Edward Page Mitchell

"Edward Page Mitchell (1852–1927) was an American editorial and short story writer for The Sun, a daily newspaper in New York City. He became that newspaper's editor in 1897, succeeding Charles Anderson Dana. Mitchell was recognized as a major figure in the early development of the science fiction genre. Mitchell wrote fiction about a man rendered invisible by scientific means ("The Crystal Man", published in 1881) before H.G. Wells's The Invisible Man, wrote about a time-travel machine ("The Clock that Went Backward") before Wells's The Time Machine, wrote about faster-than-light travel ("The Tachypomp"; now perhaps his best-known work) in 1874, a thinking computer and a cyborg in 1879 ("The Ablest Man in the World"), and also wrote the earliest known stories about matter transmission or teleportation ("The Man without a Body", 1877) and a superior mutant ("Old Squids and Little Speller"). "Exchanging Their Souls" (1877) is one of the earliest fictional accounts of mind transfer. Mitchell retired in 1926, a year before dying of a cerebral hemorrhage.The gradual rediscovery of Mitchell and his work is a direct result of the publication in 1973 of a book-length anthology of his stories, compiled by Sam Moskowitz with a detailed introduction by Moskowitz giving much information about Mitchell's personal life. Because Mitchell's stories were not by-lined on original publication, nor indexed, Moskowitz expended major effort to track down and collect these works by an author whom Moskowitz cited as "the lost giant of American science fiction".Mitchell's stories show the strong influence of Edgar Allan Poe. Among other traits, Mitchell shares Poe's habit of giving a basically serious and dignified fictional character a jokey name, such as "Professor Dummkopf" in Mitchell's "The Man Without a Body". Since Mitchell's fictions were originally published in newspapers, typeset in the same format as news articles and not identified as fiction, he may possibly have used this device to signal to his readers that this text should not be taken seriously."-- Wikipedia



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