I spent most of Wednesday reading two Jack Wright dime novels at the Library of Congress. Both are great examples of proto-science fiction that imagines inventors making a difference in real-world affairs.
In “Running the Blockade; or, Jack Wright Helping the Cuban Filibusters” from March 13, 1896, Jack uses his electric submarine, The Lone Star, to bring supplies to Cuban leaders fighting Spain.
In “The Flying Avenger; or, Jack Wright Fighting for Cuba” from April 10, 1896 Jack brings his airship to lay waste to Spanish troops and attempts to broker peace between Cuban General Gomez and Spanish General Weyler (the “Butcher”).
Both were written by Cuban-American writer Lu Senarens under the pseudonym “Noname.”
Also, I chaired a “William Faulkner and Mark Twain” panel at the American Literature Association in Washington D.C. It featured two excellent papers: one on game theory by Michael Wainwright and the other on modernist aesthetics and race by Rachel Watson.
Doing original research on either one of these canonical American authors is an enormous task. Writing a great paper that connects both of them is therefore doubly impressive. Thanks again Rachel and Michael!
Now, back home to add the Jack Wright material to my book chapter on Lu Senarens.