Gann, W D

Tagged: Author

(1878-1955) US finance trader and author, deeply involved in prognosticating the market, applying mathematics and astrology in his attempts (financially successful) to predict share prices. Most of his nonfiction dealt not only with stockmarket predictions but with the future in general (see Futures Studies). He is of sf interest for The Tunnel Thru' the Air; Or, Looking Back from 1940 (1927), a Near Future tale featuring a protagonist whose Fundamentalist belief in the Bible (Gann was a devout Baptist) gives him sufficient predictive prowess to dodge a great depression (which Gann elsewhere predicted would begin in 1928 and end in 1932), while at the same time inspiring various Inventions – including the eponymous vacuum tube, reserved for American warplanes – which are used to defend the USA in a Future War against various enemies, primarily an aggressive Japan (see Yellow Peril) whose Invasion of America results in the destruction of Los Angeles (see California) and the beginning of World War Two. Ultimately America rules the planet; New York is renamed the City of the Lord; all ends happily. The book itself, according to its author's claims, contains keys to a quasi-occult understanding of the future; but for sf purposes, the "surface" tale is understandable in its own terms. [JC]

William Delbert Gann

born Lufkin, Texas: 6 June 1878

died New York: 18 June 1955

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