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Skene, Anthony

Entry updated 12 September 2022. Tagged: Author.

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Pseudonym of UK author George Norman Philips (1884-1972) used primarily for his Sexton Blake tales featuring a character of his own creation, the albino Antihero M Zenith, or Zenith the Albino, who first appears in "A Duel to the Death" (21 November 1919 Union Jack #837), with many stories to follow, including Monsieur Zenith (1936; vt Monsieur Zenith the Albino 2001), his last appearance being "The Affair of the Bronze Basilisk" (April 1941 The Sexton Blake Library). Zenith himself seems not to have boasted any Superpowers beyond the usual abnormal agility and strength, though his numerous Inventions – involving Rays, metals unknown to science (see Elements), Weapons – edge the tales into sf. He was an acknowledged influence in the creation of Elric of Melniboné by Michael Moorcock, who introduced the 2001 printing of Skene's only book, and who has incorporated Zenith into The Metatemporal Detective (coll 2007), which features the adventures of Sir Seaton Begg (ie Sexton Blake), and less significantly into other works. Zenith Lives!: Tales of M Zenith, the Albino (anth 2007) edited by Stuart Douglas gathers together original stories. Skene should not be confused with the screenwriter Anthony Skene (1924-2000). [JC]

George Norman Philips

born 1884

died 1972



Monsieur Zenith

about the author


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