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Boussenard, Louis

(1847-1910) French author in various genres whose popular scientific romances, which have some speculative content, often appeared in Le Journal des Voyages. He remains of greatest genre interest for "Les secrets de Monsieur Synthèse" ["The Secrets of Mr Synthesis"] (1888-1889 Journal des Voyages) and its sequel, "Dix mille ans dans un bloc de glace" (17 August-26 October 1889 Journal des Voyages; trans John Paret as 10,000 Years in a Block of Ice 1898; both trans Brian Stableford together as Monsieur Synthesis omni 2013), in which the Mad Scientist protagonist initially attempts to impose accelerated Evolution on the human race; awaking aeons hence from Suspended Animation (see Sleeper-Awakes), Monsieur Synthesis discovers a unified world-Utopia peopled by small men – Cerebrals – who are descended from Chinese and Black Africans and can fly by the power of thought. It has been noted by Pierre Versins that in this work Boussenard displays – astonishingly for this period of European history – almost no racial prejudices at all. A later serialized novel, "Monsieur Rien" ["Mr Nothing"] (1907 Journal des Voyages), features a man capable of becoming invisible (see Invisibility), who terrorizes the Tsar's security police; this attitude may account, at least in part, for Boussenard's great popularity in Russia. He is nearly forgotten in English language countries. [JC]

see also: Cryonics; France.

Louis Henri Boussenard

born Escrennes, Loiret, France: 4 October 1847

died 11 September 1910

works (selected)


Entry from The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction (2011-current) edited by John Clute and David Langford.
Accessed 16:47 pm on 19 May 2022.