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Huxley, Julian

Entry updated 12 September 2022. Tagged: Author.

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(1887-1975) UK biologist, journalist and author, elder brother of Aldous Huxley, in active service during World War One. His first work of sf interest, "Philosophic Ants: A Biologic Fantasy" (read May 1922 to the Heretics Club, Cambridge; 1922 Cornhill Magazine), though constructed as an essay, intriguingly speculates on ants' radical non-mammalian Perception of the world, and how their world-view might differ through these profound differences in sensory apparatus. He wrote very little fiction as such, one exception being "The Tissue-Culture King: A Biologic Fantasy" (April 1926 Cornhill Magazine), set in a Lost World whose natives have been experimented upon by something like a Mad Scientist, who uses something like Genetic Engineering to transform them into giant Monsters; a second scientist creates a "will battery" to control the natives' Psi Powers.

Huxley is better known for If I Were Dictator (1934; exp 1934), a nonfiction speculation (see Futures Studies), in which he describes the Utopia he would mandate: a planned society through the ordinances of which a rational world is able to maintain itself. Religions are permitted; Sex reforms have led to relaxed interpersonal behaviour, and happy families. Though he had early been influenced by the work of Francis Galton, the implications of Eugenics are here muted. Huxley did however espouse a "humane" form of eugenics before World War Two, publishing some relatively moderate essays in Eugenics Journal; in The Uniqueness of Man (1941) he suggests, however, that eugenics would "become part of the religion of the future" and that "true negroes have a slightly lower than average intelligence than the whites or yellows." After the war, as a founder and first Director-General of UNESCO (1946-1948), and as a revered public guru in Britain, Huxley eschewed (and quite likely evolved away from) a pattern of thought where eugenics and racism might tacitly cohabit (see Evolution; Race in SF). Huxley was knighted in 1958. [JC]

Sir Julian Sorell Huxley

born London: 22 June 1887

died London: 14 February 1975

works (highly selected)

  • Essays of a Biologist (London: Chatto and Windus, 1923) [nonfiction: coll: hb/]
  • The Science of Life (London: The Amalgamated Press, 1930) with G P Wells and H G Wells [nonfiction: published in three volumes: first appeared 1929-1930 Amalgamated Press in 31 magazine-like parts: hb/]
  • If I Were Dictator (London: Methuen, 1934) [nonfiction: in the publisher's Dictator series: hb/J L Carstairs]
    • If I Were Dictator (New York: Harper and Brothers, 1934) [nonfiction: exp of the above: hb/nonpictorial]
  • The Uniqueness of Man (London: Chatto and Windus, 1941) [nonfiction: hb/nonpictorial]

about the author


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