Blaine, John

Tagged: Author

Pseudonym of US author Harold Leland Goodwin (1914-1990) who specialized in sf-adventure novels for teenage readers. His books tended to emphasize the nuts and bolts of science and technology, and were more carefully written than most series books for teens. As Blake Savage he also wrote an sf novel for teens, Rip Foster Rides the Gray Planet (1952; vt Assignment in Space with Rip Foster 1958; vt Rip Foster in Ride the Gray Planet 1969). The protagonist is a newly graduated lieutenant Planeteer, educated in a Space Station, whose first assignment is to dislodge an Asteroid of pure thorium from its orbit and pilot it to earth. Along the way he learns much about diplomacy as he encounters interbranch military rivalry and space pirates from a foreign power. The author had been a lieutenant in the Marines during World War Two, and the political situation in the novel is a reflection of the Cold War era when the book was written. Under his own name, Goodwin wrote some popular-science texts, some as by Hal Goodwin, including The Real Book about Stars (1951), The Science Book of Space Travel (1954), Space: Frontier Unlimited (1962), and The Images of Space (1965).

He remains best known for the long Rick Brant Science-Adventure sequence (first three volumes only being designated the Rick Brant Electronic Adventure sequence), mostly written by him solo, all published as by John Blaine, which focus on the numerous Inventions of its teenage protagonist, son of a famous Scientist, on and off the planet. This series begins with three 1947 tales written in collaboration with Peter J Harkins, both writing together as Blaine – The Rocket's Shadow (1947), The Lost City (1947), a Lost Race tale, and Sea Gold (1947) – and continues as a solo production (with a single late exception) for many further volumes ending with The Magic Talisman (written 1969; 1990). Early titles in particular incorporated some Edisonade elements, which did not lessen a growing sense of datedness as the series progressed; several later titles, after Rick Brant is seconded to the Joint Army-Navy Intelligence Group, are early Technothrillers. Some of these novels anticipated such later real-life scientific advances as Moon-bounce Communications, proton magnetometers and surgical lasers. [JC/LW]

Harold Leland Goodwin

born Ellenburg, New York: 20 November 1914

died Bethesda, Maryland: 18 February 1990

works

series

Rick Brant Science-Adventure

  • The Rocket's Shadow (New York: Grosset and Dunlap, 1947) with Peter J Harkins, writing together as Blaine [Rick Brant Science-Adventure: hb/]
  • The Lost City (New York: Grosset and Dunlap, 1947) with Peter J Harkins, writing together as Blaine [Rick Brant Science-Adventure: hb/]
  • Sea Gold (New York: Grosset and Dunlap, 1947) with Peter J Harkins, writing together as Blaine [Rick Brant Science-Adventure: hb/?Homer Connolly]
  • 100 Fathoms Under (New York: Grosset and Dunlap, 1947) [Rick Brant Science-Adventure: hb/]
  • The Whispering Box Mystery (New York: Grosset and Dunlap, 1948) [Rick Brant Science-Adventure: hb/]
  • The Phantom Shark (New York: Grosset and Dunlap, 1949) [Rick Brant Science-Adventure: hb/]
  • Smuggler's Reef (New York: Grosset and Dunlap, 1950) [Rick Brant Science-Adventure: hb/]
  • The Caves of Fear (New York: Grosset and Dunlap, 1951) [Rick Brant Science-Adventure: hb/]
  • Stairway to Danger (New York: Grosset and Dunlap, 1952) [Rick Brant Science-Adventure: hb/]
  • The Golden Skull (New York: Grosset and Dunlap, 1954) [Rick Brant Science-Adventure: hb/]
  • The Wailing Octopus (New York: Grosset and Dunlap, 1956) [Rick Brant Science-Adventure: hb/]
  • The Electronic Mind Reader (New York: Grosset and Dunlap, 1957) [Rick Brant Science-Adventure: hb/]
  • The Scarlet Lake Mystery (New York: Grosset and Dunlap, 1957) [Rick Brant Science-Adventure: hb/]
  • The Pirates of Shan (New York: Grosset and Dunlap, 1958) [Rick Brant Science-Adventure: hb/]
  • The Blue Ghost Mystery (New York: Grosset and Dunlap, 1960) [Rick Brant Science-Adventure: hb/]
  • The Egyptian Cat Mystery (New York: Grosset and Dunlap, 1961) [Rick Brant Science-Adventure: hb/]
  • The Flaming Mountain (New York: Grosset and Dunlap, 1963) [Rick Brant Science-Adventure: hb/]
  • The Flying Stingaree (New York: Grosset and Dunlap, 1963) [Rick Brant Science-Adventure: hb/]
  • The Ruby Ray Mystery (New York: Grosset and Dunlap, 1964) [Rick Brant Science-Adventure: hb/]
  • The Veiled Raiders (New York: Grosset and Dunlap, 1965) [Rick Brant Science-Adventure: hb/]
  • The Rocket Jumper (New York: Grosset and Dunlap, 1966) [Rick Brant Science-Adventure: hb/]
  • The Deadly Dutchman (New York: Grosset and Dunlap, 1967) [Rick Brant Science-Adventure: hb/]
  • Danger Below! (New York: Grosset and Dunlap, 1968) with Philip Harkins – possibly the same as Peter J Harkins (see above), writing together as Blaine: [Rick Brant Science-Adventure: hb/Harry Kane]
  • The Magic Talisman (Mountain Home, Tennessee: Manuscript Press, 1990) [written 1969: Rick Brant Science-Adventure: hb/]

individual titles

nonfiction

links

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