I read this novel as a kid (so pre -1980).

What I most clearly remember is the metal that defied gravity so the characters had “airships” made out of it.

The main characters were warrior-like and the Queen or Princess got kidnapped at the beginning and ended up being befriended by giant, very dark blue aliens.

  • Hi there! That's some info already but could you please take a look at these guidelines, see if they trigger any more memories you could edit in? For instance, any recollection of the cover?
    – Jenayah
    Commented Apr 7, 2019 at 6:46
  • Was there any blue skinned aliens in 'A Princess of Mars'?...I remember green and red but it's a long time since I read the book
    – Danny Mc G
    Commented Apr 7, 2019 at 7:47
  • 1
    @DannyMcG that was my immediate thought, but I can't remember any giant, blue-skinned aliens. Also as I recall the airships use the "8th ray" (TM) not anti-gravity metal. Commented Apr 7, 2019 at 8:35
  • John Normans Gor novels have a gravity defying metal, but IIRC it was used in floating platforms rather than airships (and while the occasional princess is abducted that's probably not the bit one would remember first about the series, especially if one had read it as a kid). Commented Apr 7, 2019 at 8:44
  • 1
    Giant blue aliens & a gravity defying metal you say ~ Um.. that almost sounds like Dances with Smurfs to me? ~ have you no other details?
    – Pelinore
    Commented Apr 7, 2019 at 23:17

1 Answer 1


You may be thinking of the original Buck Rogers stories Armageddon 2419 A.D. or Airlords of Han. A version of Armageddon was published in 1978 and was readily available in book stores at the time. It contained the original Armageddon story as well as Airlords of Han.

The premise is that Anthony "Buck" Rogers is trapped in a cave in the 1920s, falls into suspended animation, and awakes 500 years later. When he wakes, he finds that "Mongolians" AKA the Han have taken over the world. Rogers meets a woman named Wilma Deering who is part of a resistance against the Han. Rogers joins the resistance and he and Deering have their adventures.

The world of Buck Rogers includes some technological advances which match your description:

  • The rebels have a metal named "inertron" which blocks all forms of energy including gravity. The effect is that inertron has negative weight and can be used to make things float.
  • The rebels wear suits with inertron inserts which allow them to jump long distances.
  • The rebels have another metal name "ultron" which I believe is extremely tough while being transparent.
  • The rebels use inertron and ultron to build armored flying vehicles.
  • The bad guys have airships which fly by use of presser beams--energy beams that can push against things. The airships are held up by pushing against the ground, and move by "walking" on the beams.

One thing that Armageddon does not have is aliens, blue-skinned or otherwise. However, following publication of the 1978 edition, Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle plotted a new series of sequels which were written by other authors:

These stories are set years later. The villians in these stories are the original Han along with an alien race named the Prl'lu. The sequels introduce a new love interest for Rogers named Princess Lu-An. It's possible you're thinking of one of these stories.

Armageddon 2419 A.D. and The Airlords of Han are available on Project Gutenberg.

  • "Suddenly there were moving figures. She focused and Rogers had his first... second glimpse of the Prl'lu. There were five Han short and slender even in black pressure suits. Behind them stalked three seven footers. The beam's resolution was poor but Rogers got an impression of large eyes with a hint of epicanthic fold, and falconlike thin Danish noses. Under transparent helmets they wore a crest of hair along an otherwise smooth skull. Their limbs were disproportionately long, and their gait totally unlike that of the Han who accompanied them." No mention of blue.
    – DavidW
    Commented Aug 25, 2020 at 22:20

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