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Science Fiction Fawcett, Edgar: Solarion. v1. 25 Jun 2022
#1  GrannyGrump 06-25-2022, 02:29 AM

This proto science fiction story […] reads pretty well today. Fawcett's “Solarion ”may well have been the first story about a super-intelligent dog — certainly Olaf Stapledon scored a success with “Sirius” in 1944 and that novel owes something to “Solarion”
[link to Stapledon’s “Sirius”]
[…]
[Kenneth Stafford] was a keen scientist looking to find a connection between electricity and its possible effect on the mind. He tracked down a German scientist whose work was never published and used his theories to enhance the mind power of a specially selected breed of dog. Stafford succeeds beyond his expectations with Solarion, but encounters moral and philosophical problems that he had not foreseen. He is also in love with Celia who rejects his marriage proposal, and life gets more complicated when Celia becomes besotted with Solarian.
[…]
The book describes itself as a Romance and there is a love story that holds it all together. Developments in electrical engineering in the late 19th century were quickly coming on-stream, and the story would hold some fascination for the imaginative reader. This, together with the unexpected issues thrown up by questions of love and loyalty, by metaphysics and spiritualism, takes this story along many avenues. The story has some mystery, some imagination, and it examines the tropes of a man-made monster: Solarion is doomed to a life of loneliness.

Fawcett tells a good story and he examines themes that take it out of the well-trodden paths of romance and adventure.

(— Baswood, Goodreads review)

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Edgar Fawcett (May 26, 1847 – May 2, 1904) was an American novelist and poet.

Although he was a prolific writer (Wikipedia lists more than sixty titles in his bibliography), and successful in his time, his works are mostly forgotten today.
The majority of his writings seem to be “mainstream” fiction and poetry, but he occasionally stepped into weird fiction, with such novels as “Solarion” (about a dog given human intelligence), “Douglas Duane” (on scientific body-switching), and “The Ghost of Guy Thryle” (astral projection as a means of interplanetary travel).

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Solarion, by Edgar Fawcett (1847-1904), was first published in 1889. This ebook is in the public domain worldwide, because the author died more than 100 years ago, and it was published prior to 1926.
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