Snell, Roy J

Tagged: Author

(1878-1959) US author of at least eighty-five Young Adult novels under his own name and as by David O'Hara, James Craig and Joseph Marino, most of them specifically directed to boys, though he wrote at least one associational series of mysteries for girls; his tales for younger children, beginning with Little White Fox and his Arctic Friends (1916), verge routinely on Animal Fantasy [see The Encyclopedia of Fantasy under links below], though Hi! Ho! Pinocchio: The American Boy (1940) as by Joseph Marino is an interesting example of the Pinocchio-in-America book. Of more specific sf interest is his contribution to the Radio Boys vogue of the early 1920s, with his Radio-Phone Boys series, beginning with Curlie Carson Listens In (1922) and closing with Invisible Wall (1928); within the sequence, two novels – The Seagoing Tank (1924) and The Flying Sub: A Mystery Story (1925) are full sf tales, but every title, typical of the category this series contributes to – flirts with Inventions just beyond the actually developed. Further Inventions tales include two titles in the loose Mystery Story for Boys series, Lost in the Air (1920) and its sequel, Panther Eye (1921), both starring Johnny Thompson, an adventurer and entrepreneur searching for gold in post-1917 Siberia; in the second volume, a Yellow Peril is encountered, and an ambiguous Utopia is sighted from a Balloon in Mongolia. Two further titles in the Mystery Story for Boys grouping – Red Lure (1925) and Forbidden Cargoes (1927) – feature Lost Races in Central America. Snell also published two World War Two tales, Secrets of Radar (1944) and Jet Plane Mystery (1944), the latter featuring a mysterious wailing jet hidden on a Pacific island; his Big Little Books set in that conflict are associational. [JC]

Roy Judson Snell

born Laddonia, Missouri: 12 November 1878

died Detroit, Michigan: 21 September 1959

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Radio-Phone Boys

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