“The Prince of Liars,” L. Taylor Hansen, 1930

“The Prince of Liars,” L. Taylor Hansen, 1930 — A scientist of Einstein persuasion tells a listener of Newtonisan persuasion a fictionalized tale of relativity the tale of a trip to the Blue Planet, a city under glass, and Thora, a scientist/priestess.  Involves discussions of relativity and time, Einstein v. Newton, the scientist’s curiosity as his/her driving force, “suspended judgment” as his/her greatest asset, perspective, yarn-spinners (liars), and the effect of change over time.  See Everett Bleiler’s Science Fiction: The Gernsback Years, for a detailed description of the plot.  Set in “New York, the ancient Ageaen and Near East around the 6th century B.C., and a planet of Sirius.” (Bleiler)

Comments: Features a strong female character in the ancient scientist/priestess, Thora. Some racial commentary. A story that does a lot of work, but is very lengthy. ISFDB entry. Read in Gosh! Wow! 

Author: Wikipedia: “L. (Lucile) Taylor Hansen (November 30, 1897 – May 1976) was a writer of science fiction popular science articles and books who used a male writing persona for the early part of her career. She is the author of eight short stories, nearly sixty nonfiction articles popularizing anthropology and geology, and three nonfiction books.”  Hansen is a controversial figure in the history of female-authored science fiction.  According to Erik Leif Davin, she is the only female writer during this period have intentionally concealed her sex from pulp sf editors and readers.  Davin claims that she did so to protect her privacy, while other scholars disagree.  See also her use of Native American pseudonyms, such as “Chief Sequoyah” and “Oge-Make.”  As for her beliefs on race, see her biography in Wikipedia for its comments on her interest in anthropology and Native American legends, as well as her claim that African Americans were not primitive but, rather, more highly evolved than other human types.


About jennre

Lifelong sf fan, first-time blogger
This entry was posted in 1926-1939, knowledge/truth/epistemology, the scientist, time/history/causality. Bookmark the permalink.

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