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Crossen, Kendell Foster

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

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(1910-1981) US author and editor, active under various names in various Pulp-magazine markets, perhaps most notably as an author of detective stories, his best work being published under his own name and (more successfully) as M E Chaber. The Green Lama series of thrillers (in Double Detective from 1940), as by Richard Foster, gives off fantastic-Pulp-magazine emanations reminiscent of Doc Savage, as the Green Lama himself has various Superpowers (and minions) on demand; but Crossen only began publishing sf proper with "The Boy who Cried Wolf 359" in Amazing and "Restricted Clientele" in Thrilling Wonder Stories, both released in February 1951. Towards the end of their existences he published a large amount of material with Startling Stories and Thrilling Wonder Stories; much of this material is intendedly comic, in particular the Manning Draco series about an interstellar salesman and his amusing experiences with Aliens as assembled in Once Upon a Star: A Novel of the Future (stories October 1951-December 1952 Thrilling Wonder, fixup 1953), with more further stories only in magazine form: "Assignment to Aldebaran" (February 1953 Thrilling Wonder), "Whistle Stop in Space" (August 1953 Thrilling Wonder), "Mission to Mizar" (November 1953 Thrilling Wonder) and "The Agile Algolian" (Winter 1954 Thrilling Wonder). Though never departing far from the formulas he learned long before, Crossen's 1950s stories are judiciously polished, almost to the point that they read as homages to that early time.

Year of Consent (1954), about a Computer that controls the West, expressively conveys the Paranoia of much US fiction of the period. The Rest Must Die (1959) as by Richard Foster follows the story of those who survive a nuclear attack on New York by happening to be Underground in subways or cellars: despite chaos and psychic traumas, the group escapes to New Jersey, to find the nuclear World War Three already over. Crossen's AnthologiesAdventures in Tomorrow (anth 1951; UK edition omits two stories) and Future Tense: New and Old Tales of Science Fiction (anth 1952; UK edition omits seven stories) – include some original stories, are competently selected. [JC]

Kendell Foster Crossen

born Albany, Ohio: 25 July 1910

died 28 November 1981


works as editor


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