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Watson, J C

Entry updated 12 September 2022. Tagged: Author.

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(?   -    ) South African author of Shadow Over the Rand: A South African Novel (1955), an sf novel set in the very Near Future in Johannesburg as a Pandemic caused by a strange "virus tuberculosis" comes close to destroying first the city (where the death toll nears 50%) then the country. But a research doctor develops a vaccine (see Medicine). The plague had begun in an unsanitary Black slum; Blacks are described throughout with affectionate condescension as child-like, impulsive, superstitious, but capable of loyalty (see Race in SF). To better their living conditions, and to prevent future outbreaks, the Black slumdwellers of Johannesburg are evicted en mass from their homes and placed in communal tents. For purposes of fumigation, "natives" are required, by force if necessary, to leave everything behind, and "Long lines of naked men, women and children [are] driven out to the tents where fresh clothing awaited them." The novel ends on a note of patriotic self-congratulation. [JC]

J C Watson




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