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In the Acrtic's Icy Chasms
by Otto Emersleben

Beloved Audience, Ladies and Gentlemen! Friends of Historic Fiction - you really should read this!

The epic of geographical exploration keeps exciting the interest of a large readership. In Europe, speaking of the "race for the Pole", one usually means the struggle to the South Pole between Scott and Amundsen. The race for the North Pole has been unjustly forgotten. Still, the way it was fought and more or less decided, was certainly as dramatic.

At least during the final stage, in the first decade of this century, the situation was much more complex than "Scott finds Amundsen's tent at the Pole and dies on his way back". The controversy about specific facts and details has continued until this very day. It's because the North Pole, unlike the South Pole, is a point on drifting ice. This made the conflicting parties drift, too. In the United States, there are new books on the "Peary-Cook controversy" every year.

Robert Peary  Robert Peary

Nowadays, a majority considers Robert Peary as the "discoverer of the North Pole". But was he really one of the greatest explorers ever? Or has he just been able to fool the world, borne on the wings of American chauvinism, even during the nearly eighty years since he died? A definitive answer to the question who first reached the North Pole is not the be expected from "solid" scientific literature.

A unique challenge to fiction!

The uncertainties that lie at the bottom of the continuing controversy can, when famous contemporaries of Peary are taken into account, be stated as very human questions: questions about the truth of what is experienced and what is told. This is the theme of my travel story


In this, I search for answers to very real questions, using the means of historic fiction.
Karl May  Karl May

Karl May at the North Pole - even as its discoverer; the old master of travel fiction as the first human being at the northernmost point of the earth! This incredible story is told against a very authentic period background. And you can be there!

Like in a fairy tale, the story brings together people that would otherwise never have met. In 1904 the narrator (Karl May) and his wife Klara attend an international geography congress in the United States. May gets acquainted with the American polar explorer Robert Peary and meets a lot of other people, things rapidly take a lively turn. Peary invites May to attend the first stage of a run to the Pole. It won't come to that, yet. The attention of the narrator is soon focused on other things: there is a lot of peacemaking to do in the world, first in the Russian-Japanese War, actually on request of US President Theodore Roosevelt (after whom Peary's ship was named; links like this to the "real" history gave me the first hints how to go about this project); later on, the narrator is on his way as rescuer in the growing number of European crises. Finally, this time neither as Old Shatterhand or Kara Ben Nemsi, but as Eskimo Tulimak, he yet starts with Peary in a rush for the North Pole ...

This book has been published in 2003.
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Otto Emersleben is an independent writer. Born in Berlin, he lives and teaches at this time in Maine (USA). He was one of the first to contact me about this web site. From then on we have kept corresponding. We even met once.

For more information about Otto Emersleben, visit his website.