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The Best of John Russell Fearn: Volume One:…

The Best of John Russell Fearn: Volume One: The Man Who Stopped the Dust…

by John Russell Fearn

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A Brit Golden Age guy I read about in a Bayley interview that he mentioned as an early influence. Never heard of him before that. Got to give the guy credit: he's an unstoppable force of nature from all I've read about him, writing prolifically and across genre lines for years and years and years, under a multitude of pseudonyms including the one more people might be familiar with -Vargo Statten.
I think John Clute nails him when he describes him as "unpolished and imaginatively reckless", but that "his best work is vigorous and occasionally vivid". Most of the stories here are dated prune-o-reenos, with the silliest dated popular concepts of science, but a few are so far out that they are -well- something.
"Mathematica" and "Mathematica Plus" are really fantasy, but have a giddy lunacy about them, as does "Deserted Universe". The story that had the greatest appeal to me was a little fever dream called "Wings Across the Cosmos", which is about this walnut sized turtle like alien of colossal mass, that comes crashing to earth and ends up infecting the narrator who then undergoes a transformation. Just one of those twisted little stories that crawls under your skin. The last story "The Circle of Life" is the most giddy and silly piece of flapdoodle- Good Gosh...wotta way to end the collection...
I can only recommend this collection to people who want to know something about this prolific Golden Age figure through a nice core sample of his writing.
A little dab'll do ya.**1/2 ( )
  arthurfrayn | Apr 3, 2008 |
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