Dyalhis, Nictzin

Tagged: Author

(1873-1942) US chemist whose debut story was the nonfantastic "Who Keep the Desert Law" (20 October 1922 Adventure); he began to publish work of Pulp sf interest with "When the Green Star Waned" (April 1925 Weird Tales), an early and not particularly well-written Space Opera in which the humanoid inhabitants of Venhez (Venus) discover that Aerth or Earth (the Green Star) has suffered an Invasion of ravening amoeboid Monsters deployed by mind-controlling Lunarions from the dark side of the Moon. Eventually the Lunarions are destroyed by the combined forces of Venhez, Mharz (Mars) and Jopitar (Jupiter). This tale seems to have introduced the sf Weapon known as a Blaster (here spelt "blastor"), also referred to by Dyalhis as a Disintegrator. Together with its sequel "The Oath of Hul Jok" (September 1928 Weird Tales), "When the Green Star Waned" had considerable influence on later writers of space opera.

Dyalhis's output was sparse – thirteen stories 1922-1940, mostly occult fantasy for Weird Tales – but in his day he had an oddly high reputation among readers. Nine stories including the above-cited pair of space operas are assembled as The Sapphire Goddess: The Fantasies of Nictzin Dyalhis (coll 2018), titled for his best-known fantasy "The Sapphire Goddess" (February 1934 Weird Tales). The life of this strangely named and unforthcoming author has been researched in some detail by Steve Holland [see under links below]. [DRL]

see also: Rays.

Nictzin Wilstone Dyalhis

born Massachusetts: 4 June 1873

died Salisbury, Maryland: 8 May 1942

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