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Baker, W Howard

Entry updated 12 September 2022. Tagged: Author, Editor.

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(1925-1991) Working name of Irish journalist, editor and author Arthur Athwill William Baker, in the UK after World War Two. After working as an editor of Panther Books he began to write for the Sexton Blake Library in 1955, soon taking over as editor of the series for Amalgamated Press, writing many titles under various names, and in 1965 taking the series to Mayflower Books, where it flourished briefly. He then set up his own publishing imprint, which continued to publish Sexton Blake books (among others). His stable of Sexton Blake writers included Wilfred McNeilly, whose claims (see his entry) to have written most of Baker's titles are false, and Jack Trevor Story. His work was brisk and brash, most of it sex-oriented thriller detectives under various names including W A Ballinger, and he did not waste much time seeking quality, though his war novels were of some interest; his sf – as editor and as author – rarely ventured beyond the routine. It is impossible to distinguish much of what he wrote from what he commissioned and what he doctored, under his own name and others. He wrote some books of sf/fantasy interest under the House Name Peter Saxon, including two Guardians psychic investigator tales with McNeilly – Dark Ways to Death (1968) and The Haunting of Alan Mais (1969) – and one solo: The Killing Bone (1969). Other titles with McNeilly included The Darkest Night (1966) and The Torturer (1966). With Stephen Frances (both as Saxon) he wrote The Disorientated Man (1966; vt Scream and Scream Again 1967), which was filmed as Scream and Scream Again (1969), and solo he wrote Black Honey (1968) and Vampire's Moon (1970), both as Saxon. The precise authorship, or share of authorship, of these and other titles has not been determined; nor is likely to be. [JC]

Arthur Athwill William Baker

born Cork, Eire: 3 October 1925

died London: 13 February 1991


about the author

  • Jack Adrian. "W. Howard Baker" (May/June 1991 Million #3) [mag/]


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