Wold Newton Family

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A literary conceit or retrospective Shared World devised by Philip José Farmer as what might be called a Grand Unified Theory of numerous fictional characters, several of them Icons and/or Superheroes. The premise is that the real-world meteorite that fell near Wold Newton, Yorkshire, in December 1795 was a source of Mutant-engendering radiation. Affected women's descendants, gifted with unusual strength and Intelligence, supposedly include Doc Savage, Sherlock Holmes and Tarzan (who have their own entries in this encyclopedia), plus such further larger-than-life characters as John Buchan's Richard Hannay, Arthur Conan Doyle's Professor Challenger, Ian Fleming's James Bond, G-8 (see G-8 and His Battle Aces), H Rider Haggard's Allan Quatermain, Robert E Howard's Solomon Kane, Sax Rohmer's Fu-Manchu, Sapper's Bulldog Drummond, The Shadow, The Spider, Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe, Jules Verne's Phileas Fogg and H G Wells's Time Traveller. The Wold Newton Family lineage is detailed in Farmer's fictional biographies Tarzan Alive: A Definitive Biography of Lord Greystoke (1972) and Doc Savage: His Apocalyptic Life (1973; rev 1975). [DRL]

see also: Series.

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