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Thorpe, Fred

Entry updated 12 September 2022. Tagged: Author.

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Pseudonym of Frank Albert Stearns (1854-1899), US dime novelist and author under his own name of two popular children's books based on the Arabian Nights, Chris and the Wonderful Lamp (1895) and Sindbad, Smith and Co (1896); he was the father of Edgar Franklin Stearns, who wrote as Edgar Franklin. As Thorpe he wrote many kinds of dime novel (see Dime-Novel SF), but was best known for marvel stories written on an almost Absurdist level. His most popular was The Silent City (9 July-20 September 1892 Golden Hours) [for vts see Checklist below], about adventures in the ancient and mysterious inhabited City of Varsovik in the Bering Sea. The Boy in Black (6 October-8 December 1894 Golden Hours; 1907) describes a weird, irrational supercivilization inside a Western mountain. Through the Earth; Or, Jack Nelson's Invention (5 June-7 August 1897 Golden Hours as "In the World Below; Or, Three Boys in the Center of the Earth"; 1909) anticipates Edgar Rice Burroughs's Pellucidar with adventures in a Hollow Earth after an earth-borer goes out of control. This may be the earliest appearance in sf of a passenger-carrying drilling machine as a means of Underground Transportation. [EFB/JC]

Frank Albert Stearns

born 30 June 1854

died Boston, Massachusetts: 3 January 1899

works (almost certainly incomplete)


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