Robert William Cole
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Robert William Cole (1869-1937) was a British photographer and author who wrote early science fiction and future war fiction. Cole's works, mostly out of print and very obscure, can be found at the British Library. They include the following:
- The Struggle for Empire: A Story of the Year 2236 (1900)
The expanding Anglo-Saxon Empire of Earth collides with a similar empire based on Kairet, a planet of Sirius. Both empires have forgotten spiritual and philosophical values, and are driven largely by greed. Commercial rivalries soon escalate to a devastating interstellar war which results in the destruction of most of the Terran fleet, the invasion of Earth, and other disasters. The book is notable for its depiction of technology including antigravity, interplanetary radio, television, various forms of death ray, industrial transmutation, etc. A scholarly edition prepared by Richard Bleiler is available from the English publishers Pickering & Chatto as part of their "Political Future Fiction" series.
- The Death Trap (1907)
Germany, France, and Russia go to war with Britain (the French under duress, the others willingly), destroy the British fleet, and invade southern England. Britain is nearly defeated and as profiteering, government bungling and the acts of German agents bring the country close to revolution, a heroic general is called upon to lead the country to victory. With the aid of the Japanese navy (the Japanese remembering Britain as allies from their war with Russia) the General engages the German fleet at the last moment. France switches sides just before the battle, and the enemy fleet is turned away.
- The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction
- DePauw University Science Fiction Studies: Future-War Fiction; The First Main Phase, 1871-1900 by I. F. Clarke