ALEXANDER, Robert W(illiams)
(1905-1980)
   Irish author of several thrillers in the late 1920s and early 1930s under his own name before he adopted the pseudonym Joan Butler for 41 humorous novels. These latter, written in a very distinctive style, have resonances of Thorne Smith (1892-1934) and P.G.WODEHOUSE. Cloudy Weather (1940) and Deep Freeze (1951) centre on the resurrection of Egyptian mummies by scientific means. Space to Let (1955) features the building of a Venus rocket. Home Run (1958) is about the invention of pocket-size atom bombs. ESP plays a prominent part in The Old Firm (1956), while Bed and Breakfast (1933), Low Spirits (1945), Full House (1947) and Sheet Lightning (1950) focus on the supernatural. RWA used his own name for two further sf novels, still written in his well established humorous style; both are set in the future and reflect on the aspirations of youth. In Mariner's Rest (1943) a group of children shipwrecked on a South Sea island during WWII are discovered some 10 years later running their own community. Back To Nature (1945) describes how young people abandon the comforts of a 21st-century city for the rigours of a more natural lifestyle. Other works: Ground Bait (1941); Sun Spots (1942).

Science Fiction and Fantasy Encyclopedia. . 2011.

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