2017 Cordwainer Smith Rediscovery Award

Seabury Quinn is  the winner of the 2017 Cordwainer Smith Rediscovery Award, announced at Readercon on July 14.

The juried award goes each year to a science fiction or fantasy writer whose work displays unusual originality, embodies the spirit of Cordwainer Smith’s fiction, and deserves renewed attention or “Rediscovery.” The award judges are Elizabeth Hand, Barry Malzberg, Mike Resnick, and Robert J. Sawyer.

Seabury Grandin Quinn (1889–1969) is best known for his stories of the occult detective Jules de Grandin, published in Weird Tales. The Wikipedia entry says about Quinn’s most famous creation:

Jules de Grandin is a fictional occult detective created by Seabury Quinn for Weird Tales. Assisted by Dr. Trowbridge (serving the same narrative purpose as Dr. Watson), de Grandin fought ghosts, werewolves, and satanists in over ninety stories, and one novel, between 1925 and 1951. Jules de Grandin and Dr. Trowbridge lived in Harrisonville, New Jersey. De Grandin was a French physician and expert on the occult and a former member of the French Sûreté who resembled a more physically dynamic blond, blue-eyed Hercule Poirot. Often, the supernatural entities in the mysteries are revealed not to be supernatural at all but the actions of insane, evil and depraved human beings.

Quinn’s first published story, “The Stone Image,” appeared in the May 1, 1919 issue of The Thrill Book and marked the first appearance of a character named “Dr. Towbridge,” who with a slight name change became de Grandin’s sidekick later on.

Quinn’s work appeared in 165 of the 279 issues in Weird Tales’ original run, making him the magazine’s most prolific contributor.

6 thoughts on “2017 Cordwainer Smith Rediscovery Award

  1. “Often, the supernatural entities in the mysteries are revealed not to be supernatural at all but the actions of insane, evil and depraved human beings.”

    Quinn created SCOOBY-DOO?

  2. Quinn is also the author of A Syllabus of Mortuary Jurisprudence a 1933 publication.

    “for use by students of the Renouard Training School for Embalmers, New York City, and the Williams Institute of Embalming, Kansas City, Kansas”

  3. I think Jack Williamson wrote at least one “inhuman/supernatural menace turns out to be result criminal trickery” story in the 1930s: no idea whether he was inspired by Quinn or both were drawing on a pre-existing trope.

  4. Bruce A Munro – T W Hanshew’s Hamilton Cleek was Scooby-Dooing in 1910. From the SF Encyclopedia entry:

    Cleek’s cases are wildly extravagant though nonfantastic: the “Red Crawl”, a fearsome hybrid spider/octopus Monster in “The Riddle of the Red Crawl” (September 1910 People’s Ideal Fiction Magazine), inevitably proves to be a Villain in red spider/octopus costume.

  5. @Bruce A Munro no idea whether he was inspired by Quinn or both were drawing on a pre-existing trope.

    It’s a gothic novel trope that goes back to the 18th Century. I think “The Mysteries of Udolopho” is the first example?

  6. Night Shade Books is going to be releasing all the Jules De Grandin stories in a series of books. The first volume The Horror On The Links is currently available as a hardcover and as an eBook.

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