Entry updated 5 July 2021. Tagged: Author, Character, House name.
Fictional sleuth, and House Name for many of the titles in which he appears. Created by John Russell Coryell (1848-1924) in The Old Detective's Pupil, or The Mysterious Crime at Madison Square Garden (1886) on the model of Allan Pinkerton (1819-1884), founder of the famous detective agency, Carter featured in many subsequent US dime novels, including two Series of sf interest (see Dime-Novel SF) by Frederick Van Rensselaer Dey writing as Chickering Carter – the name of one of Carter's numerous assistants – published in the New Nick Carter Weekly in 1907, the most notable being An Amazonian Queen; or, Nick Carter Becomes a Gladiator (1907 chap) and The Seven-Headed Monster; or, Nick Carter's Midnight Caller (1907 chap). Other authors of Nick Carter tales before World War Two included John Chambliss, Philip Clark, William Wallace Cook, Frederick William Davis, George Charles Jenks (1850-1929), whose normal pseudonym was W B Lawson, Johnston McCulley (1883-1958) and Eugene Taylor Sawyer. Magazines such as the Nick Carter Detective Library were supplemented by radio, film and television incarnations, over the course of which Carter himself became noticeably tougher and more murderous, his resemblance to Sexton Blake (see Sexton Blake Library) being correspondingly less marked in more recent years. The Nick Carter series of soft-porn thrillers from the 1960s rarely slipped into sf, and never with much point; typical of titles verging on sf were (all as by Nick Carter) The Human Time Bomb: A Killmaster Spy Chiller (1969), The Red Rays (1969) by Manning Lee Stokes, Living Death (1969) by Jon Messmann, Operation Moon Rocket (1970) and The Death Strain (1971). It is understood that among the authors about this time were, in addition to Messmann, Michael Avallone, Dennis Lynds, Martin Cruz Smith and Richard Wormser. A decade later, a further batch of sf titles was produced, again all as by Carter, including The Doomsday Spore (1979) by George Warren, The Q-Man (1981) by John Stevenson, The Solar Menace (1981) and Doctor DNA (1982), both by Robert E Vardeman, The Last Samurai (1982) by Bruce Algozin and Deathlight (1982) by Jerry Ahern. [JC]
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