Groom, Pelham

Tagged: Author

Working name of UK-born author Arthur John Pelham-Groom (1906-1978), in Singapore from 1954. He published some stories as A J Pelham-Groom in the 1930s, beginning with "Duel of Death" for Air Stories in 1935 and continuing with several other "Death" stories that verge on sf; a similar later title, David Farlow Takes the Air (1949), oddly describes a 1940 Invention that will soon keep the Luftwaffe at bay (no prior magazine publication, which might explain this counter-factual about World War Two, has been discovered). He used his working name for the rest of his fiction, including the long series of Peter Mohune crime stories; the last two volumes of the sequence concern themselves with the implications of the use of Nuclear Energy. In The Fourth Seal (1948) Mohune comes across a secret society which has privately developed atomic fission. In The Purple Twilight (1948) he travels to Mars in search of the descendants of Atlantis, finding instead telepathic members of a dying Martian race, who tell him they themselves destroyed Atlantis in self-defence, but later fell into an arms race leading to the nuclear Holocaust – a civil war – that sterilized them all. When Mohune returns to Earth he finds just such an arms race developing, with similar sterilizing Weapons. He tells of his experiences – in vain. [JC]

Arthur John Pelham Groom

born London: 27 January 1906

died Singapore: 6 April 1978

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Peter Mohune (highly selected)

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