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Atkey, Bertram

Entry updated 12 September 2022. Tagged: Author.

(1879-1952) UK author of many magazine stories, mostly crime fiction – his Smiler Bunn thief-as-hero stories were popular in the 1920s – plus some supernatural and sf tales. His first publication of direct sf interest seems to be "The Strange Case of Alan Moraine" (September 1912 Grand Magazine), whose title character, a noted sportsman, flies an experimental aeroplane (incorporating much new Technology) in hope of setting a high-altitude record; he is abducted by flying discs (see UFOs) from the extrasolar planet Syrax, whose queen has fallen in love with him via interstellar viewer. This romance does not end well; Moraine returns suffering from a Poison that is transforming him into metal. Atkey's work for The Red Magazine and The Blue Book Magazine (both of which see) includes The Escapes of Mr. Honey: An Entertainment Comprising the Curious Adventures of an English Author in the Gulfs of the Bygone (stories 1916, 1930; coll of linked stories 1944), playing with Reincarnation and Timeslip themes as Hobart Honey uses a special Drug to project his mind into the past and recapture the adventures of his former lives, usually to comic effect.

Atkey's apparently unpublished story "The Hidden Fire" was the basis for the silent film The Secret Kingdom (1925; vt Beyond the Veil 1929) directed by Sinclair Hill, in which a mind-reading Machine (see Psionics) reveals what people are really thinking, to the predictable dismay of its owner. [DRL]

see also: Intelligence.

Bertram Atkey

born Downton, Wiltshire: 25 December 1879

died Hampshire: 12 June 1952

works (selected)


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