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Deegan, Jon J

Entry updated 12 September 2022. Tagged: Author, House name.

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A House Name created by Gordon Landsborough, editor of Authentic Science Fiction, and used perhaps exclusively by UK author Robert George Sharp for material published in that journal, which for some time early in its run filled each issue with one long story (in this encyclopedia, one-story issues are treated as books). The Old Growler space exploration series, beginning with Reconnoitre Krellig II (1951), was signed as by Deegan, and various sequels (all written by Sharp) were published, either as one-story issues, or as original volumes. This series predated and was more plausible than the original Star Trek, portraying a mothership sending out small scout vessels and unmanned probes rather than beaming down the ship's captain. For a brief year or so Deegan's mix of likable characters, simple science and moral principles (e.g. forbidding the use of superior Weapons against Alien natives) stood out as a readers' favourite and a rare demonstration that UK paperback sf of the time was not necessarily dated or amateurish. However, repetitive plotting ensured that rising standards elsewhere soon eclipsed the modest virtues of the series, which closed with the out-of-sequence novelette "The Lights of Anker-Mo" (October 1957 Authentic). Some books achieved foreign translations, and a comic-strip adaptation of the second story appeared in Authentic Book of Space (anth 1954) edited by H J Campbell.

As Deegan, Sharp wrote at least one other short story and also the Corridors of Time Time-Travel trilogy, Corridors of Time (1953), Beyond the Fourth Door (1954) and Exiles in Time (1954). The second volume, blurbed misleadingly as a tale of sf detection, simplistically but spiritedly hurls Dysart and Magda through successive perils of past, present and future; a traditional happy ending is undercut by hints of greater forces manipulating then and by a consistently pessimistic view of human potential. Unfortunately the lacklustre third adventure does little to develop either the series arc or its two lead characters. [JC/DR]

Robert George Sharp

born Boston, Lincolnshire: 1902

died Birmingham, England: 1967



Old Growler

Corridors of Time


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