Monday, August 21, 2006

Happy birthday, Anthony Boucher

The industrious critic/editor/sci-fi author/mystery writer Anthony Boucher, aka William Anthony Parker White, who gave his name to mystery convention Bouchercon, was born on August 21, 1911. He died in 1968. He received the Edgar Award for mystery criticism in 1946, 1950, and 1953 (go here for volumes of his collected reviews).

His intriguing Rocket to the Morgue, written under the pseudonym of 19th-century murderer H. H. Holmes, features thinly disguised versions of his sci-fi colleagues Hugo Gernsback, Robert Heinlein, and L. Ron Hubbard. His mysteries include locked-room murders The Case of the Solid Key and Nine Times Nine, and puzzle story The Case of the Seven of Calgary. He also wrote scripts for radio series such as Sherlock Holmes and The Casebook of Gregory Hood.

6 comments:

Todd Mason said...

Discussion on a certain list has noted that you might be off the mark in spotting Gernsback in ROCKET TO THE MORGUE, and that the title of the CALGARY book might not have an "OF"...thanks for the reminder!

Todd Mason said...

Oops, I scrambled that, too:

"That must be the Canadian edition retitling. In all other countries,
it was The Case of the Seven of Calvary."

Elizabeth Foxwell said...

See this discussion of
_Rocket to the Morgue_:
http://www.heinleinsociety.org/rah/works/articles/murdersuspect.html

Todd Mason said...

I think you've written Gernsback when you meant John W. Campbell, the editor all these writers had in common in the '40s (except Campbell himself). Certainly, the RAH Society article you mention cites the Campbell analog in the novel, no mention of Hugo...

Elizabeth Foxwell said...

Here is the Gernsback reference:
http://www.sfsite.com/fsf/2003/cur0305.htm

Todd Mason said...

Fair enough! I'll have to read the book, myself, to see if I see the rememblance...since Williamson, even more I suspect than Layton, would know Gernsback...

Thanks again. I've been meaning to get my hands on the Ramble House books...