West, Wallace

Tagged: Author

(1900-1980) US lawyer, writer, public-relations man and pollution-control expert who began publishing short stories with "Loup-Garou" in Weird Tales for October 1927 and sf with "The Last Man" in Amazing from February 1929, thereafter appearing fairly regularly in the magazines until the late 1960s. His stories, though unpretentiously told, exhibit a level-headed cognitive vigour that keeps even his early work from dating. Some of his tales – like "Dust" (written 1935; Spring 1967 Famous Science Fiction) – made significant early attempts to put Pollution and other side-effects of progress on the sf agenda.

His first books were two Betty Boop film Ties in the Big Little Books format, Betty Boop in Snow-White: Assisted by Bimbo and Ko-Ko (graph 1934) and Betty Boop in "Miss Gulliver's Travels" (graph 1935). At least three magazine series were collected in book form: The Bird of Time (August 1936-June 1953 Astounding, Thrilling Wonder; fixup 1959), a Planetary Romance set on Mars; Lords of Atlantis (May-November 1952 Future; coll of linked stories 1960), which features the rulers and scientists of Atlantis who, after the island sinks, live on as the gods of the Greek pantheon; and Outposts in Space (August 1931 Weird Tales as "Moon Madness" and later; coll of linked stories 1962), set on the Moon and the Outer Planets. Most of West's 1960s novels were revisions of pre-World War Two material, though The Memory Bank (July 1951 Startling as "The Dark Tower"; 1961) demonstrates his marginally more awkward later form. He was never a remarkable writer, nor did he ever devote himself full-time to fiction; but he was never dull. [JC]

see also: Politics.

George Wallace West

born Walnut Hills, Kentucky: 22 May 1900

died Shelby, Michigan: 8 March 1980

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Betty Boop

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