Cloukey, Charles

Tagged: Author

(1912-1931) US author and student whose death at the age of 19 robbed the field of a precocious talent. Cloukey's first sale was made when he was only fifteen, "Sub-Satellite" (March 1928 Amazing). It raised the interesting question of what happens in lunar Gravity when bullets are fired on the Moon. Both writing and plotting were of someone ahead of their years. Cloukey's most accomplished stories were a trilogy, clearly inspired by H G Wells, starting with the Club Story format with Time Paradoxes at their core, though predominantly involving Far Future intrigue in Earth's war with Mars: "Paradox" (Summer 1929 Amazing Stories Quarterly), "Paradox +" (July 1930 Amazing) and "Anachronism" (December 1930 Amazing). Cloukey's few remaining stories contained interesting ideas but were less well executed. The best were "Rhythm" (April 1930 Amazing) and its sequel "Synthetic" (May 1930 Amazing), which dealt with artificial life. His most ambitious work was a novel, "The Swordsman of Sarvon" (August-October 1932 Amazing) a 22nd century adventure set mostly on Venus somewhat in the vein of Edgar Rice Burroughs but with more complex technologies. Cloukey entered Haverford College in 1931, where he won first honours as a freshman in the intelligence test, studying to become a chemical engineer. Alas, a few months later he died from typhoid fever. One can only wonder what he might have achieved in later years. [MA]

Charles Halstead Cloukey

born Wisconsin: 15 April 1912

died Lansdowne, Pennsylvania: 28 September 1931

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