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Jacobi, Carl

Entry updated 28 August 2023. Tagged: Author.

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(1908-1997) US author; also editor of several journals, including the Minnesota Quarterly, who began publishing work of genre interest with "Mive" for The Minnesota Quarterly for Fall 1928. His insinuatingly evocative short fiction is mainly of horror and fantasy interest, much of it appearing in Weird Tales, though he also produced some sf, mostly Space Opera, and some of his stories invoke enough arcane Cosmology to be deemed Horror in SF, as in "Revelations in Black" (April 1933 Weird Tales), where a strange book infects its reader with Meme-like intensity, luring him what may be an Alternate World, or his tomb; or in "The Tomb from Beyond" (November 1933 Wonder Stories), where a Monster attacks Earth from another Dimension. The sf "Tepondicon" (Winter 1946 Planet Stories) involves its narrator in an ethical Thought Experiment (which see) that weighs his life against many others, and concludes on a note of lady-or-the-tiger ambiguity: "Of course, you all know which door I opened."

The sf stories to which Jacobi turned in his later career are relatively weak, though a tale like "The Player at Yellow Silence" (June 1970 Galaxy) plays effectively on the trope in which the outcome of a game (see Games and Sports) may change the universe. Much of his large output has been assembled in Revelations in Black (coll 1947; vt The Tomb from Beyond 1977), Portraits in Moonlight (coll 1964) and Disclosures in Scarlet (coll 1972) – all from Arkham House – plus East of Samarinda (coll 1989) and Smoke of the Snake (coll 1994). [JC]

Carl Richard Jacobi

born Minneapolis, Minnesota: 10 July 1908

died Minneapolis, Minnesota: 25 August 1997


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