FAWCETT, Edgar


FAWCETT, Edgar
(1847-1904)
   US writer, known primarily for his work outside the sf field. Most of his 40 or so novels belong to the realist school associated with his contemporary William Dean HOWELLS, but (like Howells) BF also wrote imaginative works. He provided a manifesto for a species of fiction which he called "realistic romance", which is very similar to some DEFINITIONS OF SF: "Stories where the astonishing and peculiar are blent with thepossible and accountable. They may be as wonderful as you will, but they must not touch on the mere flimsiness of miracle. They can be excessively improbable, but their improbability must be based upon scientific fact, and not upon fantastic, emotional and purely imaginative groundwork." This statement is from the introduction to The Ghost of Guy Thyrle (1895), a novel whose hero discovers a drug which separates his soul from his body and must undertake a voyage into the further reaches of the cosmos when his uninhabited body is cremated. Earlier and more modest works in the same vein are Douglas Duane (1887), a personality-exchange story, Solarion (1889), a novel about a dog with artificially augmented intelligence, andThe Romance of Two Brothers (1891), which features a problematic elixir of life. The New Nero (1893), a study in abnormal psychology concerning a man who believes himself to be a mass murderer, is of borderline interest. Some of EF's POETRY is also relevant, most notably "In the Year TenThousand" in Songs of Doubt and Dream (coll 1891). An early supernatural story of some note is "He, She and It" (1871). He copyrighted several unpublished manuscripts, some of which appear to have been sf.
   BS
   About the author: "The Realistic Romances of Edgar Fawcett" by Brian M. STABLEFORD, Foundation \#24 (Feb 1982).
   See also: COSMOLOGY; EVOLUTION; MOON; RELIGION.

Science Fiction and Fantasy Encyclopedia. . 2011.

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