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Harben, Will N

Entry updated 12 September 2022. Tagged: Author.

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(1858-1919) US author, most of whose work variously depicts life in the South, though at least three are detective novels featuring the sleuth Minard Hendricks. In the Year Ten Thousand (November 1892 Arena; 1917 chap) is a Utopian tale whose ancient narrator describes life in 2320, after vegetarianism fixes the Homo sapiens body, and 4051, after Telepathy fixes our souls; Immortality is eventually achieved. His sf novel, The Land of the Changing Sun (1894), is a Lost-World tale featuring an Underground society named Alpha, which the author seems to have conceived of as a Utopia; founded 200 years earlier under the Arctic – in caverns, however, not inside a Hollow Earth – by a group of inventive Englishmen, it is lit and heated by an artificial sun, which moves on tracks and changes colour pleasingly. A cruel Eugenic regime causes the exiling of any person deemed defective. Intruding magma threatens this world, and its inhabitants decide to evacuate Alpha in advanced submarines. The Divine Event (1920) is fantasy. [JC]

see also: History of SF.

William Nathaniel Harben

born Dalton, Georgia: 5 July 1858

died New York: 7 August 1919



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