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Brown, John Young

Entry updated 11 August 2018. Tagged: Author.

(1858-1921) US educator and author, almost certainly the son of Kentucky politician John Young Brown (1835-1902) and the father and grandfather of later Kentucky politicians who bore the same name, one of whom was governor of the state (1979-1983). The protagonist of his sf novel, To the Moon and Back in Ninety Days: A Thrilling Narrative of Blended Science and Adventure (1922), hitches a ride on a spaceship powered by Antigravity device to the Moon. The discovery of Selenites there turns out to be a hoax but the trip was real. The posthumous publication of the tale was arranged by residents of the small city of Providence, Kentucky, where Brown had been a popular teacher; he had indeed written his novel partly for educational purposes. In The Science-Fantasy Publishers: A Critical and Biographical History (1991), Jack L Chalker and Mark Owings suggest that the novel may have been partially inspired by the magazine version of Hugo Gernsback's Ralph 124C41+ (April 1911-March 1912 Modern Electrics); they further argue that Lunar Publishing Co, the company created to publish To the Moon and Back, is the first genre imprint in the twentieth century (see Small Presses and Limited Editions). [JC]

John Young Brown

born Elizabethtown, Kentucky: 1858

died Providence, Kentucky: 1921



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