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Payn, James

Entry updated 29 September 2020. Tagged: Author.

(1830-1898) UK author and editor whose 100+ books cover a wide variety of genres, his sf being comparatively inconspicuous. The Cruise of the Anti-Torpedo (1871 chap) anonymous is a typical Future-War tale, one of many written in direct response to George T Chesney's The Battle of Dorking (May 1871 Blackwood's Magazine; 1871 chap) (see Battle of Dorking), in this case featuring a new Weapon which turns the tide against the Germans (see Battle of Dorking). Along with the comic "The Fatal Curiosity, or A Hundred Years Hence" (Christmas 1877 Belgravia Christmas Annual) and "The Transfused Transformed – A Tale of Blood" (August 1879 Belgravia), it was included in High Spirits: Being Certain Stories Written in Them (coll 1879 3vols). The Eavesdropper: An Unparalleled Experience (1888) is an Invisibility tale whose protagonist, after taking the requisite potion, discovers the truth about his friends and servants and returns to the normal world sadder and wiser. [JC]

James Payn

born Cheltenham, Gloucestershire: 28 February 1830

died London: 25 March 1898

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