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Born into poverty as an illegitimate London child, Wallace left school at 12. He joined the army at 21 and was a war correspondent during the Second Boer War for Reuters and the Daily Mail. Struggling with debt, he left South Africa, returned to London and began writing thrillers to raise income, publishing books including The Four Just Men (1905).
A young man finds that his old science teacher and benefactor, Professor Colson, is in contact with another world. Planetoid 127 is one of the earliest examples of the 'twin worlds' science fiction theme, in combination with the traditional crime/thriller genre of which Edgar Wallace was an acknowledged master.