This statement is simply wrong! But such is the status of this amazing reference work (which successive critics and reviewers have unquestioningly accepted and plundered) that this unfortunate misinformation continues to be perpetuated to this day.
Even commentators well disposed towards Fearn contrive to perpetuate the blunder. Anthologist Ann Hardin, for instance, in presenting her Fearn selection (‘Martian Miniature') in Martianthology (2003), claimed that:
"Four of his ‘Golden Amazon' stories from Fantastic Adventures were reassembled as novels, which were then reprinted in the Toronto Star Weekly."
Here we see the seeds of a further ghastly extrapolation from the Encyclopaedia's original error. That at least claimed that only the first Amazon novel had been a fix-up, using an ‘extensive' revision of the four stories. Now Ann Hardin appeared to suggest that no less than four book novels were based on each of the short stories! God knows what the next commentator will extrapolate from this weird variation.
Unless, that is, I can put a stop to this nonsense here and now! Probably a forlorn hope, since I have many times already stated the true facts in numerous articles, introductions, and even in a book published as far back as 1968 (The Multi-Man.)
None of these commentators appear to have any real knowledge of what they are talking about. It is quite obvious that they are perpetuating the myth because they have not troubled to read the first Fantastic Adventures stories of the Golden Amazon at all (nor even the later book novels, for that matter.)
It seems to me that far too many science fiction book reviewers, instead of confining themselves to an analysis of the book under review, feel compelled to trot out additional "background information"—presumably to bolster their credentials as critics. Such details appear to be an attempt to make the critic appear knowledgeable about the field, and so add gravitas to their review. But sometimes the writer does not actually have this background knowledge, and so these de rigeur background details of the reviewer are simply filched from other critics. Where the original source is erroneous, the later borrowing critic only makes a complete fool of himself.
A recent blatant example is to be found in Rich Horton's shoddy review of Dwellers in Darkness, the 20th Amazon novel. (The Internet Review of Science Fiction, issue 4, 2004).
I have no quarrel with the condescending negative tone of the actual review of the novel itself. Having read the novel, Horton is perfectly entitled to his opinion, which is obviously genuine and as valid as anyone else's. However, what I found objectionable in this review were the trimmings to the actual review, i.e. the proverbial "background information" to establish the reviewer's credentials.
Horton opens his review by confidently informing readers that:
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