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Van Zile, Edward S

(1863-1931) US author of some sf interest for two of the tales assembled in A Magnetic Man and Other Stories (coll 1890): the protagonist of "A Magnetic Man", whose various Inventions do nothing to make him liked, learns how to control electricity, which governs affinities; and "Chemical Clairvoyance" features a device capable of recording the backward traces of the future on atoms, thus making Prediction possible. "The Skeleton's Confession", in The Dreamers and Other Poems (coll 1897), is a Baseball ghost story in verse. An Incan Lost World is discovered in With Sword and Crucifix [for full title see Checklist below] (1900); and Perkins, the Fakeer [for full titles of the above two see Checklist below] (coll of linked stories 1903) features several supernatural tales involving Identity Exchanges, the most interesting perhaps being "When Reginald Was Caroline" (July 1900 The Smart Set), in which a married couple exchange bodies. Van Zile's light touch, popular in its day, has worn heavily. [JC]

Edward Sims Van Zile

born Troy, New York: 2 May 1863

died New York: 29 May 1931

works (selected)



Entry from The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction (2011-current) edited by John Clute and David Langford.
Accessed 15:26 pm on 24 June 2024.