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SFF Author: John Kendrick Bangs

John Kendrick Bangs fantasy author(1862-1922)
“Bangsian” fantasy is fantasy in an after-life setting. John Kendrick Bangs also wrote several stand-alone novels and story collections.
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A House-Boat on the Styx: Bangsian fantasy

A House Boat on the Styx by John Kendrick Bangs

John Kendrick Bangs (1862-1922) was an American humorist who edited some popular American magazines such as Harper’s Weekly and Puck. His satirical novella A House-Boat on the Styx (1895) is responsible for the term Bangsian Fantasy, which refers to stories about famous people in the afterlife (e.g., Philip Jose Farmer’s Riverworld series).

In A House-Boat on the Styx, Charon the ferryman is dismayed to discover that he’s got some competition in the transportation business — a posh new riverboat has appeared on the Styx and there’s no way his craft can compete.


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The Pursuit of the Houseboat: Captain Kidd vs. The Ladies of Hades

The Pursuit of the Houseboat by John Kendrick Bangs

At the end of John Kendrick Bangs’ A House-boat on the Styx, the men went ashore to watch Goliath fight Samson, leaving the houseboat untended. So the ladies, headed by Cleopatra and Queen Elizabeth, took the opportunity to trespass. While they were playing pool below decks, the pirate Captain Kidd and his crew, unaware that the ladies were aboard, hijacked the boat and set out for Europe so they could do some looting.

As The Pursuit of the Houseboat opens,


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Next SFF Author: Ashok K. Banker
Previous SFF Author: Josiah Bancroft

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