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Horler, Sydney

Entry updated 8 May 2023. Tagged: Author.

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(1888-1954) UK journalist – active from about 1905 – and author, most of whose 150 novels are thrillers, all of them published between 1916 and 1955. Some of these tales incorporate sf elements in the form of fantastic Inventions and/or McGuffins, as for instance in the early Curse of Doone (1928), in which a German spy impersonates a vampire who might in fact exist, while simultaneously an sf Invention – a Ray which causes planes to crash-land by stopping their engines by remote control – motors the plot. Some of the Paul Vivanti sequence – specifically The Mystery of No. 1 (1925; vt The Order of the Octopus 1926), The Screaming Skull, and Other Stories (coll 1930; cut circa 1945), The Worst Man in the World (1930), Lord of Terror (1935) and Virus X (1945) – are of interest in their admixture of occult and fragmentary superscience elements, with Death Rays making an appearance or two. The title novella in The Man Who Shook the Earth (coll 1933) features an attempt to blackmail the world by a Scientist who has discovered the secret of atomic energy. [JC]

Sydney Harry Horler

born London: 18 July 1888

died Bournemouth, Dorset: 27 October 1954



Paul Vivanti

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