COBLENTZ, Stanton A(rthur)

COBLENTZ, Stanton A(rthur)
   US novelist and polemically traditionalist poet. He began his career in the early 1920s, after gaining an MA in English literature, with book reviews for New York papers and a volume of poems, The Thinker and Other Poems (coll 1923); he also wrote considerable nonfiction. He began publishing sf with The Sunken World (1928 AMZ Quarterly; 1948), a UTOPIA set in a glass-domed ATLANTIS, in which satirical points are made against both the egalitarian Atlanteans and the contemporary USA, though the obtuse narrator (of the sort found in most utopias) tends to blur some of these issues. SAC was never a smooth stylist, nor an imaginative plotter, as all his five novels for AMZ Quarterly tend to show, though at the same time he had a strong gift for the description of ingeniously conceived ALIEN environments, so that he was often regarded as one of the writers best capable of conveying the SENSE OF WONDER so rightly valued by the readers of US PULP-MAGAZINE sf between the two world wars. The Sunken World was followed by After 12,000 Years (1929 AMZ Quarterly; 1950), "Reclaimers of the Ice" (1930 AMZ Quarterly), The Blue Barbarians (1931 AMZ Quarterly; 1958) and "The Man from Tomorrow" (1933 AMZ Quarterly). Other novels from the same general period, like The Wonder Stick (1929), a prehistoric tale, and Hidden World (1935 Wonder Stories as "In Caverns Below"; 1957; vt "In Caverns Below" 1975), share similar virtues and faults. Hidden World, for instance, is another SATIRE, set in an underground venue, with fascinating descriptions but cardboard characters. Later novels, like Under the Triple Suns (1955), failed to show much stylistic development, and were not successful.
   Other works: The Pageant of Man (1936); Youth Madness (c1944 chap); When the Birds Fly South (1945); Into Plutonian Depths (1931 Wonder Stories Quarterly; 1950); The Planet of Youth (1932 Wonder Stories; 1952 chap); Next Door to the Sun (1960); The Runaway World (1961); The Moon People (1964) and its sequel, The Crimson Capsule (1967; rev vt The Animal People 1970); The Last of the Great Race (1964) and The Lost Comet (1930 AMZ as "Reclaimers of the Ice"; cut 1964), both apparently severely edited; The Lizard Lords (1964); Lord of Tranerica (1939 Dynamic Science Stories; 1966); The Day the World Stopped (1968); The Island People (1971).
   About the author: Adventures of a Freelancer: the Literary Exploits and Autobiography of Stanton A. Coblentz (1993) by SAC with Dr. Jeffrey M. ELLIOT.

Science Fiction and Fantasy Encyclopedia. . 2011.

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