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Sutphen, Van Tassel

Entry updated 12 September 2022. Tagged: Author.

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(1861-1945) US author, who early focused on golf, as in The Golficide and Other Tales of the Fair Green (coll 1898); a later volume, The Nineteenth Hole: Being Tales of the Fair Green: Second Series (coll 1901), includes two tales of golfing sf (see Games and Sports), "The Greatest Thing in the World" being set in 1999 when the game fully dominates American life. Several of the tales assembled in The Gates of Chance (coll of linked stories 1904) involve a detective and his Watson sidekick (see Sherlock Holmes) in confrontations with a Professor Moriarty figure, a Mad Scientist involved in the Invention of a Ray Gun, a mysterious metal with unknown properties, and induced Amnesia.

The Doomsman (1906) depicts a 2015 America where, decades after a Disaster described with sufficient detail to be defined as a Pandemic, medievalized "tribes" inhabit the Ruined Earth (see Medieval Futurism), one of these tribes comprising a mafia-like family that runs their protection racket from a fortified Keep in Manhattan (see New York), in the heart of which a mad priest worships an exceedingly dangerous super-dynamo. The story itself is sentimental, though the strangeness of the world as a whole remains evident. A mysterious Ray is used to commit a seemingly impossible crime in In Jeopardy (1922). [JC/PN]

William Gilbert Van Tassel Sutphen

born Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: 11 May 1861

died Morristown, New Jersey: 20 September 1945


  • The Doomsman (New York: Harper and Brothers, 1906) [illus/Fletcher C Ransom and H C Wall: hb/]
  • In Jeopardy (New York: Harper and Brothers, 1922) [hb/Edward Caswell]



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