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3.0 étoiles sur 5The ONLY Science Fiction Stories of Arthur Conan Doyle (With a lot of Filler)26 juillet 2007
Par fredtownward - Publié sur Amazon.com
What this collection of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's best science fiction reveals is that he was a heck of a mystery writer... science fiction writer? Not so much. Frankly very few of these stories truly meet even the looser 19th Century standard of what is SF. George E. Slusser admits as much in the first sentence of his introduction... then spends 13 pages trying to walk this admission back.
Only the surprise ending of "The American's Tale" (1879) brings any "science" into its fiction and that of the ludicrous man-eating plant variety.
"The Los Amigos Fiasco" (1892) is a comic tale about the arrogance of science that is about as "scientific" as the original "Frankenstein".
"The Great Keinplatz Experiment" (1894) is an early tale of body switching, but calling it SF makes about as much sense as calling the alleged method, mesmerism, "science".
"The Adventure of the Devil's Foot" (1897) and "The Adventure of the Creeping Man" (1903) are a couple of Sherlock Holmes mysteries with some pseudoscientific overtones.
"The Terror of Blue John Gap" (1910) is really a horror tale about an ancient monster accidentally unleashed.
"Through the Veil" (1911) is a tale about reincarnation and remembering past lives.
"The Last Galley" (1911) is a historical tale with perhaps some intended warnings for Britain but only "FUTURE war" tales can properly be considered SF.
"The Great Brown-Pericord Motor" (1911) uses the title invention simply to provide a motive for the crime and a clever way to dispose of the body.
Now with "The Horror of the Heights" (1913) the editors are on firmer ground. Though basically a gothic horror tale, there is enough science in the concept of his "air-jungles" to justify the SF classification.
With "Danger!" (1914) there is no question. This classic of "future war" SF that correctly predicted the danger of submarine warfare but utterly missed the military counters to it unquestionably belongs.
But with "The Lift" (1922) we are back to material chosen to fill space. This tale about a maniac sabotaging an elevator is not SF under any possible definition.
The presence of the two Professor Challenger stories that round out the book: "The Disintegration Machine" and "When the World Screamed" are also not in question.
The trouble is that while Sir Arthur obviously wrote a number of things that can legitimately be labeled SF, outside of the Professor Challenger novels and stories they consist entirely of "The Horror of the Heights" and "Danger!" The rest vary from very good to only so-so, but SF they are NOT.