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SFF Author: Thorne Smith

James Thorne Smith Jr. (1892-1934), was an American writer of humorous supernaturnal fantasy fiction. Best known today for his creation of Topper, Smith’s comic fantasy fiction (most of it involving sex, lots of drinking, and supernatural transformations, and aided by racy illustrations) sold millions of copies in the early 1930s. Smith drank as steadily as his characters; his appearance in James Thurber’s The Years With Ross involves an unexplained week-long disappearance. Smith was born in Annapolis, Maryland the son of a Navy commodore, attended Dartmouth College, and after hungry years in Greenwich Village working part-time as an advertising agent, Smith achieved meteoric success with the publication of Topper in 1926. His other works include: The Stray Lamb (1929), Turnabout (1931), The Night Life of the Gods (1931), Topper Takes a Trip (1932), The Bishop’s Jaegers (1932), Rain in the Doorway (1933), Skin and Bones (1933) and The Glorious Pool (1934). In 1932 he died of a heart attack at the age of 42.



Turnabout: The ol’ switcheroo

Turnabout by Thorne Smith 

It has been a good number of years since I last read Thorne Smith’s ribald fantasy classic entitled The Night Life of the Gods (1931), but I can still recall how thoroughly enjoyable and hilarious the book was for me. In this wonderful romp, a NYC-based scientist, Hunter Hawk, invents a device that can turn people to stone. He soon meets Megaera, one of the Little People, who has the converse ability to turn statues into living people,

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Skin and Bones: “I’m looking through you….”

Skin and Bones by Thorne Smith

Up until recent years, I could have counted on the fingers of one hand the books that have made this reader laugh out loud … and I still would have had a couple of fingers left over. Those three books – all of which make me chuckle today, just thinking about them – are, chronologically, Harry Harrison’s undeniably funny Bill, The Galactic Hero (1955), Eric Frank Russell’s hilarious sci-fi adventure The Great Explosion (1962),

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Next SFF Author: Mark Smylie
Previous SFF Author: Sherwood Smith

We have reviewed 8298 fantasy, science fiction, and horror books, audiobooks, magazines, comics, and films.


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