DOUGHTY, Francis W(orcester)
(1850-1917)
   US numismatist, scholar and miscellaneous writer whose well written, ingenious and original dime novels (DIME-NOVEL SF) have often been considered the finest examples of the category. His better stories present a succession of highly imaginative strokes, often with good historical backgrounds. "I" (1887) describes a double quest, for a beautiful She Who Is Never Seen and for a remarkable manuscript hidden by Saint Cyprian. The Cavern of Fire (1888) uses as its departure points (a) the theory that the Mound Builders were ancient Greeks and (b) a HOLLOW EARTH filled with teratological peoples. Two Boys' Trip to an Unknown Planet (1889) is an astronomical fantasy, often on a mythic level, set on a planet circling Sirius; it may have been a source of motifs for David LINDSAY's A VOYAGE TO ARCTURUS (1920). "Where?" (1889-90) takes place in a strange Antarctica filled with grotesque peoples and superscientific devices reminiscent of Bulwer LYTTON's vril. 3,000 Miles through the Clouds (1892), which takes elements from Jules VERNE's The Mysterious Island (trans 1875), puts three comrades into wildly imaginative situations in an Arctic crater. Perhaps also by Doughty is Al and his Air-Ship (1903) as by Gaston Garne, which describes scientifically advanced giants in Antarctica, remarkable flying machines powered by a vril-like source, and other marvels. An adult sf novel, Mirrikh (1892), although highly imaginative, was not especially successful.
   EFB

Science Fiction and Fantasy Encyclopedia. . 2011.

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