Sunday, August 12, 2012


By George Allan England

If George Allan England were around today, he might find himself in the same boat as Salman Rushdie, Theo van Gogh, and the editor of the Jyllands Posten. Some sensitive folks might take offense at a story about a plan to loot Mecca of its holiest treasures. 

The Flying Legion is about a WWI ace, known only as “The Master”, he is bored by peace so he gathers a group of fellow soldiers of fortune, steals the worlds most advanced airship, and takes of to find a lost city deep in the Arabian peninsula. Along the way super-science weapons are deployed and a mysterious masked airman shakes things up. Things don’t go quite as planned, which makes it all the livelier.

I must make a few observations here. The Master is not a likeable character. Despite his reluctance to shed blood, he is still an outlaw and a rather stiff one at that. Frankly I found myself sympathizing with the Meccans as the Flying Legion descends on the holiest city of Islam. Not that I can say for certain that England didn’t intend those effects. At times he almost seems to be satirizing the conventions of pulp fiction more than playing to them.

First penned in 1919, The Flying Legion is out of print, however electronic versions are available from Project Gutenberg and other online sources.

-Dave Hardy

No comments: