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Fawcett, Edgar

Entry updated 12 September 2022. Tagged: Author.

(1847-1904) US author, known primarily for his work outside the sf field. Most of his 40 or so novels belong to the realist school associated with his contemporary William Dean Howells, but (like Howells) Fawcett also wrote fantastic works. He provided a manifesto for a species of fiction which he called "realistic romance", which is very similar to some Definitions of SF: "Stories where the astonishing and peculiar are blent with the possible and accountable. They may be as wonderful as you will, but they must not touch on the mere flimsiness of miracle. They can be excessively improbable, but their improbability must be based upon scientific fact, and not upon fantastic, emotional and purely imaginative groundwork." This statement is from the introduction to The Ghost of Guy Thyrle: A Realistic Romance (21 March 1895 Peter Fenelon Collier's Once-a-Week Semi-Monthly Library; 1895), a novel whose hero discovers a Drug which separates his soul from his body and must undertake a voyage into the further reaches of the cosmos when his uninhabited body is cremated. Earlier and more modest works in the same vein are Douglas Duane: A Romance (April 1887 Lippincott's Monthly Review; 1887), an Identity-Exchange story; Solarion: A Romance (September 1889 Lippincott's Monthly Review; 1889), a novel about a dog with artificially augmented intelligence (see Uplift); and The Romance of Two Brothers (1891), which features a problematic elixir of life. The New Nero: A Realistic Romance (1893), a study in abnormal Psychology concerning a man who believes himself to be a mass murderer, is of borderline interest. Some of Fawcett's Poetry is also relevant, most notably "In the Year Ten Thousand" (February 1890 The Arena; in Songs of Doubt and Dream, coll 1891). An early supernatural story of some note is "He, She and It" (April 1871 Lippincott's Magazine). Fawcett copyrighted about twenty unpublished manuscripts, some of which appear to have been sf. [BS]

see also: Cosmology; Evolution; Moon; Religion.

Edgar Fawcett

born New York: 26 May 1847

died London: 2 May 1904


about the author

  • Brian M Stableford. "The Realistic Romances of Edgar Fawcett" (February 1982 Foundation #24) [pp23-48: mag/]


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