Slovak discovers a mineral which decomposes water into oxygen and hydrogen, thus enabling him to manufacture an extremely cheap form of fuel, which the author uses to solve the energy crisis of the future. The author makes no attempt to clarify the principle of the chemical process: he simply mounts pieces of the mineral into kettles and the rest takes care of itself. The reader should not feel cheated, however, because not even the director of the factory where they use the mineral to manufacture an explosive gas seems to be any the wiser. Here again foreign agents appear on the scene, trying to unveil the secret; this being 1940, though, they could no longer be Germans, and so their place is taken by the Japanese. Thus, the intermittently popular Yellow Peril also belongs amongst the novel's themes.
Vaško's three novels are completed by Slovensko na poschodiach [1940; Slovakia on the Up]. The novel again remains firmly on Earth, without the use of any cosmic backdrops; instead it reaches for a different problem of the future—how to feed an overpopulated Earth. In contrast to other works on the same topic, however—e.g. Alfred Bratt's Die Welt ohne Hunger [1916; The World Without Hunger] or Aleksandr Belyaev's “Vechnii khleb” [1928; Never-Ending Bread]7—the key role here is played not by chemistry, but by physics. A Slovak inventor succeeds in developing a technique which can set aside the opacity of the Earth, thus allowing the Sun's rays to pass through rock; this in turn creates the possibility of cultivating grain in huge underground chambers. Even if it might perhaps be more appropriately titled Slovakia Underground, this is undoubtedly Vaško's most accomplished novel, and it must be ranked among the most original examples of pre-War Slovak sf.
Another important author of the inter-War years is Peter Suchanský (1897-1979). His best-known novel, Zlaté mesto v pralesoch [1934; The Golden City in the Forest], is in essence a classic adventure yarn, but its central theme links it to the fantastic genres: it is set in and around a city of the Incas, which has survived up to the present in the Amazon rain forest. Into this tiny kingdom come not only a scientific expedition, but also a party of adventurers, and both groups become involved in a war between the rulers of the city and a caste of priests. A similar theme is also treated in the author's earlier novel Záhadná krajina [1928; The Mysterious Country], in which travellers discover a strange tribe of porcelain-white people deep in the Brazilian interior. It is Suchanský's second novel, Záhadné lietadlo [1931; The Mysterious Aeroplane], which is decidedly science-fictional. The element of fantasy this time is that favourite topic of older fantasies, a perpetual motion device. The enemies of the inventor of the incomparable aeroplane kidnap him and hold him prisoner in the Bermudas (at that time not yet threatened by the legendary Triangle), perhaps not too far from the place where Ker Karraje imprisoned another scientist, Thomas Roche, in Verne's Face au drapeau.8 After he is freed, he sets up a company for the manufacture of aeroplanes powered by the perpetual-motion motor, and there is even a classic happy ending, bringing together the main characters of the story—which, otherwise, belongs to the sub-genre of technological sf.
Spútané more [The Sea in Chains], published in 1947 under the pseudonym M.V. Mihálik, has a rather unusual status amongst older Slovak novels of the fantastic. For one thing, the identity of the author behind the pseudonym remains a mystery (it has been suggested that it could be Alexander Vaško, who fell out of political favour in the post-War years). The text itself is also a strange hybrid—part social novel, part utopia, and in part the rags-to-riches story of the vertiginous rise of a boy from a poor family. The story takes place in an unspecified post-war period, and Mihálik uses it to express his faith in the coming age of blessed peace. The attainment of this goal is aided in part by the generation of cheap electrical energy in the Mediterranean Sea, the level of which has been lowered, and the ends of which have been enclosed by dams at Gibraltar and the Dardanel.
A similar work, with a clearly anti-war message, is Sprisahanci mieru [1947; The Conspirators of Peace] by Ján Hofman Bukovinka (another unidentified pseudonym). Thanks to his discovery of a new chemical element, a Slovak engineer designs both a new aeroplane engine, and a new weapon of mass-destruction. With their help, he wants to coerce the world powers into peace, but the ending of the novel rings a quite different note—not science and technology, but religion is to become the guarantor of peace in the world. In truth, the present writer knows only two other novels of the fantastic which have a stronger religious subtext—W. Baumroth's Scandalum Crucis [early 1900s?; The Scandal of the Cross] and Robert Hugh Benson's Lord of the World (1907)—both of which were also published in Slovak by Spolok sv. Vojtecha.9
Ocel'ový lúč [1947; The Steel Ray] by Pavol Piontek (dates of birth and death again not known) is another aeronautical tale, which begins with a skiing accident and a fragment of folklore. Here again the author deals with the problem of the energy crisis, and another of our plethora of young Slovak engineers tries, in the backwaters of the Kysuca hills, to construct a heat motor which is not dependent on fuel. In his aircraft he goes on a journey around the world, and although a kamikaze tries to liquidate him above Japan, the Steel Ray makes good its escape and, after an emergency landing in the Tien Shan mountains, he successfully returns to Kysuca. Not even in this novel do we escape from reflections on the role of science and technology in an era of weapons of mass-destruction, as well as the role of religion in keeping the peace.
One of the few Slovak sf titles published in a pamphlet series other those belonging to Spolok sv. Vojtecha, is Základňa v oblakoch [1948; Cloud Base] by Samo Tokeš (dates of birth and death not known). The story is set in 2946, which is probably the most audacious journey in time ever attempted by a Slovak sf novel. The world of Tokeš's third millenium lacks any kind of political orientation; it describes the struggle of a group of scientists who, with a healthy dose of good fortune, emerge victorious against the forces of criminality. In contrast to Alexander Vaško, who was rightly afraid of overpopulation, Tokeš seems to believe that 1000 years from now there will still exist places where not merely an individual, but a whole city of evil-doers, can remain unobserved. The same author wrote one further novel (or perhaps, in view of its short length, novella), Dobyvatelia Mesiaca [1948; Conquerors of the Moon]. The story takes place in 2048, when the world is divided between two political powers, the Community of European Nations and the Bloc of Asian Countries. The main problem facing both sides is a shortage of energy, which they seek as far afield as the Moon, in the form of an element called Lunium. The novella is intended for the less demanding reader (it is not for nothing that it appeared in the pamphlet series, Naše romány),10 and being published in 1948, when the Communists were consolidating their power, it was for many years the last work of Slovak sf to see print.
A small contribution to Slovak sf was also made by the mainstream novelist, Ján Hrušovský (1892-1975).11 In 1937 he published “Neuveritel'ny prípad doktora Gallusa” [The Incredible Case of Dr Gallus] as a newspaper serial. The story describes the transfer of consciousness from one person to another, and its central character is a physician, who draws on his knowledge of ancient oriental cultures during the process. The story is, however, hard to find outside academic libraries, and the present author has never had a chance to read it.
Another writer who, like Alexander Vaško, published three books belonging to the fantastic genres was Ján Kresánek-Ladčan (1919-1990)—even though it is true that, in this case, he wrote two more. I had the exceptional good fortune to correspond with this writer about a year before his death, so I can say directly on the basis of his own letters that he started to write as a 14-year-old boy, and that his first work, “Smaragd vraždí” [The Murderous Emerald], was published as a magazine serial in Zlín, where Kresánek was working at the Bat'a factory. Unfortunately, not even one copy of this serial is known to have survived, nor has it been possible to establish a reliable date of publication (or even the title of the magazine in which it appeared!), so for the purposes of the present article we must regard his first novel as Pieseň Džinov [1944; The Song of the Djinn]. Although the novel starts with a dedication to Alexander Vaško, the story itself is more reminiscent of Suchanský's Zlaté mesto v pralesoch. Whereas Suchanský, however, dealt with the discovery of a city of living Incas on the flood plain of the Amazon, Pieseň Džinov is set in the African deserts; indeed what we have here is really a straightforward adventure yarn enriched by the addition of a mysterious city in the desert. Kresánek himself, in one of his letters, expressed the opinion that this was the most successful of his books, though with the distance of many years he evidently regarded all his works as a kind of folly of his youth.
Kresánek's second book was called Ohnivé zlato [1945; Fiery Gold], with the subtitle Lúče “Y” [Ypsilon Rays], and it is precisely these rays—a fourth variety, parallel to alpha, beta and gamma rays—which enable scientists to overturn fundamental natural laws and regulate the growth of protoplasm. At the end of 1947, Kresánek published Za nami púšt' [The Desert Behind Us], subtitled Utopistický príbeh o atómovej bombe [A Utopian Tale About the Atom Bomb], his third novel for Spolok sv. Vojtecha. The story takes place after the Second World War, but in a markedly changed world. The leading role in this world is played by three superpowers—a unified America, the United States of Europe, and a unidentified Asian state. After Hiroshima and Nagasaki, nuclear weapons have become a reality, but when the secret of atomic weapons is seized by Asia (again, the old idea of the Yellow Peril), America and Asia launch a crippling attack on one another. Because the clash of their two air forces occurs above the Arctic, the accompanying nuclear explosions have the effect of melting part of the Northern polar ice cap. The real sword of Damocles hanging over the heads of humanity, however, is the possibility that an Asian attack on the Americans' undersea atomic base could set off a chain reaction in the waters of the oceans. Inevitable destruction is eventually averted only by the discovery of a substance which neutralises the effects of nuclear weapons.
It is a great shame that, after his fifth novel was turned down by his publisher (due to political conditions in 1948), Kresánek-Ladčan gave up on his writing completely. In my opinion he still had the potential to make a significant contribution to Slovak science fiction.
While the above works probably represent the peak of the Slovak contribution to the fantastic genres before Communism, one of the most curious of the earlier contributions is Slováci v stratosfére [1936; Slovaks in the Stratosphere] by Samuel Dežo Turčan (a pseudonym which perhaps disguises the hands of several authors, since the booklet was published by a certain “Society of Laughing Philosophers” [Spolok smejúcich sa filozofov]). This highly peculiar little work begins with the expedition of a Slovak stratospheric balloon, the crew of which finds itself (they know not how) on Mars; in other words, this is one of the very few works under consideration which belongs to the sub-genre of cosmic fantasies. The Martians greet the travellers in hearty Slovak, after which it emerges that they are the descendants of the ancient inhabitants of the Earth, who fled to Mars before a global cataclysm (rather like the Atlanteans in Alexei Tolstoy's Russian classic, Aelita).12 The Martians are on such a high technical level that, with the help of a super-telescope, they are able to read even the daily press in the hands of Earth's inhabitants, as a result of which they have mastered all Terrestrial languages. Their number-one problem is women: they have so few of them that there are waiting lists for access, and most men only ever get to see a woman on the screens of their televisions. The Slovaks discover, however, that in another region of Mars, separated from the one in which they have landed by extremely tall mountains, the land is full of women. Just at that moment, a starship from the constellation of the Big Dipper arrives, 35 km long and 5 km wide (which is a respectable size even by the standards of today's sf). The Bigdipperans are masters of genetic engineering and it turns out that the women from beyond the mountains are being bred by them as so-called Universal Eves, whom they intend to use, with the addition of the necessary Adam, to settle distant worlds. At the end of the story, the Earthlings get a ride home on board the Bigdipperan starship, setting down in the small village of Vel'ká Lúka, not far from Banská Bystrica in central Slovakia.
A final title from among the older examples of Slovak sf is Profesor Šiltao [Professor Šiltao] by Václav Chlumecký (1861-1944), published in 1924 by the Slovak Press Committee of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia [Slovenský tlačový výbor KSČ], of which Chlumecký was then chairman.13 The novel begins more or less in the same locality where Slováci v strastosfére ends. Indeed, the opening passages read almost like a continuation of Slováci: whereas Turčan's story finishes with the landing of a group of travellers in the vicinity of Banská Bystrica, Chlumecký's novel begins in much the same way and in much the same place. Chlumecký's travellers, though, are rather different from Turčan's. (Lest there be any confusion, let me just add that Profesor Šiltao predates the origin of Slováci v stratosfére by more than ten years).
The spaceship, whose landing sets off the start of Chlumecký's novel, brings with it a delegation from the planet Siva, led by the eponymous Professor Šiltao. The early part of the novel is taken up with scenes depicting the classic techniques for establishing first contact with extraterrestrials (the foundations of mathematics, etc.). Later, however, local politicians begin to demand a copy of the plans of the giant cosmic sphere which is overshadowing so much of the valley of the river Hron. After a diplomatic rift, the ship takes off and leaves Slovakia. There follow episodes over Hungary (where it comes under fire from Admiral Horthy's artillery and retaliates by demolishing Buda castle) and above Prague (where the Sivanians are shocked by the television broadcast of an opera from the National Theatre, a world where people apparently only sing). After a visit to Moscow, Professor Šiltao's expedition sets off on their journey home, and the rest of the book is a Utopian description of the Sivan's classless society. The final chapter, “Zjednotené svety” [United Worlds], is a vision of the future of the Earth, cooperating with Mars, Siva and other regions of the Universe.
With Profesor Šiltao we must conclude our attempt at a survey of the fantastic genres in Slovak literature before the rise of Communism. As we have seen, the early history of Slovak sf contains works of many different types—from light-weight genre adventures published in pamphlet format, to Utopias and attempts at serious novels about science and technology; often we find a combination of more than one of these. I should point out that this entire essay discusses only those books which have become known to the circle of Slovak sf collectors; it is quite possible that there are many other similar works which have remained anonymous to this day, and are lying on the dusty shelves of someone's loft, waiting to be discovered.
However, when someone asks us whether there is any sf in Slovakia, now at least we can reply in the same way that we reply, when someone asks us whether there are any Slovak mountains: “Yes, they're little—but they're ours!”
1. Jakub Arbes (1840-1914), although curiously neglected by recent generations of literary scholarship, is without a doubt one of the most important Czech fantasists of the 19th Century. His short novels of mystery and imagination, whilst clearly indebted to Poe, transcend their source, not only in their highly distinctive, elliptical narrative structure, but also in their very specific and evocative descriptions of historic Prague. He is long overdue for rediscovery. Karel Čapek perhaps needs no introduction.
2. For a more detailed discussion of Reuss in English, see Srpoň, “Dr Gustáv Maurícius Reuss”.
3. Jan Evangelist Purkyně (1787-1869): Czech naturalist and philosopher (active, for example, in 19th-century attempts to found a Czech Academy of Sciences), who also translated Schiller and Goethe into Czech and wrote critical studies of the Slavic literatures. Božena Němcová (1820-1862): one of the most notable Czech women writers of the 19th century, a prolific collector of Czech folktales, and author of the first major novel in the Czech language (Babička [1855; Grandmother]).
4. It should be noted that, although written in 1855-56, the novel was not actually published in the course of Reuss's lifetime, but eventually appeared in 1984 after the manuscript was discovered in the archives of Matica Slovenská (a Slovak cultural organisation based in Martin, Central Slovakia). See Srpoň for further details.
5. In other words, a traditional Slovak diet.
6. Spolok sv. Vojtecha was actually an extremely unlikely seedbed for the origins of the Slovak sf genre: it was founded in 1870 as a Catholic publishing house, specialising in the production of religious tracts, Catholic annuals and textbooks. After 1918, it diversified its activities to include popular fiction in pamphlet format (usually with a religious subtext). The Plamen imprint, which was to prove so important for the propagation of both Slovak sf and foreign sf in Slovak translation, was one of the products of this diversification.
Pamphlet series like the Plamen imprint have a long tradition in Central Europe, filling a niche somewhere between the paperback novel and the pulp magazine of Anglo-American tradition. Although published in a numbered series and distributed almost exclusively on news-stands like a magazine, each issue contains a complete novel or novella typeset in magazine format, sometimes with a few short stories or articles thrown in at the end to make up the page count. The most famous example of the pamphlet series in modern sf is perhaps the German PERRY RHODAN, which always seemed rather anomalous in its American paperback edition, but makes perfect sense in the Central European pamphlet format—a cheap, disposable magazine for reading on the tram.
Despite all the changes that have overtaken Central European markets since 1989, pamphlet series continue to be an important outlet for genre writers, and often play a significant role in developing local talent. Even major writers who have access to book publishers (like Ondřej Neff in the Czech Republic) have continued to publish some of their work in this format.
7. Alfred Bratt (1891-1918): German writer and editor whose premature death prevented him from publishing more than this one novel. The Belyaev novella under discussion was first published in his collection Bor'ba v Efire [1928; The Struggle in the Air], but has been reshuffled into a number of different volumes in later editions of his works.
8. This relatively obscure novel by Verne, first published in 1896, is largely forgotten in the English-speaking world. The Czech translation, however, has proved very durable and was even the basis of Karel Zeman's celebrated live action/animated film, Vynález zkázy (1958). The novel itself was translated into English as For the Flag (aka Facing the Flag) in 1897.
9. Baumroth's novel was published in Czech as Scandalum Crucis: Pohoršení kříže (Brtnice: Josef Birnbaum, early 1900s[?]). I have not been able to trace any information about the original source from which it was translated, or about its author.
10. The imprint specialised in light-weight adventure stories, rather like the contemporary Czech pamphlet imprint Rodokaps.
11. Perhaps best known for his historical novel about the celebrated 18th-century Slovak brigand, Juraj Jánošík (published under the title Jánošík in 1933).
12. Tolstoy's novel has been through at least two different versions in Russian (1924 and 1937), and has been translated into English more than once. All English-language editions have appeared under the title Aelita.
13. Perhaps because of its Communist credentials, it is the only Slovak sf novel of the interwar years which was afforded a reissue in Communist Czechoslovakia: it is included in Janko Kosák v nebi a iné prózy [Janko Kosák in Heaven and Other Prose Works], a retrospective collection of Chlumecký's writing, assembled by Štefan Drug in 1978. The volume also includes an informative, if rather tendentious, afterword about the author and his works (Drug, “Doslov”).
WORKS CITED: CRITICAL WORKS
Drug, Štefan. “Doslov.” Janko Kosák v nebi a iné prózy. By Václav Chlumecký, q.v., 203-13.
Neff, Ondřej. Něco je jinak. Komentáře k české literární fantastice. Praha: Albatros, 1981. 275 pp., 16 plates.
Neff, Ondřej. Tři eseje o české sci-fi. Praha: Československý spisovatel, 1985. 95 pp.
Niczky, Egon, and Cyril Simsa. “Slovakia.” The Encyclopedia of Fantasy. Ed. John Clute and Paul Barnett. Forthcoming.
Srpoň, Vlado. “Dr Gustáv Maurícius Reuss: the First Slovak Literary Fantasist”, Foundation 63:81-84, Spring 1995.
Žarnay, Jozef. “Science fiction zo zaprášenej police alebo slovenská literárna fantastika do roku 1948”. Krutohlav '94. Zborník sci-fi poviedok slovenských autorov, finalistov IV. ročníka literárnej sút'aže “Cena Gustáva Reussa” za rok 1994. Bratislava: Vydavatel'stvo Igor Dráb, 1995, 105-111. Reprinted in Ikarie (Praha), 6:48-49. April 1995. The Slovak original from which the present text has been translated.
WORKS OF FICTION BY SLOVAK AUTHORS DISCUSSED IN THE TEXT
Bukovinka, Ján Hofman. Sprisahanci mieru. Trnava: Spolok sv. Vojtecha, 1947. 233 pp.
Chlumecký, Václav. Janko Kosák v nebi a iné prózy. Edited, with an afterword, by Štefan Drug. Bratislava: Tatran, 1978. 219 pp. Retrospective collection, including Profesor Šiltao.
─────. Profesor Šiltao. Bratislava: Slovenský tlačový výbor KSČ, 1924. 156 pp.
Hrušovský, Ján. “Neuveritel'ný prípad doktora Gallusa.” Newspaper serial in Slovenský denník, from 1 June 1937. Never reprinted in book form.
Kresánek-Ladčan, Ján. Ohnivé zlato. Trnava: Spolok sv. Vojtecha, 1945.
─────. Pieseň Džinov. Trnava: Spolok sv. Vojtecha, 1944. 231 pp.
─────. “Smaragd vrazdí.” Serialised in an unknown magazine in Zlín, ca. 1935. No surviving copies known at time of writing.
─────. ... za nami púšt'. Utopický príbeh o atómovej bombe. Trnava: Spolok sv. Vojtecha, 1947. 238 pp.
Mihálik, M.V. Spútané more. Trnava: Spolok sv. Vojtecha, 1947. 216 pp.
Piontek, Pavol. Ocel'ový lúč. Trnava: Spolok sv. Vojtecha, 1947.
Reuss, Gustáv Maurícius. Hviezdoveda, alebo životopis Krutohlava, čo na Zemi, okolo Mesiaca a Slnka skúsil a čo o obežniciach, vlasaticiach, pôvode a konci sveta vedel. Translated into modern Slovak and edited by Viera Urbancová. Bratislava: Tatran, 1984. 344 pp. First edition from a manuscript dated 1856.
Suchanský, Peter. Záhadná krajina. Trnava: G. A. Bažo, 1928. 174 pp.
─────. Záhadné lietadlo. Bratislava: Bibliotheka, . 144 pp.
─────. Zlaté mesto v pralesoch. Bratislava: Učitel'ské nakladatel'stvo slovenské (UNAS), . 222 pp.
Tokeš, Samo. Dobyvatelia Mesiaca. Bratislava: Naše romány, 1948.
─────. Základňa v oblakoch. Bratislava: Naše romány, 1948.
Turčan, Samuel Dežo. Slováci v stratosfére. Bratislava: Nakladatel'stvo smejúcich sa filozofov, 1936. 192 pp.
Vaško, Alexander. Divotvorný kameň. Trnava: Spolok sv. Vojtecha, 1940. 96 pp.
─────. Odplata. Trnava: Spolok sv. Vojtecha, 1938. 106 pp.
─────. Slovensko na poschodiach. Trnava: Spolok sv. Vojtecha, 1940. 126 pp.