Harl Vincent

The Short Stories of Harl Vincent

Science fiction writer Harl Vincent was born Harold Vincent Schoepflin in 1893. Vincent grew up in Buffalo, New York and went on to train as a mechanical engineer. A fan long before he started producing his own science fiction stories, Vincent grew up reading Hugo Gernsback’s seminal pulp fiction magazine, Amazing Stories. He published his first science fiction story there — The Golden Girl of Munan — in 1928. The futurist tale about interplanetary warfare — set in the then completely unknowable year of 2046 and introduced a generation to Vincent’s vivid imagination. Vincent’s fiction is notable for its attention to scientific detail, though that detail is not necessarily accurate. An interest in the future of technology might be expected coming from this electrical engineer with the Westinghouse Corporation; Vincent had a career with the company for most of his life. Like his cohorts in the golden era of sci-fi, Vincent’s many published stories ponder the future of science and mankind’s connection with alien worlds, including the conflicts that might arise. His prose can seem dated and corny now but, in his heyday, Vincent captured the public’s fascination with the possibilities of travel across space, time and dimensions. In his own modest way he was a literary innovator. Vincent wrote close to a hundred short stories about fabulous inventions, scheming scientists and space/time adventure, some of the most popular being series — the Professor Timkin series, the Ridge Coler series and the Prowler series, among them. In the ‘30s, these and Vincent’s many standalone stories — such as Old Crompton's Secret, a morality tale about a scientific process that reverses aging — were mostly published in the monthly and quarterly pulp magazines of the day — Amazing Stories, Astounding Stories, Science Wonder Stories, and the like. Vincent stopped writing altogether in the ‘40s but returned to publishing in 1966 with The Doomsday Planet, another epic tale of intergalactic exploration. It was his only novel. Late in life, Vincent re-located to the West Coast. He would remain active in the Los Angeles science fiction community there right up until his death in 1968.
222 printed pages


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