Williams, Jay

Tagged: Author

(1914-1978) US actor and author of at least 100 novels, mostly for children, though he wrote mysteries as by Michael Delving and some adult fiction. His first novel, The Stolen Oracle (1943), was an historical tale containing an element of fantasy; many of his singletons were similarly constructed. He is best known for the Danny Dunn sequence of Children's SF tales, beginning with Danny Dunn and the Anti-Gravity Paint (1956) with Raymond Abrashkin and ending with Danny Dunn and the Universal Glue (1977) also with Abrashkin, who collaborated on all fifteen titles. The individual tales usually focus on Inventions, sometimes only moderately in advance of the real world, and running a gamut from the Antigravity of the first volume, Weather Control in Danny Dunn and the Weather Machine (1959) – loosely adapted for film as Son of Flubber (1963) – Under the Sea explorations in Danny Dunn on the Ocean Floor (1960), Time Travel in Danny Dunn, Time Traveler (1963), and on: most titles in the series specify the marvel about to be examined. The series is notable for its early inclusion of a female co-protagonist who is as competent as Danny himself.

Of Williams's singletons, some are of sf interest, including UNIAD (1968), a Near Future tale involving the threat of Computer control, and The People of the Ax (1974), set in a Ruined Earth America where two apparently diverging species both turn out to be human. Williams was a competent author of books which, regardless of subject matter, emanated good will. [JC]

Jay Williams

born Buffalo, New York: 31 May 1914

died London: 12 July 1978

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Danny Dunn

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