Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997)
Arlen, Michael

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(1895-1956) UK-Armenian writer, born Dikran Kouyoumidjian, best-known for sentimentalized satires of London life like The Green Hat (1924) and for sf like Man's Mortality (1933), a tale of the pax aeronautica frequently prophesied by writers of the early 20th century.

His Supernatural Fiction appears in These Charming People (coll of linked stories 1923) and May Fair (coll of linked stories 1924), where it accompanies non- fantasy stories also dealing with the adventures of Lord Tarlyon and his cronies; it is reassembled alone in Ghost Stories (coll 1927). Most of these tales involve supernatural incursions into contemporary life, as in "The Ancient Sin" (1923 Pan), in which Tarlyon comes across a father and son engaged upon so ancient a family quarrel that, after the son kills the father, the venue turns to ruins, for it is a drama that has been repeated from the beginning of time. Hell! Said the Duchess (1934) combines sf and fantasy elements: set in a Fascist near future, it concentrates on a man (in fact a Demon) who transforms himself into the shape of a woman and murders men by throat-cutting after Sex. [JC]

Michael Arlen


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.