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Ashwell, Pauline

Entry updated 12 September 2022. Tagged: Author.

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Pseudonym of UK author Pauline Whitby (1926-2015), whose first book, Little Red Steamer (1941 chap), is a children's Fantasy, and who began writing sf at the age of fourteen with "Invasion from Venus" as Paul Ashwell for the small British magazine Yankee Science Fiction #21 in July 1942. Her real career, however, started with the stories she began to publish in Astounding as Pauline Ashwell, plus at least seven further stories appearing in that magazine as by Paul Ash. (She also published romance under other pseudonyms.) Her first story for John W Campbell Jr, "Unwillingly to School" (January 1958 Astounding), was assembled fairly late in the century with three further tales about its protagonist Lysistrata "Lizzie" Lee – published 1960, 1982 and 1988 – as Unwillingly to Earth (fixup 1992). Lizzie is a tough-talking but pretty lovable problem-solving Young Adult heroine somewhat in the mould of Robert A Heinlein's later versions of the Competent Young Hero (see Edisonade). Perhaps the best of these stories is The Lost Kafoozalum (October 1960 Analog; 2009 ebook), in which Lizzie is involved with a daring Cultural Engineering project to avert impending nuclear Holocaust on a colony world, and saves the day when the plan goes awry. Ashwell's second novel to be published in book form is Project FarCry (fixup 1995), about a young Telepath initially in hiding and confronted with a puzzle in Alien Biology. This was assembled from the Paul Ash stories "Big Sword" (October 1958 Astounding) – here heavily rewritten – and the novel-length "The Man Who Stayed Behind" (July 1993 Analog). [JC/DRL]

Pauline Whitby

born Hatfield, Hertfordshire: 25 January 1926

died Baldock, Hertfordshire: 23 November 2015



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