Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997)
Andom, R

Pseudonym of UK writer Alfred Walter Barrett (1869-1920), whose career was exclusively as an author of light fiction designed for the large markets that opened up in the 1890s, and for boys'-fiction journals like Captain Library, Nuggets and Scraps (which he edited); long before his death he had become a figure of the past. We Three and Troddles: A Tale of London Life (1894) and its several sequels – one of which, In Fear of a Throne (1911), is a Ruritanian fantasy – display the domesticated, deflating inconsequentiality demanded by its readership, a style only a few writers, like H G Wells and (less obviously) F Anstey, seemed able to subvert or transcend. The title story of The Strange Adventure of Roger Wilkins, and Other Stories (coll 1895) is an Identity-Exchange tale involving Wilkins and his office boy; The Identity Exchange: A Story of Some Odd Transformations (1902; vt The Marvellous Adventures of Me 1903) is similar, though more diffuse. The Enchanted Ship: A Story of Mystery with a Lot of Imagination (1908) is a Ghost Story set on a Pirate ship. The first tale in The Magic Bowl, and The Blue-Stone Ring: Oriental Tales with Occi (or Acci) dental Fittings (coll 1909) features a Genie who makes it possible for two young men to transform Russia into a Utopia, while "The Blue-Stone Ring" is a further identity-exchange story. [JC]

Alfred Walter Barrett

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This entry is taken from the Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997) edited by John Clute and John Grant. It is provided as a reference and resource for users of the SF Encyclopedia, but apart from possible small corrections has not been updated.