Thomas, Theodore L

Tagged: Author

(1920-2005) US author and lawyer, prolific in the magazines under his own name, which he sometimes rendered as Ted Thomas, and as Leonard Lockhard, the pseudonym he used for his Patent Attorney spoof series (eight stories 1952-1964 in Astounding/Analog), some of which were with Charles L Harness, including The Professional Approach (September 1962 Analog; 2007 ebook). He had begun publishing work of genre interest with two simultaneous stories, "The Revisitor" for Space Science Fiction in September 1952, and "Improbable Profession" for Astounding in September 1952 as by Leonard Lockard with Charles L Harness, and appeared frequently in the magazines until 1981 with tales competently designed for their markets, the most effective perhaps being those, like "The Weather Man" (June 1962 Analog), set on a future Earth dominated by a Weather Control Board (see Weather Control). With Kate Wilhelm he wrote two novels, The Clone (December 1959 Fantastic as by Thomas alone; much exp 1965) and The Year of the Cloud (1970), both featuring unnatural Disasters. The eponymous menace in the first novel represents a rare use in sf of what is a Clone in the strict biological sense; the interstellar cloud into which the Earth plunges in the second turns water to gelatin.

Thomas's controversial essay on Jules Verne, "The Watery Wonders of Captain Nemo" (December 1961 Galaxy), claims that 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1870) is full of elementary scientific blunders. These assertions are based, unfortunately, not on Verne's original text but on Lewis Mercier's 1873 translation; the proclaimed errors were all due to Mercier, not the author himself. It was only in recent years that Verne's reputation began to recover from English-language scholarship of this ilk. [JC]

see also: Ecology; Monsters; Origin of Man; Pollution; Sun; Time Travel.

Theodore Lockard Thomas

born New York: 13 April 1920

died Tucson, Arizona: 24 September 2005

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