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Ryner, Han

Entry updated 12 September 2022. Tagged: Author.

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Pseudonym of Algerian-born French philosopher and author Jacques Élie Henri Ambroise Ner (1861-1938), which he adopted in 1898, after having published fairly widely under his own name. His philosophical position, as articulated in many articles and books, combined epicurean stoicism about the purpose of life with anarchist political views which led to his taking a pacifist stand in World War One, a position reflected in Les Pacifiques ["The Pacifists"] (1914), where a shipwrecked band discovers in the Sargasso Sea a pacifist Island Utopia which boasts advanced Technology and a Power Source that generates universal energy; this novel appears in The Human Ant (omni trans Brian Stableford 2014), a volume which also includes L'Homme-fourmi (1901). His career as a novelist began in 1889 with Chair vaincue: roman psychologique ["Vanquished Flesh: A Psychological Novel"] (1889) as Henri Ner, and continued until the end of his life. He produced work of sf interest throughout most of that span, beginning with such tales as "L'Homme-Singe" (February 1894 Revue Méridionale), which appears as "The Ape-Man" (see Apes as Human) in The Superhumans and Other Stories (coll trans Brian Stableford 2010) along with several other short stories mostly assembled in Contes ["Tales"] (coll 1967), plus Les Voyages de Psychodore, philosophe cynique ["The Travels of Psychodore, the Cynic Philosopher"] (coll of linked stories 1901); Le fils du silence (1911; trans Brian Stableford with Les Paraboles Cyniques ["Cynical Parables"] 1913 as The Son of Silence omni 2016), in which the philosopher Pythagoras searches for Utopia; and Les Surhommes, roman prophétique ["The Superhumans, A Prophetic Novel"] (1929). Psychodore assembles fables, some of them didactic, around the peripatetic experiences of the cynic philosopher; Les Surhommes is a discursive Scientific Romance using a free-form version of the theory of Evolution to link descriptions of various exorbitantly conceived societies into a Future History extending aeons hence. [JC]

Jacques Élie Henri Ambroise Ner

born Nemours [now Ghazaouet], Orán [now Tlemcen Province], Algeria: 7 December 1861

died Paris: 6 January 1938

works (selected fiction only)


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