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Laing, Alexander

(1903-1976) US author, editor and academic, noted for his books on the sea, for editing The Haunted Omnibus (anth 1937; vt Great Ghost Stories of the World 1939), an extremely influential Anthology, and for his murder novel, The Cadaver of Gideon Wyck, by a Medical Student (1934), which hinges on experiments in Genetic Engineering inflicted upon pregnant women. The Dr Scarlett sequence, comprising Dr Scarlett: A Narrative of his Mysterious Behavior in the East (1936), which includes the discovery of a headless tribe, and The Methods of Dr Scarlett (1937), follows the jovial ship's doctor into Lost Race situations and other predicaments in the China seas. In collaboration with Thomas Painter, Laing wrote an sf thriller, The Motives of Nicholas Holtz: Being the Weird Tale of the Ironville Virus (1936; vt The Glass Centipede, Retold from the Original Sources 1936). Persuasively authentic in its use of Biological data, it is a well-told story of the creation of artificial life in the form of a deadly plague bacterium, threatening to create a Pandemic, and of the dangers that beset the man who investigates the ensuing deaths. [PN/JC]

see also: Monsters.

Alexander Kinnan Laing

born Great Neck, New York: 7 August 1903

died Hanover, New Hampshire: 23 April 1976



Dr Scarlett

individual titles

works as editor


Entry from The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction (2011-current) edited by John Clute and David Langford.
Accessed 21:18 pm on 26 September 2022.