From Neil Gaiman and Ray Bradbury all the way through Herman Melville and the best literature of all: comic books.

Mr.Graham Smith, a toast to new beginnings

To celebrate our magazine's launch, our staff is pleased to present you with a free audiobook: 'Mr. Graham Smith, The Most Remarkable Man Who Ever Was'

When I first read about Verne’s enigmatic Prince Dakkar, I could not stop thinking about what could have happened in the life of this man, son of no other than the Raja of Bundelkhand and descendant of the sultan himself, that pushed him to leave a life of comfort and wealth for which the vast majority of men would kill, in pursuit of becoming the Captain of the Nautilus, and, ultimately, a pirate.

Thanks to modern comic books and their film adaptations we are now more than aware of the trails and tribulations that can turn regular men into becoming masked vigilantes. But little has been said about what are the circumstances in which the regular men of the classical fiction are urged to set sail for adventure.

After all, it is not hard to understand why young Edward Malone joined Professor Challenger’s expedition into the unknown, is it? But what moved the Professor into embarking himself into such a strange journey in the first place? What possessed him to become so obsessed with that “Lost world”?

Let’s take “The Traveler” from “The Time Machine”, for instance. We know little about him, only that he was an inventor. While that is more than enough to enjoy of the story, we really have no clue of what happened in the life of this man that droved him into the madness of building a machine capable of traveling through time!

We know Professor Lidenbrock as a renewed geologist and mineralogist, but what was the event that made him into Lidenbrock, the adventurer? Why wasn’t that explained in “Journey to the Center of the Earth”? It is as important as the character adventure, perhaps even more important! Would it be that Wells, Verne and all the other masters thought that, at the time, their audiences wouldn’t understand?

I don’t blame them. It is quite easy to figure out what cursed Captain Ahab into chasing the White Whale. But to comprehend why Nemo changed his fortune for a life as a pirate, or why Dr. Moreau, a well-positioned man with a respectable career in the sciences, ended up yelling “Lazarus, rise!” from his Mysterious Island… well, luckily, we have fiction to help us answer the hard questions.

That is why to celebrate this new Free Bundle, we present you with another surprise: a free audiobook! In this short story, published some years ago by Silverthought Press and narrated here by Roger Watson, we will explore the brief moment in which a regular man blossoms into an adventurer.

Mr. Graham Smith doesn’t know it yet, but he’s about to become, the most remarkable man who ever was.