(1897-1963) US literary agent, editor and writer who worked for the Standard Magazine chain on Captain Future, Startling Stories and Thrilling Wonder Stories during 1941-1944, a period when these magazines were most specifically aimed at adolescents. The editorial director at the time was Leo Margulies, with whom Friend later edited three anthologies (see below). After the death of Otis Adelbert Kline in 1946, Friend became head of Kline's literary agency.
Friend was intermittently active as a writer from before 1920, concentrating on horror, Western and detective tales, sometimes as Owen Fox Jerome, his first sf story proper being "Of Jovian Build" for Thrilling Wonder Stories in October 1938. His first novel, The Hand of Horror (1927) as by Jerome, was a horror tale involving Hypnotism. His most interesting sf novel is The Kid from Mars (September 1940 Startling; 1949), in which an Alien from Mars comes to Earth in search of the secret of the human sense of humour – his literalism in this search coarsely though very indirectly prefiguring the "Martian" estrangement effects of poets like Elizabeth Bishop (1911-1979) and Craig Raine (1944- ), and providing a more direct model for Mork & Mindy. Roar of the Rocket (April 1940 Thrilling Wonder; 1950 chap), a story published as a pamphlet, and The Star Men (1963), are unremarkable but entertaining. [MJE/JC]
Oscar Jerome Friend
born St Louis, Missouri: 9 January 1897
died New York: 19 January 1963
works as editor
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