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Old 06-26-2020, 02:28 AM   #1
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Connington, J. J.: Nordenholt's Millions (1923); v1; 26 June 2020

J J Connington (Alfred Walter Stewart, 1880-1947) was one of the many detective writers of the Golden Age, and like most of them he held down a day job: he was a scientist. He wrote a great many detective novels and some short stories, and a well-received world catastrophe novel.

This is the catastrophe novel: a bacterium that destroys the ability of plant life to extract nitrogen from the soil escapes a lab and spreads rapidly; the result is a collapse of food supplies, famine, catastrophe.

Nordenholt, an industrialist billionaire, forms a million-strong colony/laboratory system to support the research necessary to defeat the bug, and at the same time preserve some of the human race.

(An idea later developed in John Christopher's novel "The Death of Grass" aka "No Blade of Grass".)
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