Working name of US teacher, advertising copywriter, real estate agent and author Alfred Johannes Olsen Jr (1884-1956), who began publishing sf with "The Four-Dimensional Roller-Press" for Amazing in June 1927; this was the first of several tales in the Four-Dimensional sequence. Other tales featured Professor Archimedes Banning, whose exploits were patterned on the model of the Edisonade. One magazine story, Rhythm Rides the Rocket (October 1940 Science Fiction; 1942 chap), featuring an all-female spacegoing orchestra, was reissued in booklet form. A lifetime interest in ants resulted in at least three stories: "The Ant With a Human Soul" (Spring/Summer 1932 Amazing Stories Quarterly) and "Peril Among the Drivers" (March 1934 Amazing) both have humans experience the life of being an ant; and "Six-Legged Gangsters" (June 1935 Amazing), which is related by ants. The two-story Captain Brink sequence, comprising "Captain Brink of the Space Marines" (November 1932 Amazing) and "The Space Marines and the Slavers" (December 1936 Amazing; vt "The Space Pirates" 1970 Astounding Stories Yearbook), may have introduced the term "space marines" to sf. Olsen withdrew from active publishing after about 1940 owing to severe arthritis. [JC/DRL/MA]
see also: Great and Small; Hive Minds.
Alfred Johannes Olsen Jr
born Providence, Rhode Island: 12 April 1884
died Ventura, California: 20 May 1956
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