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On December 13, 1795, a small meteorite plunged to the ground near the Yorkshire village of Wold Newton. According to veteran sf author Philip Jose Farmer, the crash produced a radiation shower that blanketed two horsedrawn carriages carrying some extraordinary witnesses. The meteorite was very real (a memorial marks where it struck); the witnesses were entirely fictional. As delineated in a series of papers spanning several decades of his career, Farmer's "researches" identified among the witnesses an impressive roster of celebrities, including everyone from Captain Blood, Sherlock Holmes, and Allan Quatermain to Tarzan, Doc Savage, and James Bond--often along with their offspring--just to name a few. Editor Eckert collects all of Farmer's so-called essays as well as others by several fans to fill out Farmer's fanciful scholarship. Although the volume appeals primarily to Farmer fans, anyone interested in "secret" biographical tidbits on Holmes and his popular-literary ilk may enjoy at least taking a peek. Carl Hays
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In his classic biographies of fictional characters (Tarzan Alive and Doc Savage: His Apocalyptic Life), Hugo- and Nebula-award winning author Philip Jose Farmer introduced the Wold Newton family, a collection of heroes and villains whose family-tree includes Sherlock Holmes, Fu Manchu, Philip Marlowe, and James Bond. In books, stories, and essays he expanded the concept even further, adding more branches to the Wold Newton family-tree. MYTHS FOR THE MODERN AGE: PHILIP JOSE FARMER'S WOLD NEWTON UNIVERSE collects for the first time those rarely-seen essays. Expanding the family even farther are contributions from Farmer's successors-scholars, writers, and pop-culture historians-who bring even more fictional characters into the fold.