Antique Abductions

John N Raphael, Up Above: The Story of the Sky Folk: The 1912 Novel of Alien Abduction and Experimentation. Edited by Strand Pearson. Strand Pearson. (April 2017.)

Up Above: The Story of the Sky Folk by John N Raphael is an exciting example of early science fiction, first published in 1912 and never since reprinted. The novel tells of attacks on Edwardian Londoners and the rustic inhabitants of a Surrey village by invisible beings perched high above the Earth. As well as people, the mysterious ‘Sky Folk’ snatch up livestock, trees, inanimate objects and, most bizarrely, a gorilla from a travelling menagerie. Even the British Prime Minister falls victim to their collecting mania. Only the keen intellect and intuition of the Doctor Who-like Professor Tellurin seems to offer any hope of salvation from the Sky Folk’s predations. The book is probably the first in the English language to explore the themes of alien abduction and experimentation by extraterrestrials on humans. It is full of dramatic incidents and throughout maintains an eerie atmosphere in which sudden drops in temperature and weird creaking sounds warn of an impending attack by the mysterious 'Sky Folk'. Up Above is long overdue a return to print.