(May 16, 1925 - July 20, 1995) Claude Avice, a Doctor of Pharmacy, also used the pseudonyms of Olivier Sprigel and David Maine. Several of his novels were translated into English and published by DAW Books.
Pierre Barbet’s first two science fiction novels, Vers un Avenir Perdu [Towards A Lost Future] (1962) and Babel 3805 (1962) were published by the Rayon Fantastique science fiction series of Hachette and Gallimard.
After the cancellation of that series during 1964, Barbet began writing for the Fleuve Noir company’s Anticipation series during 1966, and became a steady provider of classic “space operas”, such as Vikings de l'Espace [Space Vikings] (1969), the tale of the conquest of the galaxy by a Viking-like warlord whose planet’s sun is dying.
Barbet was among the first writers to introduce heroic fantasy to Anticipation as part of his Temporal Investigator Setni series, which started with L'Exilé du Temps [The Exile Of Time] (1969). Setni was a special agent for a Galactic Federation ruled by preserved brains. Barbet followed suit with À Quoi Songent les Psyborgs? [What Do Psyborgs Dream About?] (1971), in which Setni explores a planet where a trio of powerful, disembodied brains have recreated the fantasy legends of Amadis of Gaul for their own entertainment. He continued to use this theme with La Planète Enchantée (1973) and Vénusine (1977), the latter written under the pseudonym Olivier Sprigel. He also wrote an alternate history, L'Empire du Baphomet [The Empire Of Baphomet] (1972), in which an alien attempts to manipulate the Knights Templar to assume control of the world during the Crusades. It was translated later into English as Cosmic Crusaders (1980).
Barbet’s other notable novels included the Napoleons of Eridani trilogy (1970–84), in which a squadron of Napoleonic soldiers kidnapped by aliens conquer a space empire, a theme reminiscent of Poul Anderson's High Crusade and the author's earlier L'Empire du Baphomet (translated into English as Cosmic Crusaders). His other series included the adventures of the dashing Alex Courville, a hero not unlike Anderson’s Dominic Flandry, and the saga of the Cities in Space (1979–85), reminiscent of James Blish's renowned series.