(1880-1954) Luxembourg-born journalist and author, in Germany from around 1900, a journalist in World War One but not in active service, already controversial for the right-wing views that led to his support of National Socialism, and the ostracism he suffered after World War Two. Of sf interest is the Doktor Mabuse sequence – comprising Doktor Mabuse der Spieler (1920; trans Lilian A Clare as Dr Mabuse, Master of Mystery 1923) and Dr Mabuses letztes Spiel: Roman eines Dämons ["Dr Mabuse's Last Game: The Novel of a Demon"] (1950) – which slides from Urban Fantasy [see The Encyclopedia of Fantasy under links below] into sf through its portrait of Mabuse as a super-villain (see Superheroes) whose abilities are preternatural: he hypnotizes unwilling victims to control his empire; his capacity to change his appearance makes him almost into a Shapeshifter. The films directed by Fritz Lang from Norbert's work – Dr Mabuse, der Spieler (1922; vt Dr Mabuse, the Gambler), Das Testament des Dr Mabuse (1933; vt The Testament of Dr Mabuse) and Die Tausend Augen des Dr Mabuse (1960; vt The Thousand Eyes of Dr Mabuse; vt The Diabolical Dr Mabuse) – intensify the underlying sf feel of the series.
A few non-series novels such as Ingenieur Mars ["Engineer Mars"] (1923) share the fever of the Dr Mabuse books, and make use of fantastic narrative twists. [JC]
born Eich, Luxembourg: 6 June 1880
died Hamburg, Germany: 16 May 1954
works (highly selected)
individual titles (few are fantastic)
- Ingenieur Mars ["Engineer Mars"] (Munich, Germany: Drei Masten Verlag, 1923) [hb/nonpictorial]
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