Reade, Philip

Tagged: Author

A probable pseudonym of an unidentified US author (?   -?   ); used for dime novels (see Dime-Novel SF) in Street & Smith's Good News and The Nugget Library in competition to Tousey's Frank Reade, Jr. stories (see Frank Reade Library); he is not to be confused with the author Philip Hildreth Reade (1844-1919). Reade wrote nine stories about Tom Edison, Jr, no relation to the inventor (see Edisonade); unusual in being plotted (instead of haphazard) in terms of character conflicts, they are the best of the various Invention series, containing as well an element of tongue-in-cheek and fantasy. The central titles – Tom Edison, Jr.'s Sky-Scraping Trip [for subtitles for all books see Checklist] (1891), Tom Edison, Jr.'s Prairie-Skimmer Team (1891), Tom Edison, Jr.'s Sky Courser (1891) and Tom Edison, Jr.'s Air Frigate (1891) – together form an episodic novel describing the scientific feud between Tom and his rogue cousin. The stories are filled with fantastic aircraft, individual flying suits, advanced Weapons and air battles. Reade's most important story is Tom Edison, Jr.'s Electric Sea Spider (1892), in which Tom combats the US-educated Chinese mastermind of sea crime, Kiang-Ho of the Golden Belt (see Yellow Peril). The story culminates in an underwater battle between two fantastic submarine vessels. This perhaps marks the first appearance of a Fu Manchu-like villain.

Tom Edison, Jr. stories #10 and #11, Tom Edison, Jr.'s Air-Ship in Australia (1892) and Tom Edison, Jr.'s Electric Eagle (1892), were written, on a much lower level, by Henry Livingston Williams, a prolific hack editor and author. [EFB]

"Philip Reade"

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