Small, Austin J

Tagged: Author

(1894-1929) UK adventure and thriller author, born Austin Major Small, though his death certificate gives Austin James Small; in the US he published under his own name, while in the UK his books usually appeared as by Seamark. He wrote three novels of sf interest. The Man They Couldn't Arrest (1925) is a mystery novel incorporating unusual devices and Inventions into the plot. In Master Vorst (1926; vt The Death Maker 1926) the London Secret Society's insane plan to kill off the human race by germ warfare is thwarted in the nick of time. The Avenging Ray (1930), as by Seamark, features a Mad Scientist intent upon destroying the world, his Weapon in this case being a Death Ray comprised of two elements, an Anti-Coherer which dissolves matter, and a Degravitisor, which scatters the residue into the universe. The idea is vivid, the seven-foot-tall, immensely powerful scientist broods with almost Melmothian intensity, but the tale – published after its author's suicide – is desperately scatty. The title story of Out of the Dark: A Volume of Stories (coll 1931) as by Seamark features a were-leopard (see Shapeshifters). [JC/JE]

Austin Major Small/Austin James Small

born Luton, Bedfordshire: 1894

died London: 15 January 1929

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