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Holt-White, W

Entry updated 12 September 2022. Tagged: Author.

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(1878-1937) UK journalist, film producer – he was the Head of the Editorial Department for a UK propaganda newsreel, The War Office Official Topical Budget in 1917 and 1918 – and author in various genres, in which capacity he produced nine novels of interest. In The Earthquake: A Romance of London in 1907 (1906) a ruined London is taken in hand by an aristocratic Prime Minister; Holt-White explicitly stated that he based the tale on the San Francisco earthquake of 1906. In The Man Who Stole the Earth (1909), which begins as a Ruritanian pot-pourri of politics and romance, a love-lorn inventor (see Inventions) bombs most of Europe into submission in the course of his campaign to gain the hand of the daughter of the King of Balkania, forcing the world, en passant, into a state of peace (see Pax Aeronautica). Helen of All Time (1910) rather remarkably compresses into one volume an advanced Airship (see Transportation) and a Reincarnated Helen of Troy. The Man Who Dreamed Right (1910), though suffering from Holt-White's general tendency to overpack his tales to the point of Parody, rather movingly depicts an innocent man able to direct his lucid dreaming in order to predict the future, and who is destroyed at the hands of the world's rulers (including Teddy Roosevelt), all desperate to corner his power. The World Stood Still (1912) not entirely plausibly describes the catastrophic effect on the world when its financiers go on strike (fortunately they soon relent, and take over again); in The Woman Who Saved the World (1914), Near-Future terrorists blow up much of London. The Prime Minister's Secret (1910) and The Super-Spy (1916) contain some marginal sf elements. [JC]

Captain William Edward Bradden Holt-White

born Hanwell, Middlesex: 28 September 1878

died Eastry, Kent: 1 December 1937



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