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"The Master of the World": A Unique New Year's Eve Project



For several years, I have always taken the end-of-year hours seriously, utilizing them to set goals for the upcoming year, save for a few New Year's Eve parties. However, in recent years, I have adopted an old plan I created in 2008. The plan involved creating something in the final hours of the year's end, with 11:59 being my deadline! This year, I chose to record "The Master of the World," a lesser-known story of Jules Verne, to usher in the new year.


Inspired by the works of Jules Verne, I decided to record this novella, which follows the journey of John Strock, a government agent tasked with investigating a series of mysterious events taking place in the United States. These events involve a strange and powerful machine that is causing fear and chaos across the country, and which is being operated by an unknown individual. The story is set in the late 19th century and is one of Verne's imaginative and adventurous plots.


Jules Verne was a French novelist, poet, and playwright who is considered one of the fathers of science fiction. He was a visionary who predicted technological advancements like submarines, helicopters, and space travel, and his works have inspired countless writers and readers worldwide. Among his popular works are "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea," "Around the World in 80 Days," and “Journey to the Centre of the Earth”.


If you are unfamiliar with Verne's works, I highly recommend giving them a try. His books continue to captivate and enthral audiences today. My interest in Jules Verne began with the 1954 Walt Disney movie classic "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea," and I have been an avid reader and collector of his stories ever since. I even own six different copies of "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea," one of which is a 1910 edition!


"The Master of the World" is a story that has always fascinated me since I first saw it as a cartoon during a family holiday. The cartoon was part of a series called Famous Classic Tales.


I must have been six or seven years old, and just like watching "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea," I was captivated by the story of Agent John Strock tracking investigating a series of mysterious events taking place in the United States.


Despite my best efforts as a kid, I could never find the story to read. It wasn't until grade 8 when I stumbled upon the book in a second-hand bookstore that I finally found it. From then on, I always had the book in my school bag and read it countless times since. Even now, I still find it engaging when I read it from time to time.



For my New Year's Eve project this year, I aimed to produce some audio work that will delight and motivate younger audiences to read the original novella and develop their perspectives. I've always heard this story as a recorded recording in my imagination, as if John Strock not only wrote about his adventures but also recorded it on an old phonograph. The novella was released in 1912, and I also included some homemade sound effects but only when John Strock finally encounters the machine and its owner, Robur. These sound effects include waves, a waterfall, a speedboat, airplane, and a lightning storm. But you will only hear these sounds when John Strock is experiencing them.


I tried to give the recording a record player feel, and I also put some music to it, courtesy of Kevin McLeod with his free creative commons music. However, I'm hoping to pay for the music with an income earned from purchasing the story, which will be "Pay what you think it's worth" for at least 8 weeks before it becomes $8.50.


Listen to every chapter of our latest release for free every Wednesday, starting February 7th, on The Radioplay Hour until May. Alternatively, you can become a free subscriber and enjoy the first three chapters before deciding whether to complete the tale via the Pay What You Think Scheme or The Radioplay Hour.


If you are interested in reading the story of "The Master of the World" in its original form, you can access the PDF version on The Drama Merchant shop.


You might even want to read along as you listen!


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