GARRETT, (Gordon) Randall (Phillip David)


GARRETT, (Gordon) Randall (Phillip David)
(1927-1987) US writer whose first publication was a Probability Zero vignette in ASTOUNDING SCIENCE-FICTION in 1944. He went on to become a prolific writer for that magazine in the 1950s and early 1960s. He was at one time part of the ZIFF-DAVIS stable writing for AMAZING STORIES and FANTASTIC, when he and his sometime collaborator Robert SILVERBERG ran a"fiction factory" together. He used the pseudonyms David Gordon and Darrel T. Langart as well as numerous house names; he has frequently been listed as having written the ASF stories signed Walter Bupp, although these are now known to have been by John BERRYMAN. His most notable collaborations with Silverberg were the Nidor series, The Shrouded Planet (fixup 1957) and The Dawning Light (1958), which appeared as by Robert Randall; other collaborations were signed Gordon Aghill and Ralph BURKE, and some stories signed under house names Alexander BLADE, Richard GREER, Ivar JORGENSEN, Clyde MITCHELL, Leonard G. SPENCER, S.M. TENNESHAW and Gerald VANCE may befurther RG/Silverberg collaborations. He also collaborated with Laurence M. JANIFER, usually as Mark PHILLIPS, under which name they produced atrilogy of PSI-POWER stories: Brain Twister (1959 ASF as "That Sweet Little Old Lady"; 1962), The Impossibles (1960 ASF as "Out Like a Light";1963), and Supermind (1960-61 ASF as "Occasion for Disaster"; 1963).RG's most impressive solo work is the series of stories first published in ASF between 1964 and 1976 - reprinted in Too Many Magicians (1967), Murder and Magic (coll 1979) and Lord Darcy Investigates (coll 1981), and finallyassembled in Lord Darcy (omni 1983) - featuring the exploits of the detective Darcy in an ALTERNATE WORLD where MAGIC works according to Frazerian laws whose implications are being gradually unravelled by thescientific method. RG's earlier sf books were Unwise Child (1962; vt Starship Death 1982), about a sentient machine, and Anything You Can Do . . (1963) as by Darrel T. Langart, about a battle between a superhuman and an ALIEN. RG was fond of producing parodies in verse and prose: he wrote comic verse for The MAGAZINE OF FANTASY AND SCIENCE FICTION and "Parodies Tossed" (1956) for SCIENCE FICTION QUARTERLY, and he guyed theFeghoot shaggy-dog stories (written for FSF by Reginald BRETNOR as Grendel Briarton) in the adventures of Benedict Breadfruit, written for AMZ as Grandall Barretton. With Janifer he wrote a bawdy comic fantasy in which the deities of Classical MYTHOLOGY return to preside over a high-tech future, Pagan Passions (1959). His best humorous work was collected in Takeoff! (coll 1980) and Takeoff Too (coll 1987); a more eclecticselection was assembled in The Best of Randall Garrett (coll 1982) ed Silverberg. Always a devout man - despite the occasional wildness of hislifestyle - RG virtually dropped out of sf writing for a long period in the 1970s, and took Holy Orders for a while. He eventually abandoned the priesthood and married his third wife, Vicki Ann Heydron, with whom he plotted the Gandalara series of heroic fantasies; these appeared as collaborations, although in fact Heydron wrote them while RG was hospitalized in the wake of a serious attack of viral meningitis. The series comprises The Steel of Raithskar (1981), The Glass of Dyskornis (1982), The Bronze of Eddarta (1983), The Well of Darkness (1983), TheSearch for Ka (1984), Return to Eddarta (1985) and The River Wall (1986). The first 3 were assembled as The Gandalara Cycle, Volume 1 (omni 1986) and the second 3 as The Gandalara Cycle, Volume 2 (omni 1986).
   BS
   See also: CRIME AND PUNISHMENT; ESP.

Science Fiction and Fantasy Encyclopedia. . 2011.

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