Search SFE    Search EoF

  Omit cross-reference entries  

Forester, C S

Entry updated 16 January 2023. Tagged: Author.

Icon made by Freepik from


Pseudonym – which he sometimes wrote out in full as Cecil Scott Forester – of Egyptian-born UK author Cecil Louis Troughton Smith (1899-1966), mostly in the USA from the mid-1940s. He is very much better known for his work outside the sf field, which includes The African Queen (1935) and the twelve Horatio Hornblower naval-adventure books, mostly set during the Napoleonic Wars with the total period covered being 1794-1823: the first published though not the first by internal chronology is The Happy Return (1937; vt Beat to Quarters). Captain Hornblower himself, sensitive, acute, strategy-minded, self-doubting, ruthless only when necessary, is an underlier figure for many sf and fantasy commanders (see Hornblower in Space) – conspicuously excluding Captain Kirk of Star Trek (1966-1969), but certainly influencing the modelling of Captain Picard of Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987-1994); a particularly good late example is David Feintuch's Nick Seafort.

Forester wrote several sf stories, including "Modernity and Maternity" (in The Bedchamber Mystery, With Which is Included the Story of the Eleven Deckchairs and Modernity and Maternity, coll 1944 chap), which describes a hi-tech Utopian Britain; "The Wandering Gentile" (in The Nightmare, coll 1954), which envisions Adolf Hitler, who has survived World War Two, as doomed to spend eternity as a kind of Wandering Jew; and the substantial Hitler-Wins novella, "If Hitler Had Invaded England" (16-30 April 1960 Saturday Evening Post), which was posthumously collected in Gold from Crete (coll 1971). He also published one sf novel, The Peacemaker (1934), about a pacifist mathematician and schoolteacher who tries to force peace on the world through his Invention of a magnetic disruptor that stops machinery. He fails, after his wife has betrayed him to a vengeful mob, at whose hands he dies. [JC/DRL]

see also: Crime and Punishment.

Cecil Louis Troughton Smith

born Cairo, Egypt: 27 August 1899

died Fullerton, California: 2 April 1966

works (highly selected)


previous versions of this entry

This website uses cookies.  More information here. Accept Cookies