(1902-1976) UK botanist and author who began to publish poetry and fiction in the late 1920s. Sugar in the Air: A Romance (1937), first of the two connected Charles Pry tales, is a notable and original Scientific Romance bitterly but wryly describing the conflicts which arise between scientific and commercial interests during experiments with artificial photosynthesis; eventually, Charles Pry develops a process to manufacture sugar from the air (or SUNSAP) in industrial quantities, but his inept bosses are outsmarted by another firm. The prequel, Asleep in the Afternoon (1938), is a Satire whose frame narrative about the tribulations of an author is interwoven with a frivolous sf story about a device for inducing sleep. In the more adventurous Satire, Dawn in Andromeda (1956), God translocates a representative sample of humanity to an uninhabited planet by way of experiment; the political evolution of the community and the spontaneous regeneration of Religion confound the Utopian schemes of the original group but cannot suppress mechanical progress.
The Advance of the Fungi (1940), whose title perhaps mischievously arouses sf expectations, is a nonfiction study of fungal blights, concentrating on the Potato Blight in nineteenth century Ireland. God's Amateur: The Writing of E C Large (coll 2008 chap) assembles speculative essays and other material, including a bibliography. [BS]
see also: Invention; Scientists; Sociology.
Ernest Charles Large
born London: 24 June 1902
died St Albans, Hertfordshire: 25 August 1976
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