HALL, Austin


HALL, Austin
(c1885-1933)
   US writer who claimed to have written over 600 stories in various pulp genres, mainly Westerns. He began publishing sf and fantasy with "Almost Immortal" for All-Story Weekly in 1916. "The Rebel Soul" (1917 All-Story Weekly) and its sequel, the book-length "Into theInfinite" (1919 All-Story Weekly), typically infuse immortality-through-vampirism and TIME TRAVEL with pulp cliches, not always ineffectively; in their concern with the nature of human personality all three are derivative of Robert Louis STEVENSON's Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (1886 chap). Possibly confused by thecollaborative process, The Blind Spot (1921 Argosy; 1951) with Homer Eon FLINT cloaks a central plot-involving an interdimensional gateway into aPARALLEL WORLD - in layers of unresolved melodrama. Cruelly, Damon KNIGHT quoted extensively from it in a critical piece (reprinted as part of Chapter 3 of In Search of Wonder (coll 1956; exp 1967) to demonstrate its infelicities. A sequel, The Spot of Life (1932 Argosy; 1964), was by AH alone; it offers scientific explanations for the gateway (or blind spot) plus doses of dynastic politicking in the parallel world. People of the Comet (1923 Weird Tales; 1948), a weaker tale, is a variant on the themeof solar-system-as-atom in a greater macrocosm (GREAT AND SMALL).
   JC
   See also: HISTORY OF SF; MARS.

Science Fiction and Fantasy Encyclopedia. . 2011.

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