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Finger, Charles J

Entry updated 28 December 2020. Tagged: Author.

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(1867-1941) UK-born author, in US from 1896, author of markedly staid and manly books for boys, with the exception of The Spreading Stain: A Tale for Boys and Men With Boys' Hearts (1927), an sf Disaster tale in which floods, fire and managerial incompetence conspire to help give birth to a universal Pandemic instigated by a pesticide gone wrong (see Ecology); the protagonist (who narrates the tale) escapes to the mysterious headquarters of the Transstate Airline Company, which, after some years have passed, establishes over the Ruined Earth a Pax Aeronautica centred in Labrador, trying from there "to make the earth clean again". Had the final chapter of the book not revealed that the story of the spreading pesticidal Stain, and all that follows, was a hoax inserted by a secret second narrator, Finger's sf novel might have gained some just renown. With the removal of that last chapter, it retains some of the interest it might have compelled. [JC]

Charles Joseph Frederick Finger

born Willesden, Middlesex: 25 December 1867

died Fayetteville, Arkansas: 7 January 1941

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