George H. Smith (fiction author)


George H. Smith (fiction author)

George H. Smith (1922-1996) was an American science fiction author. He is not to be confused with George H. Smith, a libertarian writer, or George O. Smith, another science fiction writer.

Works

*Dylan Macbride series
**"Kar Kaballa" (1969)
**"The Second War of the Worlds" (1976)
**"The Island Snatchers" (1978)

*"Doomsday Wing" (1963)
*"The Forgotten Planet" (1965) (as by George Henry Smith)
*"The Unending Night" (1964)
*"The Four Day Weekend" (1966) (as by George Henry Smith)
*"Druid's World" (1967) (as by George Henry Smith)
*"Witch Queen of Lochlann" (1969) (published under both names)

Plot Summaries

"Kar Kaballa", "The Second War of the Worlds", and "The Island Snatchers" are a loosely linked series, featuring a protagonist named Dylan Macbride, and set in the land of Avalon. The first was published by Ace Books, and the others by DAW Books.

In Earth legend, Avalon is the place where King Arthur was taken. In Avalon, Earth is a place of legend, separated from Avalon by a dimensional gateway, and what is legend in one place is real in another.

In Kar Kaballa, Dylan Macbride, the son of a famous explorer in Avalon, attempts to warn the Empire in which he lives (broadly similar to the late-Victorian British Empire) - of an impending invasion by the Gogs. The Gogs are a nomadic race equivalent to the Mongols, living on a continent separated from Avalon by a narrow sea. They worship a deity named Kar Kaballa, who demands human sacrifice, and wishes to emerge and consume the world.

Macbride gets nowhere in his attempts, because the Empire assumes the Gogs cannot cross the sea barrier that separates the continents, and in any case, the Navy would stop them. Macbride's explanations that the sea barrier that separates the continents freezes over once every fifty years, in a cycle related to sunspot activity, that the freeze is due to happen again, giving the Gogs ready access to Avalon, and the Navy will be powerless to stop them fall on deaf ears. Thus, the equivalent-Victorian culture must anachronistically contend with the invasion of a barbarian horde similar to that of Attila the Hun or Genghis Khan (but armed with formidable up-to-date weapons).

Macbride must team with the lovely Clarissa McTeague, a sorceress who worships the goddess Keridwen, a naval officer, and a strange fellow who is apparently from Earth, trying to sell a new weapon called a Gatling Gun to the Imperial authorities, to attempt to stop the Gogs, and prevent Kar Kaballa from emerging from his underground lair and consuming the world.

It's a lighthearted tale, combining the "Yellow Peril" popular in old pulps, a Great Old One "à la" Lovecraft, and elements of Celtic mythology, with a strong dose of humor.

"Druid's World" is a variant of the same story, featuring a hero named "Adam MacBride", but again set in an "Avalon" which combined features of early Victorian England (although the naval mutinies echo those during the Napoleonic Wars, the Spithead Mutiny in particular) with features of 5th or 6th century Byzantine Empire.

In quite a different vein is Smith's nuclear war novel Doomsday Wing. It shares many plot elements with the more famous film , but with reversed allegiances - where the film depicted a fanatic anti-Communist American general launching an attack on the Soviet Union on his own, in the Smith novel it is a fanatic Russian Communist attacking America without any authorization.

References

*isfdb name|id=George_H._Smith|name=George H. Smith


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