Rochester, George E

Tagged: Author

(1898-1966) UK author, mostly of fiction for boys under his own and several other names, including John Beresford, Frank Chaltam, Barton Furse, Jeffrey Gaunt, Eric Roche and Hamilton Smith; much of this output did not reach book form, including his first known sf tale, "The Black Vulture" (28 April-23 June 1934 Scoops), about a Mad Scientist plotting to rule the world. The Despot of the World (1936) tells a similar tale. Several 1930s tales with evocative titles – like The Skywayman: Breathless Story of Aerial Adventure (22 March-7 June 1932 Chums as "Captain Robin Hood, Skywayman"; 1933; vt Captain Robin Hood, Skywayman 1935), which features a mysterious Island, or Brood of the Vulture (1936), which does not – come close to sf, but typically restrict themselves to adventures in aeroplanes, often featuring air pirates. In The Haunted Man (23 January-3 April 1937 Detective Weekly; 1951) as by Jeffrey Gaunt, a mild-mannered clerk is surgically transformed into a powerful figure of evil. Of more direct sf interest is The Sea Spider: A Story of Piracy and Peril (9 February-4 May 1935 Magnet; 1936 chap), which features an armoured amphibious tank in the shape of a giant spider which ambulates on jointed metal legs.

Rochester was extremely popular in the 1930s; his later career was inconspicuous and he fell silent after about 1954. Of sf interest in his post-War output is the Black Wing sequence comprising Black Wing (1951) and Secret Pilot (1954), featuring a young heroic cadet who has been fitted with a flying suit powered by an atomic engine; among the advanced Weapons on display is a giant Ray Gun. [JC]

see also: Boys' Friend Library; Boys' Papers.

George Ernest Rochester

born Alnmouth, Northumberland: 17 December 1898

died London: 23 March 1966

works (selected)

series

Black Wing

  • Black Wing (London: The Epworth Press, 1951) [Black Wing: hb/uncredited]
  • Secret Pilot (London: The Epworth Press, 1954) [Black Wing: hb/uncredited]

individual titles

  • The Skywayman: Breathless Story of Aerial Adventure (London: The Amalgamated Press, 1933) [chap: first appeared 22 March-7 June 1932 Chums as "Captain Robin Hood, Skywayman": in the publisher's Boys' Friend Library series: pb/E Shelley]
  • The Sea Spider: A Story of Piracy and Peril (London: The Amalgamated Press, 1936) [chap: first appeared 9 February-4 May 1935 Magnet: in the publisher's Boys' Friend Library series: pb/uncredited]
  • The Despot of the World (London: John Hamilton, 1936) [illus/hb/Howard Leigh]
  • The Moth Men (London: Hutchinson, 1950) [hb/]
  • The Black Mole (London: Amalgamated Press, 1937) [chap: first appeared 1 June- 31 August 1935 Ranger: in the publisher's Boys' Friend Library series: pb/uncredited]
  • The Lost Squadron (London: Amalgamated Press, 1938) [chap: first appeared 15 February-2 May 1936 Magnet: in the publisher's Boys' Friend Library series: pb/uncredited]
  • The Haunted Man (London Eldon Press, 1951) as by Jeffrey Gaunt [first appeared 23 January-3 April 1937 Detective Weekly: hb/uncredited]
  • The Black Octopus (London: Frederick Warne and Company, 1954) [hb/]

links

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