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Breuer, Miles J

Entry updated 26 April 2021. Tagged: Author.

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(1889-1945) US physician and author of Czech origin who studied in Austin, Texas and Chicago, Illinois, served in the US Medical Corps in World War One, and spent the majority of his life as a medical doctor in Nebraska. He began publishing work of genre interest with "The Adventures of the Bronze Mahadeva" for 10 Story Book in 1909, an early Pulp magazine. In the following two decades he published at least a dozen short stories, half of them sf. His early English-language stories were published in various largely forgotten, often non-literary, periodicals. Simultaneously, under the Czech version of his name, Miloslav J Breuer, he published a dozen short stories, the majority of them genre, in important Czech-language US periodicals, such as Amerikán ["American"], Duch času ["Spirit of the Times"] and Bratrský Věstník ["Fraternal Herald"]. "Muž se zvláštní hlavou" (1926 Amerikán; trans by author as "The Man with the Strange Head" January 1927 Amazing), featuring the first of several physician protagonists, began his short but intense involvement with SF Magazines.

Between this point and the early 1930s, he published two dozen notable stories in a short time span, with fewer than ten stories in the last decade of his life. His solo work was not collected in book form until 2008 (see below), which for many years made it relatively difficult to find such stories as "The Appendix and the Spectacles" (December 1928 Amazing), "The Gostak and the Doshes" (March 1930 Amazing) – though both were later anthologized – and "Paradise and Iron" (Summer 1930 Amazing Stories Quarterly), a novel which strikes an early (for US Genre SF) warning note about the perils of the Utopian technological fix; an earlier, shorter version had been published in 1926 in the nonfiction bimonthly Social Science as "The Superior Race". His only work to have reached book form during his lifetime is The Girl from Mars (1929 chap) with Jack Williamson, the first volume Hugo Gernsback's Science Fiction Series of stories and novellas; a posthumous book appearance is The Birth of a New Republic (Winter 1931 Amazing Stories Quarterly; 1981 chap), also with Williamson, on whom Breuer had a formative influence. The first of these is best remembered as being also the first book published by Williamson in his extremely long career (see Longevity in Writers); the slightly later novel is a political melodrama in which the working residents of the Moon rebel against Earth. A further collaboration of interest was "A Baby on Neptune" (December 1929 Amazing) with Clare Winger Harris.

An intelligent though somewhat crude author, Breuer was particularly strong in his articulation of fresh ideas as demonstrated in The Man with the Strange Head and Other Early Science Fiction Stories (coll 2008), which assembles most of his English-language solo work of interest. [JC/JO]

see also: Amazing Stories; Automation; Colonization of Other Worlds; Computers; Dimensions; Dystopias; Future War; History in SF; Leisure; Mathematics; Medicine; Politics.

Miles John Breuer

born Chicago, Illinois: 3 January 1889

died Los Angeles, California: 14 October 1945

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