Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The Radiant Dome by K. H. Scheer

Title:  The Radiant Dome
Author:  K. H. Scheer
First Publication:  1961 (Germany)
Cover Artist:  Johnny Bruck
Series:  Perry Rhodan #3
Cycle:  The Third Power #3


In the previous book, Perry Rhodan and his crew established a base in the Gobi Desert.  "The Third Power" was created to bring humanity together.  As expected, the current governments did not agree with Rhodan's plan.  The Arkonide scientist Khrest activates a force field around Rhodan's spaceship/base.  The governments of the world do come together to attack Rhodan.  Rhodan's doctors work to cure Khrest of his illness.  Meanwhile, the governments send three ships with nuclear bombs to destroy the Arkonide ship on the moon.

In this book, we see the governments unleash a "shock and awe" attack on the Third Power.  Even though their weapons cannot penetrate the dome, the sound reverberates throughout the base.  The constant barrage starts to wear down the crews nerves.  Even the normally calm and cool Rhodan starts to get effected by the constant sounds.  Scheer does an excellent job of showing the psychological impact of the constant explosions.  For a short, old school pulp adventure Scheer did his homework to show what would happen to people in this situation.

Another excellent bit of characterization is the reaction of Thora (the Arkonide commander of the ship on the moon).  She cannot conceive that the barbarian Earthmen could be a threat so she leaves her ship to help Khrest on Earth.  The shock she experiences when she finds out that the barbarians plans have  worked leave her stunned.

Scheer also does a good job of showing how some of the opposing forces are realizing that Rhodan's plan for uniting humanity is the best hope they have for a future.  

This is a fun re-read of a series I loved as a teenager.


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