Sharp, Drury D

Tagged: Author

(1886-1960) US farmer turned author whose sf debut was the Lost-Race story "The Goddess of the Painted Priests" (April 1929 Weird Tales) but who subsequently made his mark in the Gernsback SF Magazines where he showed an originality of ideas and an occasional fluency of writing. His most popular story was "The Eternal Man" (August 1929 Science Wonder Stories), almost a pure Thought Experiment, where a scientist discovers an elixir of Immortality with the unfortunate side effect that it renders the taker immobile but conscious. He becomes a museum exhibit and his alert mind decides he should have sought to improve mankind before extending life. An unnecessary sequel, "The Eternal Man Revives" (Summer 1930 Wonder Stories Quarterly) is an excuse to explore a tyrannical future. "The Satellite of Doom" (January 1931 Wonder Stories) introduced the concepts of Rocket mail and of an individual trapped in Earth orbit. The commercial aspect of Space Flight was also the basis of "At Bay in the Void" (February 1933 Wonder Stories). Of more interest is "Captive of the Crater" (June 1933 Wonder Stories) in which a lunar explorer stumbles into a crater which proves to be a tunnel passing through the centre of the Moon and who, trapped by Gravity, swings pendulum-like through the Moon. It foreshadowed the type of sf problem story that Ross Rocklynne would later develop. Although Sharp graduated to Astounding under F Orlin Tremaine, producing at least one story of some merit, "The Indesinent Stykal" (June 1937 Astounding), a variation upon "The Eternal Man", wherein a ruthless professor seeks to extend his life through Identity Transfer, Sharp's remaining few stories were more formulaic with only a hint of what might of been. He failed to develop in the post-War period, turning instead more to western fiction. Sharp's work reveals a fertile mind limited by the Pulp conventions of the day. [MA]

see also: Science Fiction Series.

Drury Dubose Sharp

born Queen City, Texas: 10 November 1886 [as per his World War I Draft Registration Card, but 1888 as per his gravestone]

died Albuquerque, New Mexico: 25 August 1960

works

  • The Life Vapor/Thirty Miles Down (New York: Stellar Publishing Corporation, 1930) [anth: chap: first story is by Clyde Farrar: in the publisher's Science Fiction Series: illus/Pearsall: pb/nonpictorial]

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