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The British sent expeditions to Venus as early as 1873, using Armstrong Ęther Flyers, but the first expedition to return from the cloud-shrouded planet was the German-backed Heideleberg expedition of 1879-80. They discovered the few survivors from the earlier expeditions who had been marooned when the unique magnetic field of Venus caused the liftwood of their flyers to decay within days of their landing. Without the liftwood, they were stranded on the surface. The Germans, who did not have as much access to liftwood as the British, had used hydrogen dirigibles for their ęther flyers, and they were unaffected by the decay effect. Germany has dominated the exploitation and exploration of Venus ever since, though the British, Italians, and Russians have also established colonies, and Americans traders travel all over the planet.

Venus is a hothouse world of shallow oceans, steaming tropical jungles, bogs, swamps, marshes, perpetual overcast, and heavy rainfall. The dense jungles of the Venusian lowlands produce numerous plants for which there is a great demand on Earth by chemists, dyemakers, pharmaceutical companies, and florists (the Cytherian Orchid is especially valued for its beauty and its hauntingly subtle fragrance). The lowlands are also home to hundreds of varieties of giant reptilian creatures, called dinosaurs, and to the savage Lizardmen. Humans find the lowlands almost unbearable and tend to stick to the the few highland plateaus, where life is more tolerable and the sun can occasionally be glimpsed through the overcast.

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Space:1889 is Frank Chadwick's registered trademark for his game of Victorian Era space-faring. He has granted permission for the use of the background of Space:1889 for the stories presented here. All text, illustrations, photographs and design are © 2000-2007 Dan Thompson, except where otherwise noted.