Jan Weiss

Weiss_JanJan Weiss (1892-1972) was a Czech writer best known for his surreal science fiction novel Dům o Tisíci Patrech (House of a Thousand Floors) (1929). There is no entry for him in the Encyclopedia of Science Fiction, but in the entry for “Czech and Slovak SF” it says that Weiss was very different from a contemporary space-opera writer like J.M. Troska: “At the opposite pole stood Jan Weiss (1890-1972) with his dreamlike mainstream sf novel Dům o 1000 patrech [“The Thousand-Storey House”] (1929).”

His birth-dates are given differently in the Encyclopedia and in Wikipedia. I have no idea how much of that Wikipedia article I can trust, but as yet I have no other source (and the entry breaks off in 1929, so I know nothing about the last forty-three years of his life as yet). What I know of the novel, which is literally about a thousand storey building, comes from an anonymous review online, by Mrlovekraft.

According to Wikipedia, he was born in Jilemnice, the son of Josef Weiss and Philoména Richter. His mother died when he was five, and his father married again and had three more children. Weiss graduated from high school in 1913, and studied law in Vienna for two semesters, before joining the army (see War Experiences).

He began his writing career soon after the War, publishing short stories initially. In 1927 he published three novels.

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