Varlet, Théo

Tagged: Author

(1878-1938) French poet, translator and author, active from before 1900, though only after World War One as a novelist. Tales of sf interest include Les Titans du ciel (1921) and L'agonie de la Terre (1922) both with Octave Joncquel and comprising together one novel, L'épopée martienne: L'agonie de la Terre: Roman planétaire ("omni" 1922; trans Brian Stableford as The Martian Epic 2009) with Octave Joncquel; in his valuable introduction to the text, Stableford suggests strongly that the scarred pessimism of the tale marks it as an aftermath product, a response to the apocalypse of World War One. The story begins as a kind of sequel to H G Wells's The War of the Worlds (1898), placing a second Invasion from Mars in 1978, this one successful, leaving a Post-Holocaust planet inhabited by survivors engaged in internecine carnage, a vision intensified by Apes as Human comparisons with human animals who may have suffered Devolution. The final section carries souls inwards, seeking Transcendence to the Sun.

Of his later works, Le Roc d'Or (1927; trans Brian Stableford with other stories as The Golden Rock 2012) caustically analyses what happens after an Asteroid hits the Atlantic Ocean, becoming an Island soon explored by vying powers, who discover that much of it is raw gold: which causes aa new World War. The Aurore Lescure sequence – comprising La Grande Panne (1930; trans Brian Stableford as The Xenobiotic Invasion 2011) and Autore Lescure, Pilote d'Astronef (1932; trans Brian Stableford as The Castaways of Eros 2013) – promulgates the exploration of space. In the first volume, Lescure, a female astronaut financed by Japanese investors, brings back from space an Alien plague: spores that eat electricity; in Autore Lescure, Pilote d'Astronef (1932; trans Brian Stableford as The Castaways of Eros 2013), she discovers an Alien planet where Evolution has led to the dominance of the dinosaur. [JC]

Léon Louis Théodore Varlet

born Lille, France: 12 March 1878

died Cassis, France: 6 October 1938

works (selected)

series

Aurore Lescure

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