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Stout, Rex

Entry updated 12 September 2022. Tagged: Author.

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(1886-1975) US author who began publishing poems and stories in magazines as early as 1910, and became best known for his Nero Wolfe detective stories, beginning with Fer-de-Lance (1934) and continuing to the end of his life, the last being A Family Affair (1975); none of the Wolfe novels and novellas have any fantastic content. Some of his early work does, however, contain fantastic elements: the book-length "A Prize for Princes" (2 May 1914 Cavalier/30 May 1914 All-Story Cavalier Weekly [see All-Story; titles merged]) describes the very Near Future assassination of a Balkan princeling by an anarchist; and Under the Andes (February 1914 All-Story; 1984) describes, in a style very unlike his deft mature drawl, an Underground Lost World of dwarf Incans. In The President Vanishes (1934) anonymous, filmed as The President Vanishes (1934), the disappearance of the President of the United States causes a Near-Future crisis in a world already at war; his disappearance, which he has instigated so as not to have to deliver a pro-war address to Congress, darkens when a Fascist movement is blamed for capturing him. The tale ends on a pacifist note more easily delivered in 1934 than a few years later.

The corpulent private detective Nero Wolfe is affectionately pastiched in several sf/fantasy tales, including Randall Garrett's Too Many Magicians (August-November 1966 Analog; 1967), Gene Wolfe's "The Rubber Bend" (in Universe 5, anth 1975, ed Terry Carr) and David Langford's "If Looks Could Kill" (in Eurotemps, anth 1992, ed Alex Stewart); Philip José Farmer incorporated Wolfe into his Wold Newton Family mythos. [JC/DRL]

see also: Dime-Novel SF.

Rex Todhunter Stout

born Noblesville, Indiana: 1 December 1886

died Danbury, Connecticut: 27 October 1975

works (highly selected)


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