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Bridges, T C

Entry updated 8 December 2022. Tagged: Author.

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(1868-1944) French-born author, in UK from childhood and Florida from 1886 to 1894; he also wrote as Christopher Beck, Martin Shaw (which may have been a House Name) and John N Stanton. A prolific author of boys' fiction from 1899 or earlier, including some Sexton Blake Library stories, he wrote several sf tales for the oldest segment of his audience. Of greatest interest are The Secret of the Waters (1917), a tale set Under the Sea, where young lads in a submarine encounter Monsters; Martin Crusoe: A Boy's Adventure on Wizard Island (22 March-4 October 1919 The Children's Newspaper; 1920), which takes young Martin Vaile to the eponymous Island, a relic of Atlantis; The Brigand of the Air (1920), a McGuffin-heavy chase-the-chaser tale featuring an advanced Airship with a silent engine, but so overloaded with plot twists that it evokes John Buchan's far more sophisticated use of the Lateral Fantastic (see Fantastika) in The 39 Steps (1915) and elsewhere; Men of the Mist (18 March-2 September 1922; The Children's Magazine; 1923), a Lost Race tale set in Alaska and containing creatures typical of Prehistoric SF; The People of the Chasm (1923) as by Christopher Beck, another Lost Race tale featuring giant insects (see Great and Small) and Norsemen in a clement hollow at the North Pole; The City of No Escape (December 1924-May 1925 The Crusoe; 1925), set in a Lost World inhabited – in a very early, possibly the first, use of the term in English-language fiction after the 1923 translation of Karel Čapek's R.U.R. – by Robot-like creatures; and The Death Star (1940), which is set on a depopulated Earth whose future depends on a savant's victory over a Mad Scientist who wishes to complete the destruction of the planet. [JC]

Thomas Charles Bridges

born Bagnères de Bigorre, France: 22 August 1868

died Torquay, Devon: 26 May 1944

works (selected)


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