|Influenced by Edgar Allan Poe and H.-G. Wells, Maurice Renard
(-) often crossed the line between fantastique and science fiction, and yet developed a rational, lucid, logical approach to the supernatural.
His Le Docteur Lerne - Sous-Dieu
(1908) was dedicated to Wells. In it, a mad scientist transplanted not only organs between men and animals, but
also between plants, and even machines. His 1911 novel, Le Péril
Bleu, predating Charles Fort's Book
of the Damned (1919), postulated the existence of invisible creatures
living in the upper strata of the atmosphere who fish for men. It is, however, humanistic and tolerant in style
rather than fearful and xenophobic philosophy.
Renard's impact was even more considerable in the 1920s and 1930s, with Un
Homme chez les Microbes (1928), one of the first scientific novels
on the theme of miniaturization. One of his last works novels was Le
Maître de la Lumière (1947) which anticipated Bob Shaw's
notorious "slow glass" by introducing the concept of a glass that condensed time.
In 1920, Renard also wrote the classic Les Mains d'Orlac [The Hands of Orlac], in which a virtuoso pianist received the transplanted hands
of a murderer and turned into a killer himself. .
novels: Doctor Lerne, A Man Among the Microbes, The Blue Peril,
The Doctored Man,
The Master of Light (2010)