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Moffett, Cleveland

Entry updated 9 December 2022. Tagged: Author.

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(1863-1926) US playwright and popular author, usually of detective stories but also of one of the most explicit Edisonades to appear in early-twentieth-century US sf. In The Conquest of America: A Romance of Disaster and Victory: USA, 1921 AD [for full title see Checklist] (1916), it is Thomas Alva Edison himself who saves the USA from decadent socialists, while fending off a threat of Future War from Germany. The Mysterious Card (coll of linked stories 1912) is of interest for the title story, "The Mysterious Card" (February 1896 Black Cat) and its sequel, "The Mysterious Card Unveiled" (August 1896 Black Cat), in which a card – it initially seems to be blank – acts like a Basilisk on those who view it, so that they abhor its owner; the sequel, "The Mysterious Card Unveiled" (August 1896 Black Cat), offers something like an sf explanation (see Perception) (see also Ralph Straus). Possessed (1920) is an occultish tale in which a heroic nurse in World War One who has a lover, and the Invention of a deadly strain of plague, are seen as conjoinedly malign; the book has not worn well. [JC]

Cleveland Langston Moffett

born Boonville, Oneida, New York: 27 April 1863

died Paris, France: 14 October 1926



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