TEMPLE, William F(rederick)


TEMPLE, William F(rederick)
(1914-1989)
   UK writer who began his activities in the sf world before WWII as an active fan, a member of the British Interplanetary Society and editor of its Bulletin, and housemate of Arthur C. CLARKE. He published a horror story, "The Kosso" in Thrills (anth 1935) ed anon Charles Birkin (1907-1986); his first sf story was "Lunar Lilliput", for Tales of Wonderin 1938. War service interrupted his career for more than half a decade. His first and best-known novel, Four-Sided Triangle (1939 AMZ; exp 1949),is a love story in which a girl who is loved by two men is duplicated by the one she has refused, but unfortunately both clones are attracted to the same man; it was filmed as FOUR-SIDED TRIANGLE from a script cowritten by Paul TABORI. WFT then became active in the magazines for about a decade, continuing to produce at a moderate rate until about 1970, though it cannot be suggested that he built his post-WWII career with anything like the energy of more famous colleagues like Clarke or John WYNDHAM, nor during this period were his book-length fictions remarkably distinguished. The Martin Magnus series of sf juveniles - Martin Magnus, Planet Rover(1954), Martin Magnus on Venus (1955) and Martin Magnus on Mars (1956) - was followed by some undistinguished sf adventures: The Automated Goliath (fixup 1962 dos US), The Three Suns of Amara (1961 SF Adventures as "ATrek to Na-Abiza"; exp1962 chap dos US) and Battle on Venus (1953 Authentic as "Immortal's Playthings"; rev 1963 dos US). His last 2 novels, however, are far more impressive. Shoot at the Moon (1966), parodying many of the more routine sf conventions concerning trips to the MOON and the gallery of characters usually involved, is a ship-of-fools extravaganza of some hilarity. The Fleshpots of Sansato (1968) is a remarkable SPACE OPERA replete with interstellar agents, a corrupt city in the stars, and much symbolism.
   JC
   Other works: The Dangerous Edge (1951), a crime novel; The True Book about Space Travel (1954; vt The Prentice-Hall Book about Space Travel 1955 US).
   See also: CLONES.The Work of William F. Temple: An Annotated Bibliography \& Guide (1994) by Mike ASHLEY.

Science Fiction and Fantasy Encyclopedia. . 2011.


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