WILSON, Richard
(1920-1987)
   US writer and director of the News Bureau of Syracuse University until his retirement in 1982. Involved in sf from an early age, he was a founder of the FUTURIANS in the 1930s, publishing his first sf story, "Murder from Mars", with Astonishing Stories in 1940; "Stepsons of Mars", which he wrote with fellow Futurian C.M. KORNBLUTH under the housename Ivar TOWERS, appeared in the same issue. A further Towers story, "The Man without a Planet" (1942), was by RW alone; he later used the pseudonymEdward Halibut for "Course of Empire" (1956). War service interrupted his career, but after 1950 - perhaps finding the new atmosphere in sf congenial to his gently satirical, humorous bent - he contributed prolifically to the magazines for some years, and soon published his first novel, The Girls from Planet 5 (1955), the first of 3 in which ALIENS comically invade Earth (INVASION; SEX; WOMEN AS PORTRAYED IN SCIENCE FICTION); the others were And Then the Town Took Off (1960 dos) and 30-DayWonder (1960). In each, RW made use of the arrivals from outer space to generate mocking perspectives on our own behaviour: from the strident patriarchy still attempting, in the first novel, to keep Texas pure although the rest of the USA has become a matriarchy, to the appalling consequences, in the third, of being exposed to aliens who observe to the literal letter all Earth laws and enforce similar behaviour on us. Similarly couched SATIRE dominated his first 2 collections, Those Idiotsfrom Earth (coll 1957) and Time Out for Tomorrow (coll 1962).Unfortunately, from the mid-1960s RW published no books at all -Adventures in the Space Trade (1986 chap dos), a memoir, A Rat for a Friend (1986 chap), a story, and The Kid from Ozone Park \& Other Stories (coll 1987 chap), though welcome, were pamphlet-length - and most of the graver, smoother, finer stories of his last decades remained uncollected. He won a 1968 NEBULA for his novelette "Mother to the World" (1968); otherlate stories of interest include "See Me Not" (1967), "A Man Spekith" (1969), "The Day They had the War" (1971) and the contents of The Kid fromOzone Park (all originals). In his later years, RW reportedly made it clear to colleagues that he remained too content in his professional life to continue seriously in a writing career. It is understood that a long story awaits publication in Harlan ELLISON's projected Last Dangerous Visions.
   JC
   About the author: A Richard Wilson Checklist (1986 chap dos) by Chris DRUMM.

Science Fiction and Fantasy Encyclopedia. . 2011.

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