Kearney, Chalmers

Tagged: Author

(1881-1966) Australian-born engineer and author, in the UK most of his life, author of the nonfiction Rapid Transit in the Future: The Kearney High-Speed Railway: Second Edition (only recorded edition, 1911 chap) as Elfric Wells Chalmers Kearney, in which he advocates, for the London Underground, an advanced version of the monorail (or, rather, duorail, with one rail below and one above the train); it was one of several pre-World War One schemes designed to revolutionize Transportation.

The narrator of Kearney's Utopia, Erōne (1943; rev 1945), is conveyed by Matter Transmission to Uranus, which its inhabitants call Erōne; they have mastered the duplicities of Money, and a planet-spanning monorail system connects very numerous, evenly spaced urban nodes, between which garden-suburb-like vistas predominate; the society as a whole espouses a rather sentimentalized communism. On his return to England in 1936, the protagonist attempts to reduce civilian fatalities, otherwise inevitable in the forthcoming World War Two, by advocating an underground monorail system designed to double as bomb shelters, but is ignored, and the conflict commences. He is transported back to Erōne. The book had some popular success, though it is now neglected. A short pamphlet, The Great Calamity (1948 chap), itemizes the destruction of most of the world. [JC]

Elfric Wells Chalmers Kearney

born Geelong, Victoria: 1881

died 1966 [1960 has also been given]


  • Erōne (Guildford, Surrey: Biddles, 1943) [hb/uncredited]
    • Erōne (London: The Commodore Press, 1945) [rev of the above: hb/]
  • The Great Calamity (1948) [chap: no publisher for this title has been found: binding unknown/]


about the author


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