JANE, Fred T.


JANE, Fred T.
   Working name of UK writer and illustrator Frederick Thomas Jane (1865-1916), best known for founding the Jane's Fighting Ships series (from 1898). Blake of the "Rattlesnake", or The Man who Saved England (1895) is a NEAR FUTURE story in which, through a series of engagements, modern torpedoes save the UK from the Russians and the French. Artificially created according to an ancient Egyptian formula, theprotagonist of The Incubated Girl (1896) upsets the contemporary UK with her soulless purity, her vegetarianism and her goddesslike charisma. To Venus in Five Seconds: An Account of the Strange Disappearance of ThomasPlummer, Pillmaker (1897) takes its kidnapped narrator to VENUS, where he sets off a conflict between the natives - intelligent giant insects - and the ancient Egyptians who have been resident there for some time, including his lady kidnapper; the humorous effects in this tale are clearly intentional. The Violent Flame: A Story of Armageddon and After (1899) features a mad SCIENTIST who brings about the END OF THE WORLD -which, Gaia-like, is a living entity - with a disintegrator ray. The narrator and his wife survive to be a new ADAM AND EVE. FTJ's fiction, though crude, conveys a genuine speculative impact; his ILLUSTRATIONS, not only of his own work but also of future-war novels by George GRIFFITH and E. Douglas FAWCETT, focus on WAR and WEAPONS, though some more interestingsequences, like "Guesses at Futurity" (1894-5 Pall Mall Magazine), show a wide-ranging visual sense of things to come. He was also of note as an illustrator of some of Arthur Conan DOYLE's Sherlock Holmes stories.
   JC/PN

Science Fiction and Fantasy Encyclopedia. . 2011.

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