August 29th, 2012


Charles Fort, by Jim Steinmeyer

Charles Fort: The Man who Invented the Supernatural, has some unexpected occurrences. Not frog rains and star jellies, or anything else of the Fortean kind, but pretty unlikely all the same. An abusive childhood, a youthful tour of the world, and then settling down to become a fairly successful author of slice-of-life short stories about newspapermen and bums for the magazines of the day. One of the people who helped him along the way was Theodore Dreiser, who bought a number of Fort's stories, became a lifelong friend, and ultimately helped push Fort's Fortean books into print, when Fort finally gave up on fiction.

Booth Tarkington reviewed Fort's Book of the Damned: "People must turn to look at [Fort's] head when he walks down the street; I think it's a head that would emit noises and explosions, with copper flames playing out from the ears." The truth is a lot more prosaic, but still an interesting story.