(Critical Survey of Science Fiction and Fantasy)

In midlife, S. Fowler Wright altered career paths from accountant to author of science-fiction and mystery stories, poetry editor, and translator of works by Dante Alighieri. Wright’s vivid style has repeated patterns of romanticizing the protagonists in a world of wretched, animal-like beasts that constantly endanger their lives. Dream was the first in a trilogy; the second book, The Vengeance of Gwa (1935), first published under the pseudonym of Anthony Wingrave, is about an evil queen’s world among starving barbarians, and the third, Spiders’ War (1954), has Marguerite and her twentieth century lover, as an able-bodied warrior, transported by her magician to a future world threatened by giant spiders.

Wright’s writing interests initially drew him to the classics. He self-published his poetic version of Thomas Malory’s Le Morte d’Arthur (first transcribed c. 1469), translated Dante’s “Inferno” in rhymed iambic pentameter, and edited the British Poetry for several years. His fascination with science fiction is evidenced by his several dozen novels in the genre, which usually have horrific creatures threatening cognitive, humanlike beings. He wrote many crime and mystery novels as Sydney Fowler and published some work as Alan Seymor. Critics tend to agree that aging did not necessarily add maturity to Wright’s skill, and his later books received little note. Few of his works from his last...

(The entire section is 443 words.)