Serviss, editor of Collier's Popular Science Library and author of texts on astronomy, conceives of the solar system largely as a series of sites for colonization: the diamonds of the Moon and the gold of a large Martian-occupied asteroid need to be seized and secured for American use. Once the initial engagement with the defences of Mars is played out, the text abandons mechanical display for a melodrama plot that - as with the boy-inventor tales - concerns race. The decadent Martian emperors are soothed by the music of a captured human woman; it transpires she is a descendant of ancient Aryans, used for centuries by Martians as slave labour. The nubile Aryan beauty is rescued and avenged by the American warrior throwback, Colonel Smith. Their final embrace allows Serviss to conclude the book: 'And thus was united, for all future time, the first stem of the Aryan race, which had been long lost, but not destroyed, with the latest offspring of that great family' (186). Edison and indeed the Mars setting are almost abandoned in these closing chapters. Yet it is the vehicle of American technical prowess that constitutes the ground on which the great fantasy of reunification of the white race - as propounded in the 1890s by imperialists like Cecil Rhodes - takes place under American not British command. (pp. 57-58).
Umm....wow. I mean, I knew just how the Zeitgeist was during that time from several courses at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, but to read once again something that would seem at home with the wild fantasies of Alfred Rosenberg is something else. And if anyone wants to read the entire thing, it's on Project Gutenberg. Enjoy?