TUBB, E(dwin) C(harles)


TUBB, E(dwin) C(harles)
(1919-)
   UK writer and editor who began publishing sf with "No Short Cuts" for NW in 1951, and for the next half decade or so produced a great amount of fiction, in UK magazines and in book form, under his own name and under many pseudonyms, some still undisclosed. After the late 1950s, his production moderated somewhat, but he remained a prolific author of consistently readable SPACE OPERAS. Of his many pseudonyms, those known to have been used for book titles of sf interest include Charles Grey, Gregory Kern, Carl Maddox, Edward Thompson and the house names VolstedGRIDBAN, Gill HUNT, King LANG, Arthur Maclean, Brian SHAW and Roy SHELDON. At least 50 further names were used for magazine stories only. His first sf novels were pseudonymous: Saturn Patrol (1951) as by King Lang, Planetfall (1951) as by Gill Hunt, "Argentis" (1952) as by Brian Shaw andAlien Universe (1952 chap) as by Volsted Gridban. He soon began publishing under his own name, with Alien Impact (1952) and Atom War on Mars (1952), though his best work in these years was probably that as by Charles Grey, beginning with The Wall (1953). Of his enormous output of magazine fiction, the Dusty Dribble stories in Authentic 1955-6 stand out; ECT also edited Authentic from Feb 1956 to its demise in Oct 1957.With Enterprise 2115 (1954 as by Grey; vt The Mechanical Monarch 1958 dos US as by ECT) hebegan to produce more sustained adventure novels. Alien Dust (1952-3 NW; 1954 Nebula; fixup 1955; expurgated 1957 US) effectively depicts therigours of interplanetary exploration. The Space-Born (1956 dos US) is a crisp GENERATION-STARSHIP tale. These novels all display a convincing expertise in the use of the language and themes of PULP-MAGAZINE sf, though they tend to avoid examining their material very thoroughly. Enterprise 2115, for instance, deals swiftly and with ECT's typicallargesse with REINCARNATION, the SUPERMAN theme and CYBERNETICS, along with a matriarchal DYSTOPIA; but the sustaining narrative - the pilot of the first spaceship returns from frozen sleep to reinvigorate a world gone wrong through its misuse of a predicting machine - hardly allows much justice to be done to any one concept.The next decade saw few ECT titles until the start of the long series for which he remains best known, the Dumarest books: The Winds of Gath (1967 dos US; rev vt Gath 1968 UK),Derai (1968 dos US), Toyman (1969 dos US), Kalin (1969 dos US), The Jester at Scar (1970 dos US), Lallia (1971 dos US), Technos (1972 dos US), Veruchia (1973 US), Mayenne (1973 US) and Jondelle (1973 US) - bothassembled as Mayenne and Jondelle (omni 1981 US) - Zenya (1974 US), Eloise (1975 US), Eye of the Zodiac (1975 US), Jack of Swords (1976 US), Spectrumof a Forgotten Sun (1976 US), Haven of Darkness (1977 US), Prison of Night (1977 US), Incident on Ath (1978 US), The Quillian Sector (1978 US), Webof Sand (1979 US), Iduna's Universe (1979 US), The Terra Data (1980 US), World of Promise (1980 US), Nectar of Heaven (1981 US), The Terridae (1981US), The Coming Event (1982 US), Earth is Heaven (1982 US), Melome (1983 US) and Angado (1984 US) - both assembled as Melome and Angado (omni 1988) - and Symbol of Terra (1984 US) and The Temple of Truth (1985 US) - both assembled as Symbol of Terra and the Temple of Truth (omni 1989). It is understood that a final volume (\#32) has been published in France, in about 1992, under the title Le Retour; there is no English-language edition. Earl Dumarest, who features in each volume, maintains with soldier-of-fortune fortitude a long search for Earth - the planet on which he was born, and from which he was wrested at an early age - but must battle against the universal belief that Earth is a myth. Inhabited planets are virtually innumerable; the period is some time after the collapse of a GALACTIC EMPIRE, and everyone speaks the same language; and, as Dumarest moves gradually outwards from Galactic Centre along a spiral arm of stars, it is clear that he is gradually nearing his goal. The opposition he faces from the Cyclan - a vast organization of passionless humans linked cybernetically to a central organic computer whose location is unknown - long led readers to assume that the Cyclan HQ was located on Earth, but the sequence stopped - perhaps at the behest of its publishers- at a somewhat inconclusive point. Though some of the later-middle titles seemed aimless, ECT showed consistent skill at prolonging Dumarest's intense suspense about the outcome of his long quest.Concurrently, writing as Gregory Kern, ECT produced a more routine space-opera sequence featuring galactic secret agent Cap Kennedy. The Kern titles are Galaxy of the Lost (1973 US), Slave Ship from Sergan (1973 US), Monster of Metelaze (1973 US), Enemy within the Skull (1974 US), Jewel of Jarhen (1974 US),Seetee Alert! (1974 US), The Gholan Gate (1974 US), The Eater of Worlds (1974 US), Earth Enslaved (1974 US), Planet of Dread (1974 US), Spawn of Laban (1974 US), The Genetic Buccaneer (1974 US), A World Aflame (1974 US), The Ghosts of Epidoris (1975 US), Mimics of Dephene (1975 US), Beyond the Galactic Lens (1975 US) and The Galactiad (first published as Das Kosmiche Duelle ("The Cosmic Duel"), 1976 Germany; first English version1983 US). Though these and some of the Dumarest books descend too readily to CLICHE, ECT established and successfully maintained a reputation for providing reliably competent adventure sf, full of action, sex and occasional melancholy. Late singletons like The Luck Machine (1980) and Stardeath (1983 US) continued the parade of efficient titles.
   JC
   Other works: The Mutants Rebel (1953); Venusian Adventure (1953); Alien Life (1954); World at Bay (1954); Journey to Mars (1954); City of No Return(1954); The Stellar Legion (1954); The Hell Planet (1954); The Resurrected Man (1954); Supernatural Stories 9 (coll 1957), ostensibly a magazine but all stories by ECT under various names; Moon Base (1964); Ten from Tomorrow (coll 1966); "The Life Buyer" (1965 NW; the entire novel appearsin SF REPRISE \#5 1967); Death is a Dream (1967); C.O.D. Mars (1968 chap dos US); S.T.A.R. Flight (1969 US); Escape into Space (1969); Century of the Manikin (1972 US); A Scatter of Stardust (coll 1972 dos US); Sword in the Snow (1973 chap); novelizations of episodes from the tv series SPACE 1999, being Breakaway * (1975), Collision Course * (1975), Alien Seed *(1976 US), Rogue Planet * (1976 US) and the comparatively ambitious Earthfall * (1977); The Primitive (1977); Death Wears a White Face (1957 Authentic as "Dead Weight"; exp 1979); Stellar Assignment (1979); Pawn of the Omphalos (1980 US).As Charles Grey: Dynasty of Doom (1953); The Tormented City (1953); Space Hunger (1953); I Fight for Mars (1953); TheHand of Havoc (1954); The Extra Man (1954).As Volsted Gridban: Reverse Universe (1952); Planetoid Disposals Ltd (1953); De Bracy's Drug (1953); Fugitive of Time (1953).As Arthur Maclean: Touch of Evil * (1959 chap), \#438 in the Sexton Blake Library.As Carl Maddox: The Living World (1954 chap); Menace from the Past (1954 chap).As Roy Sheldon: The Metal Eater (1954).As Edward Thompson: The Imperial Rome series, comprising Atilus theSlave (1975), Atilus the Gladiator (1975) and Gladiator (1978).About the author: "The Perils of Bibliography: A Look at the Writings of E.C.Tubb" (1979 The Science-Fiction Collector \#7) by Mike ASHLEY.

Science Fiction and Fantasy Encyclopedia. . 2011.


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