Source: The Giant Sorcerer or, The Extraordinary Adventures of Raphael and Cassandra, Schlobin PS3545.H7575 G53 1927
Staff Person: L.K. Gypsye Legge
The Giant Sorcerer or, The Extraordinary Adventures of Raphael and Cassandra: by William Whitman 3rd with pictures by Frank Boyd is this week’s staff pick. Part of James H. and Virginia Schlobin Literature of the Fantastic Collection, this book was written for younger audience, perhaps upper grammar school age children.
Looking at it now is a fascinating glimpse into science and technology were presented as “magic”. The title character is in fact an autonomous robot, or perhaps what we might now call an Artificial Intelligence. This story was long before Asimov’s “Laws of Robotics”, or any other variations on the rules for benign relationships between humans and “mechanical citizens”.
The images selected are the front cover, for the strong Art Deco elements of the design, and the title page, which indicates that this particular item has made its’ way here from a beginning in a public library Indiana. There are many other items in the Schlobin Fantasy Collection that offer equally fascinating glimpses of how science and technology were seen in past decades.