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Cartmill, Cleve

Entry updated 12 September 2022. Tagged: Author.

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(1908-1964) US author and journalist; co-inventor of the Blackmill system of high-speed typography. He began publishing work of genre interest with "Oscar" for Unknown in February 1941, and several short Fantasy novels, also in Unknown; one of these, "Hell Hath Fury" (August 1943 Unknown), was featured in the George Hay anthology of the same title (1963); another, "Prelude to Armageddon" (April 1942 Unknown), gave its name to Prelude to Armageddon: Volume One of the Collected Fantastic Fiction of Cleve Cartmill (coll dated 2003 but 2004), with further volumes expected. Much of his work, during these early years and later, was rationalized fantasy, often implicating the Devil or other traditional figures.

During the 1940s he was also active in US sf magazines, publishing in all about forty stories, including the Space Salvage series in Thrilling Wonder Stories, which was later collected as The Space Scavengers (coll of linked stories 1975). He is best remembered in the field for one famous (but untypical) story, "Deadline" (March 1944 Astounding), which described the atomic bomb a year before it was dropped: in this Near-Future fable the evil Sixa (i.e., Axis) forces are prevented from dropping the Bomb, and the Seilla (Allies) decline to do so, justly fearing its dread potential. US Security subsequently descended on Astounding but was persuaded (truthfully) by John W Campbell Jr that Cartmill had used for his research only material available in public libraries. Cartmill's prediction made sf fans enormously proud, and the story was made a prime exhibit in the arguments about Prediction in sf. [JC]

see also: Nuclear Energy; Religion.

Cleve M Cartmill

born Platteville, Wisconsin: 21 June 1908

died Orange County, California: 11 February 1964


about the author

  • Albert Berger. "The Astounding Investigation: The Manhattan Project's Confrontation with Science Fiction" (September 1984 Analog) [mag/]


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