Bonner, Richard

Tagged: Author

(?   -?   ) US author of whom nothing is known beyond the fact that his name apparently refers to a real author (not always the case when American juvenile series are concerned). Although his Boy Inventors sequence is neither the first nor the most important of its category, his overall title has been used to describe various series of this sort (see Airship Boys; Radio Boys) – that is, the early twentieth-century Edisonade as composed for Young Adult readers. Bonner's series features, as usual, two smart entrepreneurial lads who triumph through their capacity to generate Inventions, which help them to victory in individual stories, and (in the long term) bring them wealth. It should be noted that, in contrast to the world-transforming inventions of adult protagonists in full-fledged sf Edisonades like E E Smith's Skylark of Space sequence, the inventions of such boy inventors are almost always technological improvements on existing knowledge, like the Weapon that fires a paralysing gas in the first volume, and extend at most months into the future; Bonner's young heroes are pragmatists. The series comprises The Boy Inventors' Wireless Triumph (1912); The Boy Inventors and the Vanishing Gun (1912), in which they invent a flying car and the eponymous rapid-fire gun; The Boy Inventors' Diving Torpedo Boat (1912); The Boy Inventors' Flying Ship (1913), in which the Wondership – an Airship usable on land, sea, and in the air – is introduced; The Boy Inventors' Electric Hydroaeroplane (1914); and The Boy Inventors' Radio-Telephone (1915), in which the boys introduce an electric car and a wireless telephone. [JC]

Richard Bonner

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Boy Inventors

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