Robert William Cole

Robert William Cole (1869–1937) was a British photographer and author.[1] Some of his works are early science fiction and future war fiction.[2]

Cole's works are mostly out of print and are difficult to find. Copies can be found at the British Library, and two have been republished in scholarly editions. They include four novels:[3]

  • The Struggle for Empire: A Story of the Year 2236 (1900)

The expanding Anglo-Saxon Empire of Earth collides with a similar empire based on Kairet, a planet of Sirius. Both empires have forgotten spiritual and philosophical values, and are driven largely by greed. Commercial rivalries soon escalate to a devastating interstellar war which results in the destruction of most of the Terran fleet, the invasion of Earth, and other disasters. The book is notable for its depiction of technology including antigravity, interplanetary radio, television, various forms of death ray, industrial transmutation, etc. A scholarly edition edited by Richard Bleiler is available from the English publishers Pickering & Chatto as part of their 2013 "Political Future Fiction" series.

  • His Other Self: The Story of a Man with a Past (1906)

A former wastrel who has found love and turned over a new leaf is intermittently possessed by his rakish past self, who does all the things that the hero no longer wants to do - drinking, chasing loose women, etc. - to teach the hero a moral lesson. Eventually the hero is prepared to renounce his fiancée to ensure that her life will be happy, even if he is miserable. This proves that he is worthy of her, the haunting ends, and they marry.

  • The Death Trap (1907)

Germany, France, and Russia go to war with Britain (the French under duress, the others willingly), destroy the British fleet, and invade southern England. Britain is nearly defeated and as profiteering, government bungling and the acts of German agents bring the country close to revolution, a heroic general is called upon to lead the country to victory. With the aid of the Japanese navy (the Japanese remembering Britain as allies from their war with Russia) the General engages the German fleet at the last moment. France switches sides just before the battle, and the enemy fleet is turned away. Pickering & Chatto have included this book in their 2000 "British Future Fiction" series.

  • The Artificial Girl (1908)

A romantic comedy; a young man disguises himself as his sister and takes her place at a ladies' finishing school, in order to pursue the woman he loves.


  1. ^ The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction
  2. ^ DePauw University Science Fiction Studies: Future-War Fiction; The First Main Phase, 1871-1900 by I. F. Clarke
  3. ^ "ISFDB Entry for Robert W. Cole". Retrieved 2014-07-02.
1981 New Year Honours

The New Year Honours 1981 were appointments by most of the Commonwealth realms of Queen Elizabeth II to various orders and honours to reward and highlight good works by citizens of those countries, and honorary ones to citizens of other countries. They were announced on 31 December 1980 to celebrate the year passed and mark the beginning of 1981.Names and titles of recipients are shown as they appeared in this honours list.

Deaths in January 2019

The following is a list of notable deaths in January 2019.

Entries for each day are listed alphabetically by surname. A typical entry lists information in the following sequence:

Name, age, country of citizenship at birth, subsequent country of citizenship (if applicable), reason for notability, cause of death (if known), and reference.

Sirius in fiction

The name "Sirius" is also often applied to people, animals, or things not directly connected with the star. For other uses, see Sirius (disambiguation).

The planetary systems of stars other than the Sun and the Solar System are a staple element in much science fiction. Sirius, a double star system with the binary designation Sirius AB, is the brightest stellar object in the night sky. Its component stars are Sirius A (the primary—twice as massive and 25 times more luminous than the Sun) and Sirius B (the secondary—a faint white dwarf). The distance separating Sirius A from its companion varies between 8.1 and 31.5 AU, reflecting the eccentricity of their mutual orbits. The system contains no known extrasolar planets (see Traveller below)—and even if such were eventually discovered, with an estimated age of 230 million years the system is too young to have fostered the development of life or a complex biosphere.Sirius AB is the alpha star of the constellation Canis Major (the great dog, sometimes styled as Orion's hunting dog), whence its cognomen the dog star. The most commonly used proper name of this star comes through the Latin Sirius, from the Greek Σείριος (Seirios, glowing or scorcher). The ancient Greeks observed that the appearance of Sirius heralded the hot and dry dog days of summer, and feared that it caused plants to wilt, men to weaken, and women to become aroused. (see The Iliad below). The star was also an important harbinger of winter to Maori and Polynesian cultures, and central to the animist beliefs of the Dogon people of Mali. To this day it is frequently mentioned in science fiction and related popular culture.

William Cole (public servant)

Sir Robert William Cole (16 September 1926 – 8 January 2019) was a senior Australian public servant. He held secretary-level positions in four departments or agencies during the Fraser Government and Hawke Government years.

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