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Didelot, Francis

Entry updated 13 September 2022. Tagged: Author.

Working name of Madagascar-born French author and screenwriter Roger-Francis Didelot (1902-1985), who wrote numerous detective novels, some as by José Bernard. He began to publish work of sf interest with La Machine à prédire la mort ["The Death Prediction Machine"] (October 1938-January 1939 Ric et Rac; 1939) with Charles Robert-Dumas (1875-1946), whose titular Machine can accurately foretell the time of death (see Precognition) of anyone who submits to its presumably electronic scanning; melodrama ensues. This anticipated Robert A Heinlein's better-known use of the trope in "Life-Line" (August 1939 Astounding). The novel was filmed as Le Monde Tremblera (1939; vt The World Will Shake; vt The World Will Tremble; vt La Révolt des Vivants).

Other sf works by Didelot alone are Marée jaune ["Yellow Sea"] (1954), a tale of future police investigation (see Crime and Punishment) set in the huge federation of "Eurafrique"; and "Traduit du martien" ["Translated from Martian"], the latter published only in Italian as "Tradotto dal marziano" (4 July 1957 Urania #155), billed as a complete novel in a single issue of the magazine. [DRL]

Roger-Francis Didelot

born Tamatave, French Madagascar: 21 December 1902

died Saint-Cloud, France: 26 June 1985

works (highly selected)

  • La Machine à prédire la mort ["The Death Prediction Machine"] (Paris: Librairie Arthème Fayard, 1939) with Charles Robert-Dumas [first published October 1938-January 1939 Ric et Rac: binding unknown/]
  • Marée jaune ["Yellow Sea"] (Paris: Éditions Métal, 1954) [in the publisher's Série 2.000 series: hb/GAM]


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