STOCKTON, Frank R(ichard)

STOCKTON, Frank R(ichard)
   US author and editor. He worked on Scribner's Magazine before being assistant editor of ST NICHOLAS MAGAZINE 1873-81. It was during this period, while writing for children, that he developed the combination of humour and fantasy featured in such works as Tales out of School (coll 1875), which includes "How Three Men Went to the Moon", and The FloatingPrince and Other Fairy Tales (coll 1881). His numerous short stories appeared in over 20 collections, of which several were composite volumes. His better works include "The Lady or the Tiger?" (1882), a classic puzzlestory, "The Transferred Ghost" (1882) and its sequel "The Spectral Mortgage" (1883), and his sf story "A Tale of Negative Gravity" (1884).Among other short sf stories were "The Tricycle of the Future" (1885) and "My Translataphone" (1900; reprinted in The Science Fiction of Frank R. Stockton [coll 1976] ed Richard Gid Powers).Later, when FRS turned to novels, he continued to use sf themes occasionally, though his humorous style remained the most prominent feature. In The Great War Syndicate (1889) a naval WAR between the UK and USA is resolved when the British seethe advanced weaponry arrayed against them. The Adventures of Captain Horn (1895) is a LOST-WORLD novel. The Great Stone of Sardis (1898), set in1947, culminates in the discovery that the Earth is a gigantic diamond with a relatively thin crust of surface soil. The Vizier of the Two-Horned Alexander (1899) lightly recasts the Wandering Jew theme.FRS wasinfluential on John Kendrick BANGS and other humorous fantasists and is regarded as a forerunner of O. Henry (1862-1910) in his use of the trick ending. His complete works appear in The Novels and Stories of Frank R. Stockton (23 vols 1899-1904). A posthumously written collection, TheReturn of Frank R. Stockton (coll 1913), "transcribed" by the medium Miss Etta de Camp, is surprisingly good and stylistically recognizable, though death has clearly impaired his vision.
   Other works: Collections with at least some sf/fantasy material include Ting-a-Ling (coll 1879); The Lady or the Tiger? and Other Stories (coll 1884); The Christmas Wreck andOther Stories (coll 1886); The Bee-Man of Orn and Other Fanciful Tales (coll 1887); A Borrowed Month and Other Stories (coll 1887 UK); Amos Kilbright: His Adscititious Experiences, with Other Stories (coll 1888); The Stories of the Three Burglars (coll 1889); The Rudder Granges Abroad and Other Stories (coll 1891); The Great Show in Kobol-Land (1891); The Clocks of Rondaine and Other Stories (coll 1892); The Watchmaker's Wifeand Other Stories (coll 1893); Fanciful Tales (coll 1894); A Chosen Few (coll 1895); A Story-Teller's Pack (coll 1897); Afield and Afloat (coll1900); John Gayther's Garden, and the Stories Told Therein (coll 1902); The Queen's Museum, and Other Fanciful Tales (coll 1906); The Magic Egg and Other Stories (coll 1907); The Lost Dryad (1912 chap); The Fairy Tales of Frank Stockton (coll 1990).
   See also: UNDER THE SEA.

Science Fiction and Fantasy Encyclopedia. . 2011.

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