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Shea, Cornelius

Entry updated 12 September 2022. Tagged: Author.

(1863-1920) US author for the silent screen and author of dime novels (see Dime-Novel SF), prolific in many categories but best remembered for marvel stories using a fairly consistent "mythology" of dwarfs, subterranean eruptions, and stage illusion masquerading as supernatural magic. His first tale of sf interest seems to be The Air Voyagers; Or, a Trip to the Moon in a Balloon: A Tale of Wonderful Adventure (1880 chap), which may have been self-published. His other work of sf interest was published by the dime-novel industry. Into Unknown Lands; Or, the Secret of the Enchanted Diamond (1894 Golden Hours as "The Enchanted Diamond"; 1903 chap) is a Lost-Race tale featuring a passage Underground between Alaska and Asia and a magical monarch. In the Depths of the Dark Continent; Or, the Vengeance of Van Vincent (28 May-30 July 1892 Golden Hours as "Van Vincent's Vow; Or, Chased to the Heart of the Dark Continent"; 1905 chap) describes a vicious She-like femme fatale (see H Rider Haggard), who rules a Hollow Earth kingdom far beneath a sinking Island which features sex-exploiting Amazons and a socialist Utopia founded by Egyptians who possess superscience. In The Electric Man in the Enchanted Valley; Or, the Wonderful Adventures of Two Boy Inventors (1899 Golden Hours as "The Wonderful Electric Man"; 1905 chap), to prevent Overpopulation couples are put to death after the birth of their first child; if they have no children, they are put to death anyway. It is likely there are more titles not yet properly identified. "The Enchanted Emerald; Or, the Mysteries of an Unknown Land" (1-22 February 1902 Happy Days) as by P T Raymond describes an emerald with seemingly magical powers, plus lost civilizations and another She-like queen in Africa. Shea's work was widely reprinted, often pseudonymously as "By the Author of 'The Wreck of the Glaucus'". Shea should not be confused with the gangster Cornelius Shea (1872-1929). [EFB/JC]

Cornelius Shea

born New York: 10 May 1863

died Tottenville, New York: 4 May 1920

works (selected)


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