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Two pilots crash their plane in the Brazilian jungle, becoming the prisoner of an English explorer who is ruling by fear the superstitious unknown race who inhabit the city. The fabulous city, protected by scientific means, had given rise to the legend of El Dorado. These people had been created centuries earlier by Venusian scientists to tend the city and their many scientific machines whilst they placed themselves in suspended animation, embarking on a mental exploration of the cosmos. The Venusians had been obliged to relocate to Earth when their home planet was devastated by a plague. Then the Sleepers awake and the action switches to Venus, where they attempt to repopulate it.
John Russell Fearn (1908-1960)John Francis Russell Fearn was born in Worsley, near Manchester, on 5th June, 1908. As a child he devoured imaginative fiction, beginning to write SF at the age of ten - in imitation of Wells and Verne - on a typewriter he was given for his birthday. Extremely prolific, Fearn used many pseudonyms. During the 1930s he wrote for magazines, including the US Pulp magazines, but during the Second World War he switched to books, becoming a central figure in the post-war paperback boom. He wrote numerous westerns, crime stories and romances as well as SF, most of which appeared under the names Vargo Statten and Volsted Gridban (the latter pseudonym being taken over from E. C. Tubb).
Altogether Fearn published 18 stories in the pre-war Astounding, and went on to write more than 100 other stories in all the leading American pulp magazines through to 1948. The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction notes that 'his best work is vigorous and occasionally vivid' and the influential British SF agent and editor, John Carnell, paid this tribute: 'Fearn was one of the Greats of the earlier ages, and his name should be there with Hugo Gernsback, John W. Campbell, Stanley G. Weinbaum, Murray Leinster, and all the others whose thoughts and works form ulated today's modern science fiction.'