(1906-1974) US playwright, publisher and author whose interest in the occult was reflected in his sf novels, To Walk the Night (1937; rev 1954) and The Edge of Running Water (1939; vt The Unquiet Corpse 1956), both later assembled as The Rim of Morning (omni 1964); along with one story, "Let Nothing You Dismay" (in Stories for Tomorrow, anth 1954, ed Sloane), they are all the sf he wrote. The first complexly combines horror and sf in its depiction of an Alien from another Dimension who enters human life as the wife of a famous physicist, whose attempts to gain a working knowledge of the universe as a serial construction that can be traversed (see J W Dunne) force her to kill him; when his natural son carries on his work, "Selena" marries him too, and kills him as well. The story is absorbing and polished, with Horror in SF elements that evoke L P Lovecraft. In the second, rather similarly, a widower's obsession with attempts at Communication with her dead self transforms him into a Mad Scientist, and eventually causes his death in an inter-dimensional vortex; local prejudice also exacts its toll.
After abandoning his writing career to focus on his work as publisher (he founded William Sloane Associates), Sloane edited two sf anthologies, Space, Space, Space: Stories About the Time When Men Will be Adventuring to the Stars (anth 1953) and Stories for Tomorrow: An Anthology of Modern Science Fiction (anth 1954; cut 1955); the latter was one of the finest collections of its period. [JC]
William Milligan Sloane III
born Plymouth, Massachusetts: 15 August 1906
died New City, New York: 25 September 1974
plays (highly selected)
works as editor
Previous versions of this entry