Friday, December 13, 2013


Today is Wold Newton Day!

From the Introduction to Philip Jose Farmer's Wold Newton Family by Win Scott Eckert:

The Wold Newton Family is a group of heroic and villainous literary figures that science fiction author Philip Jose Farmer postulated belonged to the same genetic family. Some of these characters are adventurers, some are detectives, some explorers and scientists, some espionage agents, and some are evil geniuses.

According to Mr. Farmer, the Wold Newton family originated when a radioactive meteor landed in Wold Newton, England, in the year 1795 (click here to see a monument to the event). The radiation caused a genetic mutation in those present, which endowed many of their descendants with extremely high intelligence and strength, as well as an exceptional capacity and drive to perform good, or, as the case may be, evil deeds.

Popular characters that Philip Jose Farmer concluded were members of the Wold Newton mutant family include: Solomon Kane; Captain Blood; The Scarlet Pimpernel; Harry Flashman; Sherlock Holmes and his nemesis Professor Moriarty (aka Captain Nemo); Phileas Fogg; The Time Traveler; Allan Quatermain; Tarzan and his son Korak; A.J. Raffles; Professor Challenger; Richard Hannay; Bulldog Drummond; the evil Fu Manchu and his adversary, Sir Denis Nayland Smith; G-8; The Shadow; Sam Spade; Doc Savage, his cousin Pat Savage, and one of his five assistants, Monk Mayfair; The Spider; Nero Wolfe; Mr. Moto; The Avenger; Philip Marlowe; James Bond; Lew Archer; and Travis McGee.

As the Curator for the Toobworld Dynamic, I am a great admirer of the work done by Mr. Farmer and Mr. Eckert in detailing the lineage of these great pulp characters.  The Wold Newton Universe was an early influence on the Toobworld Dynamic.

But although there are similarities between the two shared universes, the TwD is NOT the WNU.  The main reason being that the Wold Newton meteorite is not a fixed point in the history of Earth Prime-Time.  At least, not yet.  (I have hopes one day it will be dramatized for TV.)

In the meantime, Toobworld does share many members from the original core of the Wold Newton Family listed above.  They would include:

Sherlock Holmes
Lord Greystoke aka Tarzan
Nero Wolfe
Fu Manchu
Sir Denis Nayland Smith
Bulldog Drummond
Allan Quatermain
Phileas Fogg
Professor James Moriarty
Professor George Challenger
Richard Hannay
Philip Marlowe
James Bond
Travis McGee
Lew Archer
Harry Flashman

And there are others, some perhaps within the extended family, others from the Wold Newton Universe in general, who also have counterparts in the TV Universe:

Arsene Lupin
Lord Peter Wimsey
Monsieur Lecoq
Hercule Poirot
Charlie Chan
The Frankenstein Family
Robin Hood
The Lone Ranger
The Saint
Father Brown
Dr. Thorndyke
Dr. Jeckyll
Horatio Hornblower
Miss Marple

And plenty more who sprang from the "Glass Furnace" first.

So I'd just like to take this moment to salute my comrades across the dimensional vortex with their continuing adventures on this anniversary.

Here's to that chunk of space debris that made it all possible!


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