Making the Perfect Record: From Inscription to Impression in Early Magnetic Recording

The Modern Detective

Acknowledging this same sentiment twenty-seven years later, well-reputed science fiction publisher Hugo Gernsback introduced a Scientific Detective Monthly essay by Reeve with these acclamations: “Mr. Reeve, as the creator of Craig Kennedy, has perhaps done more for the dissemination of science through the medium of detective stories than any other man alive. Mr. Reeve has always kept within the strict bounds of science” (quoted in Locke 2007, 30). Only a sentence later, Gernsback speculates that, because of Reeve’s work, police forces in the United States are integrating new technologies into their departments in order to solve crimes and increase efficiency (30). For Reeve, this tangible correlation between actuality and fiction was—at least for a writer of detective stories—how to differentiate a modern approach from its predecessors, such as fiction by Edgar Allan Poe and Conan Doyle. From his perspective, scientific detective fiction did more than represent rationalist instrumentality. It had a populist, real-world accessibility. It was more applicable to everyday life than Romantic analysis or even Holmesian deduction.

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