Nellie Bly

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Nellie Bly
Nellie Bly, from Martian Dreams
Species: Human
Martian Dreams
Location: 1895 Landing Site
MD Transcript: Nellie Bly

Nellie Bly (1867-1922) is a journalist and social activist in the late 19th century working for Joseph Pulitzer at the New York World. Her given name is Elizabeth Cochrane, and she adopted the pen name Nellie Bly after the song of the same name by Stephen Foster.


In Martian Dreams (1895), Nellie Bly volunteered to assist in Nikola Tesla's 1895 mission to Mars to attempt to rescue the ill-fated passengers of Percival Lowell's unintended voyage to the red planet in 1893.

Speaking with the Avatar, Bly discussed the research she had done eight years earlier for her exposé "Ten Days in a Mad-House," which delved into the inhumane and unsanitary conditions of the Women's Lunatic Asylum on Blackwell's Island. Bly had feigned mental illness in order to gain access to the facility, and had found once institutionalized that patients were subjected to gross abuse and brutality at the hands of their supposed caretakers. As a result of her experiences, she admitted an anxiety regarding psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud, who was also part of the mission to Mars, citing that he reminded her of doctors she'd encountered in the asylum. She had fewer reservations about Dr. C.L. Blood, and stated her relief that the physician was available to treat explorers. [1]

Bly kept detailed notes regarding the party's encounters and experiences on Mars. These notes were later entrusted to Dr. Johann Schleimann Spector, who returned with them to his native time (1991 AD). It was intended that they eventually be released to the public at such a time when humanity was ready to know of the reality of the Martian people.[2]


This investigative reporter for Joseph Pulitzer's "New York World" has always fascinated me. Here was a liberated, modern, career woman in an era when such were few and far between. At a time when women hardly considered careers in journalism, Nellie Bly checked herself into a New York insane asylum to report on patient abuse, went to prison to write about the treatment of inmates, and investigated crooked employment agencies that preyed upon young women. But her greatest claim to fame came in 1889 when she embarked on a round-the-world trip to beat the 80 day "record" set in Jules Verne's novel, "Around the World in Eighty Days." (She made the trip in 72 days, six hours, eleven minutes, and zero seconds.) Miss Bly journeyed to Mars to chronicle the rescue expedition's adventures for her employer (who, by the way, funded the rescue expedition in an attempt to upstage his arch-rival, William Randolph Hearst). I am happy to report that Nellie was everything I'd hoped she would be -- resourceful, brave, strong-willed, capable... all in all, a most remarkable person.


  • It is not referenced in the game, but in 1895 (the year in which Martian Dreams takes place) Nellie Bly temporarily retired from her career as a journalist, following her marriage to industrial manufacturer, Robert Seaman. She later took up the profession again, after wide-spread embezzlement forced the Ironclad Manufacturing Company, which she inherited from Seaman after his death in 1904, into bankruptcy.


  1. Nellie BlyMartian Dreams TranscriptMartian Dreams. "name, job, Blackwell, Freud, World".
  2. Miller, Beth. The Lost Notebooks of Nellie Bly. Origin Systems, Inc: 1991. Page 2.

External Links[edit]

Party Members in Martian Dreams
Companions Dr. SpectorNellie BlyLt. DibbsRichard ShermanChsheket