(1889-1924) US author (born Homer Eon Flindt) whose first work was as a screenwriter in 1912, with a script for "The Joke That Spread" (there is no evidence the film was made; at least seven more scripts were sold), and whose work appeared mainly in the Frank A Munsey magazines from the teens of the century. His first sf story was "The Planeteer" (9 March 1918 All-Story Weekly); it deals with sexual rivalry and personal ambition in an anti-Bellamistic (see Edward Bellamy) society. Its sequel, "King of Conserve Island" (12 October 1918 All-Story Weekly), describes the corruption and collapse of a socialist society on Jupiter under the propaganda attacks of a reactionary, capitalist society – a good world wins through in the end.
The Dr Kinney stories examine the implications of various political ideas: "The Lord of Death" (10 May 1919 All-Story Weekly) describes the ultimate Spencerian survival of the fittest on Mercury; "The Queen of Life" (16 August 1919 All-Story Weekly) is based on the opposite point of view, preservation of life for its own sake and Malthusianism on a Venus characterized by superscience; "The Devolutionist" (23 July 1921 Argosy) covers the ambivalences of an efficient, more or less benevolent dictatorship and a bumblingly anarchistic or democratic underground; and the final story, "The Emancipatrix" (3 September 1921 Argosy), contrasts a hive world and primitive humans on a ring-shaped planet in another solar system. In the last two stories, the alien contact takes place by means of an apparatus acquired from Venus, which permits Kinney to communicate via a kind of Telepathy with his various hosts. The series was much later assembled as The Devolutionist and The Emancipatrix (23 July, 3 September 1921 Argosy; coll of linked stories 1965) and The Lord of Death and The Queen of Life (stories 10 May, 16 August 1919 All-Story Weekly; coll of linked stories 1965) Flint's writing style and Pulp-magazine habits did not always adequately express his deep interest in the emergence of behavioural and historical patterns from various political and social philosophies, but the Dr Kinney stories, which show more than mere flashes of his intellectual potential, are his real legacy.
Flint is remembered in part for the mystery of his death (having driven into the country near Oakland, California with a known criminal, he was later found dead in his crashed car) and rather more for his sf novel, The Blind Spot (14 May-18 June 1921 Argosy; 1951) with Austin Hall (whom see for details of this work, and for his solo sequel). [EFB/JC]
see also: Fantastic Novels; History of SF; Parallel Worlds; Planetary Romance.
Homer Eon Flint
born Oregon: September 1889
died near Sunol, California: 27 March 1924
- The Blind Spot (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Prime Press, 1951) with Austin Hall [Blind Spot: hb/Hannes Bok]
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