Working name of UK writer and radio producer Lancelot de Giberne Sieveking (1896-1972) on his later work, though his first books were signed Capt L de G Sieveking (he reached the rank of Captain in World War Two) or L de Giberne Sieveking. He was with the BBC 1924-1956, producing at least 200 plays by 1938 and himself adapting his own novel, A Tomb With a View (1950), a gothic thriller involving Aleister Crowley [see The Encyclopedia of Fantasy under links below]; in 1955-1956 he edited the publisher Ward Lock's Modern Novels of Science and Imagination, an sf series; his literary memoir, The Eye of the Beholder (1957), included portraits of figures of sf interest such as George Bernard Shaw and H G Wells. He began publishing sf with a Time Viewer tale, "The Prophetic Camera", for The English Review in February 1922, and his first novel Stampede! (1924) – dedicated to, illustrated by, and in its side-of-the-mouth fantasticality derivative of, his godfather G K Chesterton – featured a Thought Machine used by anarchists to convey Telepathic commands. In The Ultimate Island: A Strange Adventure (1925) Atlantis has survived in the midst of concealing fog and whirlpools, into which maelstrom ships have for centuries been lured. All Children Must Be Paid For (1929), undated though by implication set in the Near Future, is a Satire on Eugenics. His best known sf work, A Private Volcano: A Modern Novel of Science and Imagination (1955), depicts the effects of a catalyst (thrown up from a volcano) which turns all dross to gold; the tale was his contribution to Ward Lock and Company's Modern Novels of Science and Imagination, an sf series he edited in 1955-1956. After outgrowing his borrowed manners, Sieveking became a genuinely literate writer, though sometimes uneasy in his handling of genre effects. [JC]
see also: Islands.
Lancelot de Giberne Sieveking
born Harrow, Middlesex: 19 March 1896
died Foxhall, Suffolk: 6 January 1972
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