What with the vast quantity of words spilled on Hooded Utilitarian’s fertile soil this week, I thought I’d go with an image post.

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about John Vassos’ Phobia. This post shows some of the highlights from his previous book Ultimo, a 1930 collaboration with his wife, writer Ruth Vassos. The story is a fairly typical Wells-inspired science fiction narrative about life in an underground city, after humans have been run off the surface of the planet by an encroaching ice age.

(Click on any image other than the front cover for a larger view. In captions, italics indicates a direct quote from the text.)

Front Cover (First Edition without jacket)

Frontispiece and Title

First Plate, with text

The images, with a couple of exceptions including the one shown below, don’t illustrate the facing text. They frequently don’t illustrate specific text at all but are atmospheric or supplemental.

Into the frozen earth bored the huge electric drills.

Cities like gigantic mushrooms


In the underground city

In the Caves

Possibilities of future happiness

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