In the fall of 1960, K.H. Scheer and Clark Darlton, two of Germany’s most popular science fiction authors, meet in Munich to launch a new project: an epic space saga that describes mankind’s journey to the stars.
A year later, the first weekly PERRY RHODAN short novel hits the newsstands—marking the start of the world's most successful science fiction series.
Enterprise Stardust narrates the journey of the rocketship STARDUST to the moon. On board are four American astronauts. Their commanding officer: Perry Rhodan.
Upon entering lunar orbit, they barely avoid a disaster. Despite severe equipment failure, the men are able to avert shipwreck in the nick of time, and they land on the lunar surface. Later, while exploring their surroundings, they make a discovery that will take mankind to new heights: an enormous extraterrestrial spaceship, measuring several hundred meters in diameter.
Perry Rhodan immediately grasps the significance of the moment. He makes contact with the Arkonides—as the aliens call themselves—and wins the trust of their leaders. With the help of the vastly superior Arkonide technology, Rhodan prevents nuclear Armageddon on Earth and unites mankind into a single nation: Terra.
The doorway to the stars is open …
... AND PRESENT
Today, PERRY RHODAN is the world’s greatest space opera, an ambitious future history of unparalleled scope with a print run of more than a billion copies to date. Since 1961, more than 2,800 short novels of 25,000 to 30,000 words each have been issued on a weekly basis in Germany alone.
Moreover, the German PERRY RHODAN hardcover edition has now reached 131 volumes in a span of 37 years. Containing between 135,000 and 145,000 words each, these hardcovers contain condensed versions of the weekly short novels.
Next to the two flagship publications, there is a wide selection of secondary products: spin-offs on the action and characters of the main series, comic books, merchandise, computer games, audiobooks, music CDs, role-playing games, fan-based products, and much more.
Successful international licenses for foreign language editions of PERRY RHODAN are already in place in several countries: The Netherlands, Czech Republic, France, Japan, and Brazil.
THE SECRET OF PERRY RHODAN’S SUCCESS
According to The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction, PERRY RHODAN’s »success … has been enormous, and not just in Germany.« The cornerstones of this achievement are serialization and familiarity.
PERRY RHODAN is a serialized epic. Just like a television soap opera, it stirs up the curiosity of the reader who wants to know what happens next. The series is divided into continuous—yet self-contained—story arcs (or »cycles« in PERRY RHODAN-speak) spanning 100 weekly installments (or 12 to 15 hardcover volumes). Quickly, the main characters turn into friends touching the hearts and minds of the fans.
This leads to the second main reason for PERRY RHODAN’s success: familiarity. The world of PERRY RHODAN becomes a second home to the reader. And one’s home evokes feelings of loyalty, in both good and bad times.