Train, Arthur

Tagged: Author

(1875-1945) US author and lawyer, best known for work outside the sf field, particularly his legal series about the lawyer Ephraim Tutt. Some of the stories assembled in Mortmain (coll 1907) – including the title story, "Mortmain" (2 June 1906 Saturday Evening Post), in the magazine where most of his fiction first appeared – verge on sf. In the first volume of Benjamin Hooker sequence, The Man Who Rocked the Earth (14-28 November 1914 Saturday Evening Post; 1915) with Robert Williams Wood, the Near-Future course of World War One is interrupted by messages from a mysterious Scientist known only as PAX threatening superscientific punishments if war is not stopped. After some demonstrations, featuring Rays, a flying ship, atomic energy and the slowing of Earth's orbit, which causes vast earthquakes, the nations obey; unfortunately, PAX becomes, en passant, a Mad Scientist, but dies before he can turn Europe into an Arctic wilderness. In the sequel, The Moon Maker (October 1916-February 1917 Cosmopolitan as "The Moonmaker"; 1958 chap), also with Wood, the character who discovered the dead PAX in the previous book must now defend Earth against an approaching Asteroid. He travels with a proto-Feminist mathematician; they change the course of the asteroid so it becomes a second Moon, and then marry. The Lost Gospel (7 June 1924 Saturday Evening Post; 1925 chap) is a minor Lost Race tale, containing pieties. Train's quick skill as a popular novelist allowed him to fill out the speculations generated by his collaborator, a competent scientist; his sf in particular thus avoids most of the absurdities that dogged the form at this point. [JC]

Arthur Cheney Train

born Boston, Massachusetts: 6 September 1875

died New York: 22 December 1945

works

series

Benjamin Hooker

  • The Man Who Rocked the Earth (Garden City, New York: Doubleday, Page and Company, 1915) with R W Wood [first appeared 14-28 November 1914 Saturday Evening Post: Benjamin Hooker: illus/hb/Walter L Greene]
  • The Moon Maker (Hamburg, New York: Krueger, 1958) with R W Wood [chap: first appeared October 1916-February 1917 Cosmopolitan as "The Moonmaker": Benjamin Hooker: illus/hb/Frank D McSherry]

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