Caine, William

Tagged: Author

(1873-1923) UK author, almost invariably of spoofish light fiction and plays. Of greatest sf interest is The Confectioners (1906) with John Fairbairn, set in a UK transformed by the near-future Invention of a substance capable of taking any shape and function, and by the unrest this substance causes when an unscrupulous industrial magnate tries to corner its use. The narrative is conveyed with lame wit and nonsense – Caine is a poor third behind G K Chesterton and Hilaire Belloc in the art of confectionary Satire. Both E F Bleiler and George Locke speculate that Fairbairn did not in fact exist. The weak elements of Arabian fantasy in Bildad the Quill-Driver (1916) are made tolerable by the illustrations of H M Bateman (1887-1970); The Brave Little Tailor; or, Seven at One Blow [for full subtitle see Checklist] (1923) with George Calderon gains some narrative sinew from its collaborator. [JC]

William Caine

born Liverpool, England: 28 August 1873

died near Ostend, Belgium: 1 September 1923

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