Mason, F Van Wyck

Tagged: Author

(1901-1978) US author, who sometimes gave his name variously as F V W Mason, Van Wyck Mason, Frank Van Wyck Mason and Frank W Mason, and who published as well under at least two pseudonyms, Geoffrey Coffin and Ward Weaver; in active service during World War One and World War Two. Though now best known as a writer of historical novels with an emphasis on romantic adventure plots, he was initially prolific in shorter forms, publishing many stories in popular magazines from 1928, several of the nonfantastic titles among these being reworked into book form. Despite its evocative title, Captain Nemesis (30 March-27 April 1929 Argosy; 1929; rev 1957) is historical. Some of these tales are of genre interest, however, including two longer titles, "Death's Domain" (7-14 September 1929 Argosy) and the novella-length Phalanxes of Atlans (February-March 1931 Astounding; 2010), a Lost Race tale in which Atlantis is discovered in caverns deep Underground.

Mason is also of intermittent sf interest for his long-running Colonel North sequence, mystery and espionage thrillers beginning with Seeds of Murder (1930); they are usually told within the bounds of the nonfantastic, though some are more expansive, including The Rio Casino Intrigue (1941), which prefigures (though it does not exactly predict) the Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor that December. In the final tale in the series, The Deadly Orbit Mission (1968), verges into the Near Future as an out-of-control Russian missile threatens World War Three. [JC]

Francis Van Wyck Mason

born Boston, Massachusetts: 11 November 1901

died Bermuda: 28 August 1978



Colonel North (selected)

individual titles (highly selected)

  • Phalanxes of Atlans (Rockville, Maryland: Wildside Press, 2010) as F Van Wyck Mason [first appeared February-March 1931 Astounding: in the publisher's Pulp Classics series: pb/]


Previous versions of this entry

Website design and build: STEEL

Site ©2011 Gollancz, SFE content ©2011 SFE Ltd.