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Cover of the book Quick action by Robert W. (Robert William) Chambers

Book info:

Author: Robert W. (Robert William) Chambers
Title: Quick action
Language: en
Publisher: New York, London : D. Appleton and company
Publ. year: 1914
Subject (keywords, tags): A Charming Little Trip Back in Time *Quick Action* is a collection of short stories by Robert W.


Spec. Coll. copy is part of a collection (Collection 1605). To page this item, use the collection record; to find the collection record, search the title: Nitka collection of fantastic fiction. Item is in box 39. Purchase, Zeitlin & Ver Brugge Booksellers, 1967

Contributor: University of California Libraries
Format: txt
Size: 324 kb
Book preview: Quick action by Robert W. (Robert William) Chambers

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Subject: A Charming Little Trip Back in Time
*Quick Action* is a collection of short stories by Robert W. Chambers, the “Shopgirl’s Scheherazade” in his time. We might call him the period Norah Roberts: a prolific writer of romances with the occasional appearance of something rather different--in his case, such classic horror as “The King in Yellow.” Nothing like that in this froth of romances, all sharing a Florida setting around Verbena Inlet and the swamps. 90% of the fantasy is in the frame story, the story in which he embeds the others to make it more a book and less an anthology. This frame supposes that the magical Countess Athalie sees all these tales in her crystal ball and recounts them to her court of adoring swains, one of whom recounts this all to us. The frame is arch, period, and ultimately pointless because it lacks its own story arc. The stories themselves are sweet, cute, and often clever. Humor often leavens the stereotypes, an awareness as the author addresses his own genre, as when the English duke’s daughter discovers American novels and their American author, or when George Z. Green challenges his friend, the writer of romance-adventures, to show him that one can happen to him, that, indeed, romance is all around us, just waiting for us to notice it. That is the one story dipping its toes into fantasy, as Green discovers a girl trying to escape a fortune-teller’s prediction. The men are gentlemen of the old school, often too reflexively honest to sign a false name in a hotel register, and too chivalrous to take pecuniary advantage of a situation. The girls are plucky but delicate, the sort of damsels easily frightened but game if they have a brave man to lean on. This is 1914, folks! Having read some other writers in the genre, I can see how Chambers held his lead in popularity over them.

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