Zeppelin Mania: My Library

The LZ-114 completed after WW I, turned over to the French, and renamed Dixmude.

Many of you are aware of my love affair with the airship and the rigid airship in particular.

Some of you have made comments on the seeming dearth of information on the airship. Well, Virginia, I’m here to tell you that isn’t necessarily so. There’s quite a bit of material out there. One just needs to know where to look.

To that end, I thought I’d share with you today the portion of my library dedicated to books about airships. Because inquiring minds want to know! The list below is divided into non-fiction and fiction.

If you have any additions, please let me know. Questions and comments are always welcome. Until next time, happy reading!

My Airship Library


  1. Airship: The Story of R.34 – Patrick Abbott
  2. Airships: Designed for Greatness – Gregory Alegi, et.al.; concept and artwork by Max Pinucci
  3. USS Los Angeles: The Navy’s Venerable Airship and Aviation Technology – William F. Althoff
  4. Airship on a Shoestring – John Anderson
  5. Hindenburg: An Illustrated History – Rick Archbold (text) & Ken Marschall (illus.)
  6. Dr. Eckener’s Dream Machine: The Great Zeppelin and the Dawn of Air Travel – Douglas Botting
  7. The Giant Airships – Douglas Botting
  8. TransAtlantic Airships: An Illustrated History – John Christopher
  9. The Zeppelin Story – John Christopher
  10. Zeppelins of World War I – Wilbur Cross
  11. Zeppelin Hindenburg – Dan Grossman
  12. Airships in Peace and War – R. P. Hearne
  13. The Zeppelin Reader: Stories, Poems, and Songs from the Age of Airships – Robert Hedin
  14. The Log of H.M.A. R34 Journey to America and Back – E.M. Maitland
  15. Inside the Hindenburg – Mireille Major (text) & Ken Marschall (illus.)
  16. The Hindenburg – Michael M Mooney
  17. Giants in the Sky: A History of the Rigid Airship – Douglas H Robinson
  18. LZ129 Hindenburg – Douglas H. Robinson, with scale drawings by Richard Groh
  19. My Airships – Alberto Santos-Dumont
  20. Schütte-Lanz Airship Design – Prof. Johann Schütte
  21. Slide Rule – Nevil Shute
  22. The Great Dirigibles: Their Triumphs and Disasters – John Toland
  23. Airship Saga: The history of airships seen through the eyes of the men who designed, built, and flew them – Lord Ventry & Eugene M. Koleśnik
  24. Jane’s Pocket Book of Airship, ed. by Lord Ventry & Eugene Kolesnik
  25. Zeppelin: The Story of a Great Achievement – Henry Vissering
  26. Airship Aerodynamics Technical Manual – War Department
  27. “Zeppelin’s New Age of Air Travel” in Popular Mechanics, July 1994
  28. “Blimps: Billboards in the Sky” in Smithsonian, June 1998


  1. Airship Nine – Thomas H. Block
  2. With Airship and Submarine – Harry Collingwood
  3. Seize the Wind – John Gordon Davis
  4. Lester Dent’s Zeppelin Tales – Lester Dent
  5. Death on the Empress – Stuart Harper
  6. Goliath – Richard Turner
  7. Beyond the Rails – Jack Tyler
  8. Wings of Fury – R.N. Vick

My Own Novels

  1. The Moscow Affair (From the Files of Lady Dru Drummond, Bk 1)
  2. The Golden Fleece Affair (From the Files of Lady Dru Drummond, Bk 2)
  3. Take to the Sky (The Rocheport Saga, Bk 7 – forthcoming)
  4. Rand Hart and the Pajama Putsch
Share This!

The Zeppelin Tale!

I love airships! That comes as no surprise to those who know me. This past week, I picked up a copy of the book Lester Dent’s Zeppelin Tales, published by Heliograph.

Lester Dents Zeppelin Tales

The publishers have put out a marvelous book. The stories have been restored from their published version to how Dent actually wrote them. (Editors, you see, often make changes in stories that have nothing to do with improving the story and everything to do with editorial policy designed to sell more advertising, or merely the editor’s fickle whim.) There is also additional material on Dent himself.

What I discovered is in the ‘30s there was an entire subgenre known as “the Zeppelin Tale”. The Hindenburg tragedy and World War II put an end to it, but for about a decade there were Zeppelins filling the skies of the popular fiction of the day. And even in magazines such as Popular Science and Popular Mechanics.

Lester Dent, originally from Missouri, loved zeppelins and the five raucous action/adventure stories are his love-gift to us. Even his superhero, Doc Savage, had an airship. Well, until the Hindenburg crash and the jet airplane appeared. Then Doc’s fantastic airship quietly faded away, just like the hopes of those who thought the airship would one day really rule the skies.

Republication of these stories gives us a look into real dieselpunk fiction from The Machine Age itself. It’s no different than reading Victorian speculative fiction to see how they imagined the future. The fiction of the Victorian era and The Machine Age gives us steampunkers and dieselpunkers a chance to color our own fiction with the fantastically imaginative devices our fathers, grandfathers, and great-grandfathers thought were just around the corner.

My discovery of an entire subgenre devoted to the zeppelin is, well, akin to what? Winning the lottery? Being given free reign at the Cadbury chocolate factory? Being given five hundred pounds of tea, my choice, by my favorite tea shop? Maybe all of these?

The stories have definitely inspired me. I can see how original “dieselpunk” was written. How Dent took the “future” and incorporated it into a story set in NOW.

I enjoy steampunk and dieselpunk. They are exceedingly fun subgenres to read and write in. The popularity of dramas such as “Downton Abbey” demonstrates our love for the time period steampunk and dieselpunk operate in. By reading the fiction of the era, we can temper our own stories so they stay true to form and don’t stray far afield.

If you love pulp era fiction, or airships, or dieselpunk and the action/adventure story, pick up a copy of Lester Dent’s Zeppelin Tales. I got mine new from a vendor on Alibris for $10 + shipping. A lot cheaper than Amazon.

The Zeppelin story! Now if I can somehow get my modern private eye, Justinia Wright, on one of those new Zeppelin NTs…

Share This!