Search SFE    Search EoF

  Omit cross-reference entries  

Carter, Chickering

Entry updated 23 October 2023. Tagged: Author, House name.

A House Name – it is also the name of a minor continuing character – used for the Nick Carter sequence of Dime Novels about a detective whose life and powers (non-supernatural) prefigure many of the Pulp magazine-spawned Superheroes of the twentieth century. Authors who wrote as Chickering Carter include Frederick W Davis (1858-1933) and George C Jenks (1850-1929); other suggested contributors include William Wallace Cook and Samuel C Spalding (1878-1962). The author most strongly associated with the name is Frederic Van Rensselaer Dey, who is credited with several hundred Nick Carter stories, including several sf tales (see Dime-Novel SF) for The New Nick Carter Weekly, a production which can be defined as a magazine or a series of books; we here treat these Nick Carter tales as books. There are two loose series. In the Zaidee sequence comprising The Index of Seven Stars; or, Nick Carter Finds the Hidden City (1907 chap) and An Amazonian Queen or, Nick Carter Becomes a Gladiator (1907 chap), both as by Chickering Carter, Nick discovers a Lost World occupied by a gynarchy of Norsemen up the Amazon River, and becomes involved in a love triangle between the Queen and her sister, eventually escaping with the latter. In the second sequence – the Nepal tales beginning with Facing an Unseen Terror; or, Nick Carter's Day of Blunders (1907 chap) – Carter is deposited into another Lost World also ruled by an acceptably pale queen; in this case, the lost race boasts an advanced science based on "vitic energy", a life source which is a kind of Theosophical (see Theosophy) version of vril, the similar Force featured in Lord Lytton's The Coming Race (1872).

As Carter, Dey also created in the course of writing Nick Carter the figure of Dr Quartz, who is introduced in "3,000 Miles by Freight; or, the Mystery of a Piano Box" (1891) in the Nick Carter Dime Library series, and who appears in at least 25 stories all told; a vivisectionist, sadist, organizer of criminal societies, and master of Suspended Animation, Quartz is a very early – if not the first – example in popular literature of the recurring Villain who is, in many ways, the equal of (and as interesting as) the hero. [JC]

"Chickering Carter"



Nick Carter

Highly selected; most Nick Carter stories are non-fantastic.


previous versions of this entry

This website uses cookies.  More information here. Accept Cookies