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Kantor, MacKinlay

Entry updated 12 September 2022. Tagged: Author.

(1904-1977) US author best known for such works outside the sf field as Andersonville (1955), a long novel set during the US Civil War, the area of his deepest concern. That war is also the setting for If the South Had Won the Civil War (22 November 1960 Look; 1961; exp as coll 2001), the Alternate-History thesis of the title being a favourite crux for US writers in the genre; the Jonbar Point in this case is the sudden death of General Grant, leading to a division of America into three countries. By 1960, "Consolidationists" hope to reunite the land. Of some interest is the much earlier The Noise of Their Wings (1938), where a pair of breeding passenger pigeons are discovered in 1937 in the Deep South of America, but almost immediately die in a fire. As the last known passenger pigeon died in 1914, the tale modestly prefigures Howard Waldrop's well-known story about dodo survivals, "The Ugly Chickens" (in Universe 10, anth 1980, ed Terry Carr). [JC]

Benjamin MacKinlay Kantor

born Webster City, Iowa: 4 February 1904

died Sarasota, Florida: 11 October 1977



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