The Heads of Cerberus (1919) is a science fiction novel by Francis Stevens. Originally serialized in The Thrill Book, a popular pulp magazine, The Heads of Cerberus was recognized as "perhaps the first science fiction fantasy to use the alternate time-track, or parallel worlds, idea" by anthologist and critic Groff Conklin. Noted for its satirical tone and dystopian themes, The Head of Cerberus remains central to Stevens' reputation as a pioneering author of fantasy and science fiction. In 1918, three friends from Philadelphia discover a strange powdery substance. Before they can find out what it is or where it came from, they are transported to the year 2118. Somehow, the city has come under complete totalitarian control, forcing the vast majority of its poor citizens to live in constant fear of death and imprisonment. Names have been replaced by identification numbers and annual contests run by the ruthless overseer leave families torn apart by violence and death. With her eye on the present, writing at a time of war and increasing political division, Stevens tells a story about a future both strange and all too familiar, warning her readers about the dangers of unchecked power through the guise of fantasy and adventure. With a beautifully designed cover and professionally typeset manuscript, this edition of Francis Stevens' The Heads of Cerberus is a classic work of American science fiction reimagined for modern readers.
From the Back Cover
In 1918, three friends from Philadelphia discover a strange powder that transports them to the year 2118. The city of their youth is no longer recognizable: forced to wear identification tags, subjected to annual fights to the death, the citizens of Philadelphia have come under the control of a shadowy regime. The Heads of Cerberus is a novel by Francis Stevens.