Sunday, March 6, 2016


This week I will post several warnings and concerns about the frightening, new technology of the turn of 19th to 20th century. The warnings range from the wild to the practicable. Here Tesla appears to be concerned about electricity causing water to disassociate into hydrogen and oxygen. 

San Francisco Chronicle. Saturday, June 17, 1905


Tesla Points Out the Possibility of Gases Causing an Awful Catastrophe by Explosion.

Special Dispatch to the "Chronicle."

NEW YORK, June 16.–Foulness of air in the subway has reached the stage when the fainting of women is of almost daily occurrence, and the indications are that as the summer advances will grow worse. Nicola Tesla makes a statement that indicates the poisonous character of subway air is not its most dangerous characteristic, but that it is really a violently explosive union of gases, that may at any time cause such a catastrophe as is occasionally reported from deep mines. Tesla, in his statement, says in part:

 "The danger to which I refer lies in the possibility of generating an explosive mixture by electrolytic decomposition and thermic dissociation of water through direct currents used in the operation of the cars. Such process might go on for hours and days without being noticed, and with currents of this kind it is scarcely practicable to avoid it altogether.

  "What the effect of such an explosion would be on life and property is not pleasant to contemplate. It is true such a disaster is not probable but the present electrical equipment makes it possible, and this possibility should by all mean be removed."

A Predator's Game is available for pre-order through Amazon.

A Predator's Game, available March 30, 2016, Rook's Page Publishing.

Nikola Tesla, Arthur Conan Doyle and Dr. Henry H. Holmes are all characters in my forthcoming thriller, A Predator's Game, Rook's Page Publishing, March 30, 2016.

Back page blurb of A Predator's Game (advance copy, subject to change).

Manhattan, 1896.

When the author Arthur Conan Doyle meets Nikola Tesla he finds a tall, thin genius with a photographic memory and a keen eye, and recognizes in the eccentric inventor the embodiment of his creation, Sherlock. Together, they team up to take on an "evil Holmes." Multi-murderer Dr. Henry H. Holmes has escaped execution and is unleashing a reign of terror upon the metropolis. Set in the late nineteenth century in a world of modern marvels, danger and invention, Conan Doyle and Tesla engage the madman in a deadly game of wits.

Martin Hill Ortiz, also writing under the name, Martin Hill, is the author of A Predatory Mind. Its sequel, set in 1890s Manhattan and titled A Predator's Game, will be available from Rook's Page Publishing, March 30, 2016. It features Nikola Tesla as detective.

His recent mystery, Never Kill A Friend, is available from Ransom Note Press. His epic poem, Two Mistakes, won second place in the 2015 Margaret Reid/Tom Howard Poetry Competition. He can be contacted at


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