J. U. Giesy (John Ulrich, 1877-1948)
& His Collaborators:
Pulp Magazines, Novels, Science Fiction, Esperanto

Compiled by Ralph Dumain

Basic bio(biblio)graphical sources:

John Ulrich Giesy - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

SFE: Giesy, J U (The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction)

John Ulrich Giesy @ Fantastic Fiction

The Cavalier (@ The Pulp Magazines Project). [Boldfacing is mine.— RD]

Between 1908 and 1914, The Cavalier published over 40 scientific or fantastic stories. Contributors included George Allan England, one of the leading writers of scientific fiction at the time, and Garrett P. Serviss, a journalist, writer, and lecturer on popular science who Mike Ashley has dubbed a "forerunner of Isaac Asimov." On February 17, 1911, The Cavalier introduced The Occult Detector, written by Salt Lake City doctor, J.U. Giesy, and Cincinnati lawyer, Junius B. Smith, featuring Semi Dual, a detective who uses psychic sciences to solve cases. A blend of scientific and detective fiction, this series became a staple in Munsey pulps for over twenty years.

Another example of The Cavalier's interest in experimenting and stretching the boundaries of reading was its bilingual series of English-language stories presented alongside Esperanto translations. The series was short lived, and only five stories were translated (August 10, 1912-February 8, 1913).

Correction (— RD): Giesy and his story were introduced in the February 17, 1912 issue (Vol. XII No. 2):

The Occult Detector [Part 1 of 3; Prince Abdul Omar of Persia (Semi-Dual)] by J. U. Giesy & Junius B. Smith

On the Munsey magazines:

Frank A. Munsey may have inspired a highly unusual literary experiment that appeared in the August 10 issue. A brief tale of the future, In 2112, by J. U. Giesy and Junius B. Smith (authors of the Semi Dual detective series), appeared, and immediately after it was a translation into Esperanto by Elmer E. Haynes, M.D. An introductory blurb advised interested readers that they could procure more information about the "international language" by writing the Esperanto Association of North America, Washington, D.C.

Munsey's genealogist was Dr. D. O. S. Lowell, who had been one of his teachers at Lisbon Falls, Maine. Dr. Lowell had been a contributor to the first twenty issues of GOLDEN ARGOSY with a series titled "Argosy Yarns," collected into book form as Jason's Quest by Leach, Shewell and Sanborn, Boston, in 1893. Having elevated himself to headmaster of Roxbury Latin School, Dr. Lowell now became a militant proselytizer of Esperanto. The language had been invented by Dr. L. L. Zamenhof, a Warsaw physician, in 1878, when he was just nineteen years old. The purpose was to create a language containing words that had no irregularities, exceptions, or duplications of meaning and thus would be comprehensible to everyone. Dr. Zamenhof's results were first published in 1887, and usage began in France.

Two articles by Dr. D. O. S. Lowell appeared in THE SCRAP BOOK for May and June, 1907, titled Learn Esperanto, the New Universal Language. In publishing a story both in English and Esperanto, science fiction was the obvious form because it could present a tale of tomorrow, when the whole world would speak the International Language. That was indeed the case in the short story, which also introduced moving hallways, concentrated sunlight, synthetic foods, radium pistols, and various other embellishments of a world two hundred years ahead.

During the late thirties, Forrest J. Ackerman, one of the world's leading science-fiction fans (today editor of FAMOUS MONSTERS OF FILMLAND), conducted an aggressive campaign to get readers of futuristic literature to take up Esperanto, even publishing amateur magazines in the language. His efforts aroused a limited enthusiasm, which has virtually disappeared in the intervening period.

THE CAVALIER'S experiment in Esperanto did not end with one story. Bob Davis announced that the international interest aroused by In 2112 had led to further experimentation. "I am not wise enough to know whether or not such a feature would be successful, but I haven't any hesitation about giving the readers of this magazine an opportunity to express themselves," he said. Starting with the January 18, 1913, issue, he began a new series of stories which would be presented both in English and in Esperanto. He left the question of continuance up to the readers. The translations were done by Dr. Lowell. The Lure of the Lavender Trees (January 18, 1913) told of a shipwrecked party whose captain is drawn to his death by the ominous purple trees of an unknown atoll; it was followed by The Fear of Life, by Harold Titus, a dramatic lumberjack tale (January 25); Marguerites told of a seventeen-year-old miraculously saved from a life of prostitution by a crippled baby (February 1); and The Spot Down Deep, by Fred Sweet, a sweetness-and-light bit of nostalgia falsifying memory (February 8), brought down the curtain on the Esperanto experiment, followed by shredding criticism from its adherents.

"Esperanto—A Closed Incident," Bob Davis headed an item in the February 22 issue. " . . . I stated at the outset that it was merely an experiment," he wrote, "one that I would continue if the majority approved. Well, the majority did not approve.

"That is the long and the short of it. If I published all the correspondence, the ensuing controversy would be interminable.

"If you will pardon me now, I will go back in my cage, pick a few porcupine quills out of my person, and get ready for the next issue, which will be in English."

SOURCE: Moskowitz, Sam, comp. & ed. Under the Moons of Mars: A History and Anthology of "the Scientific Romance" in the Munsey Magazines, 1912-1920. New York, Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1970. This excerpt, pp. 340-342.

This anthology includes "Palos of the Dog Star Pack" by J. U. Giesy, pp. 99-124; originally in All-Story Weekly, July 13-August 10, 1918.  There is a brief biography of Giesy on pp. 99-100. See also pp. 338, 365, 382, 385, 390, 394, 415-416, 423, 426.

Basic bibliographical sources:

Bleiler, Everet F. Science-fiction, the Early Years: a Full Description of More Than 3,000 Science-Fiction Stories from Earliest Times to the Appearance of the Genre Magazines in 1930, with the assistance of Richard J. Bleiler. Kent, OH: Kent State University Press, 1990.  For Giesy see pp. 285-287.

Summary Bibliography: J. U. Giesy (ISFDB: The Internet Speculative Fiction Database)

Giesy, J(ohn) U(lrich) (1877-1947) (bibliography of stories in The FictionMags Index @ Galactic Central) & see (chronological listing)

The Cavalier (listing of contents in Galactic Central)

Texts online:

John Ulrich Giesy @ Project Gutenberg of Australia

Works by or about John Ulrich Giesy @ Internet Archive: Issues including stories by Giesy:


Giesy, J. U. All for His Country. New York: The Macaulay Company, 1915.

Cohen, Octavus Roy; Giesy, J. U. The Other Woman, illustrated by Albert Matzke. New York: The Macaulay Company, 1917.

Many old pulps can be found at Comic Book Plus.

Other stories online:

Blind Man's Buff, Famous Fantastic Mysteries, September 1939.

The Gravity Experiment, Famous Fantastic Mysteries, December 1939.

 Palos of the Dog Star Pack [novel excerpt], All-Story Weekly, July 13-August 10, 1918.

The Rose-Colored Rug, Munsey’s Magazine, November 1925.

Novels offline:

Mimi: A Story of the Latin Quarter in War-Time. New York: Harper & Brothers, 1918. See also Esperanto translation, below.

The Mystery Woman. Racine, WI: Whitman Publishing Co., 1929. 

Riders of the Desert Trail. New York: Dodge Publishing Company, 1942.

The Valley of Suspicion. Garden City, NY: Garden City Publishing Co., Inc., 1927.

The Esperanto connection (cont’d):

Giesy, J[ohn] U[lrich]; Smith, Junius B. “In 2112,” The Cavalier, vol. 18, no. 4, August 10, 1912, p. 745-747; with “En 2112,” Esperanto translation by Elmer E. Haynes, pp. 748-750.

The Esperanto translation was later back-translated into English:

In 2112,” translated from Esperanto by Forrest J. Ackerman, International Science Fiction, No. 2, June 1968, pp. 93-97. New York: Galaxy Publishing Corporation.

Giesy, J.U. Mimi: rakonto pri la Latina Kvartalo dum la milito; tradukis Edward Saxton Payson. Londono: Brita Esperantista Asocio, 1920. See also English original, above.

The bibliography of stories in The FictionMags Index @ Galactic Central) can be consulted for other stories by, e.g.:

Smith, Junius B. (1883-1945): alphabetical listing | chronological listing

Haynes, Elmer E. (fl. 1910s). “Hurrah for the He-Stuff!,” All-Story Weekly, September 18 1915.  On this site see:

Elmer E. Haynes & John A. Morris on J. U. Giesy et al in the pulps (1915)

The rest of the paired English/Esperanto stories in The Cavalier:

Allen, Maryland. “The Lure of the Lavender Trees,” with “La Allogo de la Lavendaj Arboj,” translated by D. O. S. Lowell, vol. 24, no. 3, January 18, 1913, pp. 550-555, 555-560.

Titus, Harold. “The Fear of Life,” with “La Timo Pri la Vivado,” translated by D. O. S. Lowell, vol. 24, no. 4, January 25, 1913, pp. 759-763, 763-768.

Gale, Frances E.Marguerites,” with “Lekantoj,” translated by D. O. S. Lowell, vol. 25, no. 1, February 1, 1913, pp. 162-167, 167-171.

Sweet, Oney Fred. “The Spot Down Deep,” with “La Loko Profunde Interna,” translated by D. O. S. Lowell, vol. 25, no. 2, February 8, 1913, pp. 379-382, 382-384.

Hilton-Turvey, C.The “Apache” Dinner,’ with “La Apaĉa Vespermanĝo,” translated by D. O. S. Lowell, vol. 25, no. 3, February 15, 1913, pp. 566-571, 571-576. With the editor’s “Farewell to Esperanto,” p. 576.

Note also the final statement, quoted from Moskowitz (above):

Editor [Bob Davis]. “Esperanto—A Closed Incident,” in “Heart to Heart Talks” [letters column, pp. 758-761], The Cavalier, vol. 25, no. 4, February 22, 1913, p. 761. [Photographic images of entire column also depicted.]

And see:

The Cavalier: Covers & Contents

Note the discrepancies viz. The Pulp Magazines Project and in Moskowitz, above. The Cavalier’s editor did not count “In 2112” in his ‘experiment’.

These are the first appearances of Esperanto in the Munsey magazines:

Esperanto in The Scrap Book, April - June 1907.

This connects to PDF files of the 3 items mentioned below, beginning with this reader inquiry about Esperanto, then the 2 articles by Lowell:

Talks With Our Readers: The Esperanto Movement [subscriber in Meriden, Connecticut], The Scrap Book, vol. 3, no. 2, April 1907, pp. 166-167.

Daniel Ozro Smith Lowell (D.O.S., 1851-1928), who translated the five stories listed above, authored several originals as well:

Lowell, D(aniel) O(zro) S(mith) (1851-?):  alphabetical listing | chronological listing

. . . including these articles about Esperanto:

Esperanto: A First Lesson in the New International Language,” The Scrap Book, vol. 3, no. 3, May 1907, pp. 353-356.

Esperanto: Easy Lessons in the New International Language,” The Scrap Book, vol. 3, no. 4, June 1907, pp. 543-547.

Esperanto, the Wonderful New Language,” Munsey’s Magazine, vol. 38, no. 3, December 1907, pp. 325-327.

Note also:

The Way,” translation of L. L. Zamenhof's "La Vojo" by D. O. S. Lowell

This is one of two English translations of Zamenhof's poem. The other is by the first known African American Esperantist William Pickens:

“La Vojo”— Zamenhof's Poem in Esperanto

See also:

Esperanto in early science fiction to 1930 by Everet F. Bleiler,

and offsite:

Earliest story with Esperanto future.

In 2112” (1912) by J. U. Giesy & J. B. Smith

En 2112” (1912) by J. U. Giesy & J. B. Smith,
translated into Esperanto by Elmer E. Haynes, M.D.

In 2112,” by J. U. Giesy & J. B. Smith,
translated from Esperanto by Forrest J. Ackerman

Esperanto—A Closed Incident
by the Editor [Bob Davis],
with images of the entire letter column
“Heart to Heart Talks”

Elmer E. Haynes & John A. Morris on J. U. Giesy et al in the pulps (1915)

Lynch, [John Gilbert] Bohun (1884-1928): Menace from the Moon
by Everet F. Bleiler

Esperanto & Interlinguistics Study Guide / Retgvidilo pri Esperanto & Interlingvistiko

Philosophical and Universal Languages, 1600-1800, and Related Themes: Selected Bibliography

Sciencfikcio & Utopia Literaturo en Esperanto / Science Fiction & Utopian Literature in Esperanto:
Gvidilo / A Guide

Science Fiction & Utopia Research Resources: A Selective Work in Progress


J. U. Giesy @ Ĝirafo

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Uploaded 31 October 2021
Last update 25 January 2022

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