Page, Norvell W

Tagged: Author

(1906-1961) US writer who specialized between 1930 and 1943 in Hero/Villain Pulp adventure, much of his production being novel-length stories for The Spider, featuring the eponymous nascent Superhero, whose powers and Weapons – including a thin silk web used for climbing buildings – always press the envelope of the fantastic and sometimes pierce it, often aided by the Inventions of Professor Brownlee. The Spider sequence was created in competition with the somewhat more successful Shadow tales, mostly written for The Shadow magazine by Walter B Gibson (see The Shadow). Under the House Name Grant Stockbridge Page wrote about 100 Spider tales for The Spider between 1933 and 1943; other Spider authors included Wayne Rogers and Emile Tepperman. Many of the stories verged into the supernatural and sf; those eventually published in book form include Wings of the Black Death (December 1933 Spider; 1969), City of Flaming Shadows (January 1934 Spider; 1970), Builder of the Black Empire (October 1934 Spider; 1980), The City Destroyer (January 1935 Spider; 1975), Hordes of the Red Butcher (June 1935 Spider; 1975), Master of the Death-Madness (August 1935 Spider; 1980), Overlord of the Damned (October 1935 Spider; 1980), Death Reign of the Vampire King (November 1935 Spider; 1975) and Death and the Spider (January 1942 Spider; 1975). A final Spider title, left unpublished when the magazine folded, was reworked with new characters as Blue Steel (1979) as by Spider Page. Further titles were released [see Checklist below] in the form of collections. As N Wooten Poge (a spoof pseudonym which led to the belief that his middle name was Wooten), he wrote non-fantastic thrillers. As Randolph Craig, Page created two spin-offs from The Spider, The Octopus and The Scorpion, neither of which extended past a single story; these were subsequently published as The Octopus (February 1939 Octopus as "The City Condemned to Hell"; 1976 chap) and The Scorpion (April 1939 Scorpion as "Satan's Incubator"; 1975 chap).

Under his own name Page contributed three long stories to Unknown in its first year: "But Without Horns" (June 1940 Unknown) concerns a Mutant who uses his Psi Powers to induce religious worship in those who come into contact with him; Flame Winds (June 1939 Unknown; 1969) and Sons of the Bear-God (November 1939 Unknown; 1969) are Sword-and-Sorcery novels whose hero is based on Prester John. During World War Two Page took a post writing government reports; afterwards he worked for the Atomic Energy Commission. The insecurity about his birthdate (1904 is commonly given) may be due to his lying about his age to gain his first newspaper job in 1924. [MJE/JC]

see also: Gods and Demons.

Norvell Wordsworth Page

born Richmond, Virginia: 13 July 1906 [this date may be insecure]

died Washington, District of Columbia: 14 August 1961

works

series

Prester John/Wan Tengri

The Spider

individual titles

  • The Scorpion (Robert Weinberg Publishers, 1975) as by Randolph Craig [first appeared April 1939 Scorpion as "Satan's Incubator": pb/John Howitt]
  • The Octopus (Robert Weinberg Publishers, 1976) as by Randolph Craig [first appeared February 1939 Octopus as "The City Condemned to Hell": pb/John Howitt]

links

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