Bleunard, A

Tagged: Author

(1852-1905) French academic and author whose publishers sometimes described him as a "doctor of science". His sf novel, La Babylone électrique (1888; trans "Frank Linstow White" as Babylon Electrified: The History of an Expedition Undertaken to Restore Ancient Babylon by the Power of Electricity, and How it Resulted 1889), whose English subtitle does much to describe its contents, is an exuberant demonstration of the vaunting ambitiousness of nineteenth-century science, especially in France; its argument that Babylon could be re-industrialized, and the deserts tamed, through the use of electricity and thermo-nuclear power, reflects something of the world of Jules Verne, but is clearly more exorbitant. The book was translated by the art historian Frank Weitenkampf (1866-1962) working under a pseudonym. "Toujours plus petit" (27 May-25 November 1893 La Science Illustré; trans Brian Stableford as Ever Smaller 2011) is a very early – perhaps the first sf-like – description of a shrinking man (see Great and Small). [JC]

Albert Bleunard

born France: 1852

died 1905

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