Wul, Stefan

Tagged: Author

Pseudonym of French dental surgeon and author Pierre Pairault (1922-2003), who swept onto the sf scene with several consistent and imaginative novels, all published 1956-1959. In his first, Retour à "O" ["Return to Zero"] (1956), a desperate attempt by Earth – to control criminals imprisoned on the Moon (see Crime and Punishment) by shrinking them (see Miniaturization) – catastrophically backfires: all human life on Earth is destroyed, though two humans from the Moon eventually return and begin to breed (see Adam and Eve). Niourk (1957) is a J G Ballard-like tale set in a Ruined Earth transformation of New York, after the seas have gone dry; the protagonist experiences a Lamarckian Evolutionary spurt by eating the brains of Mutant octopi, and begins to build a better world from the abandoned Technology of the first world. Rayons pour Sidar ["Rays for Sidar"] (1957) is an exorbitant Space Opera in which at least one planet is shifted about like a Macrostructure but without much plausibility. In La peur géante ["The Immense Fear"] (1957), perhaps reflecting Karel Čapek's War With the Newts (1937), vengeful creatures of the sea cause the oceans to rise. Oms en série (1957; trans Anthony Georges Whyte as Fantastic Planet 2010) inspired the animated film La Planète Sauvage (1973), set on a planet whose Alien inhabitants have imported shrunken examples of Homo sapiens called oms, most of whom are set "free" in a large park-like Zoo, but who are then culled regularly. The apparently human protagonist of Le temple du passé (1958; trans Ellen Cox as The Temple of the Past 1973), having crashed on an another Alien planet, attempts to save his colleagues after they have all been swallowed by an indigenous whale, enters Suspended Animation, and is discovered aeons later by genuine human folk and identified as a survivor of Atlantis. L'orphelin de Perdide ["The Orphan from Perdide"] (1958), filmed as Les Maîtres du temps (1982), again set on a planet with a human castaway, this time sliding into Space Opera.

After 1959, Wul fell silent until the appearance of the Noô saga, a lengthy and flamboyant novel published in two volumes as Noô 1 (1977) and Noô 2 (1977) which, like his earlier novels, shows a deep understanding of the traditions of American Genre SF, enriched in this case through a Fantastic Voyage narrative more directly evocative of European sf. [MJ/JC]

see also: France; Under the Sea.

Pierre Pairault

born Paris: 27 March 1922

died 26 November 2003

works

series

Noô

  • Noô 1 (Paris: Editions Denoël/Présence du futur, 1977) [continued directly below: Noô: pb/Stéphane Dumont]
  • Noô 2 (Paris: Editions Denoël/Présence du futur, 1977) [direct continuation of the above: Noô: pb/Stéphane Dumont]

individual titles

  • Retour à "O" ["Return to Zero"] (Paris: Éditions Fleuve Noir, 1956) [pb/René Brantonne]
  • Niourk (Paris: Éditions Fleuve Noir, 1957) [pb/René Brantonne] [pb/René Brantonne]
  • La peur géante ["The Immense Fear"] (Paris: Éditions Fleuve Noir, 1957) [pb/René Brantonne]
  • Oms en Série ["Oms in Series"] (Paris: Éditions Fleuve Noir, 1957) [pb/René Brantonne]
    • Fantastic Planet (no place given: Creation Oneiros, 2010) [trans by Anthony Georges Whyte of the above: pb/]
  • Le temple du passé (Paris: Éditions Fleuve Noir, 1958) [pb/René Brantonne]
  • L'orphelin de Perdide ["The Orphan from Perdide"] (Paris: Éditions Fleuve Noir, 1958) [pb/René Brantonne]
  • La mort vivante ["Living Death"] (Paris: Éditions Fleuve Noir, 1958) [pb/René Brantonne]
  • Piège sur Zarkass ["Trap on Zarkass"] (Paris: Éditions Fleuve Noir, 1958) [pb/René Brantonne]
  • Terminus 1 (Paris: Éditions Fleuve Noir, 1959) [pb/René Brantonne]
  • Odyssée sous contrôle ["Controlled Odyssey"] (Paris: Éditions Fleuve Noir, 1959) [pb/René Brantonne]

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