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Ernst, Paul

Entry updated 12 September 2022. Tagged: Author.

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(1899-1985) US author, mostly of short fiction for pulp markets, sometimes under his own name and sometimes (once in Weird Tales) under the pseudonym Paul Frederick Stern; he should not be confused with either (Karl Friedrich) Paul Ernst (1866-1933), a German writer in various genres, or with Paul Ernst (1886-?   ) who wrote 1930s detective novels. His first published story may have been "The Temple of Serpents" for Weird Tales in October 1928, and he remained extremely active throughout the 1930s, writing for sf, fantasy and hero magazine; a selection of this work has been assembled as The Red Hell of Jupiter and Other Tales from the Pulps (coll 2010). Under the House Name Kenneth Robeson, he was responsible for much of the contents of The Avenger, writing all 23 novel-length stories for that magazine between 1939 and 1942 [see Checklist for details of book publication], each featuring The Avenger, a Superhero who fought a wide range of villains; the Robeson House Name had already been made popular by Lester Dent in Doc Savage magazine, and it was in an attempt to cash in on the success of the name that it was offered for Ernst's use. Subsequent novels in the 1970s The Avenger series were originals written by Ron Goulart, also writing as Robeson.

Ernst's Doctor Satan series in Weird Tales, beginning with "Doctor Satan" (August 1935 Weird Tales) and continuing to the August/September 1936 issue, is fantasy along conventional hero-villain lines; five of these stories were reprinted as Dr Satan (coll 1974 chap) edited by Robert E Weinberg and the full set as The Complete Tales of Dr Satan (coll 2013; vt The Complete Stories of Dr Satan 2019). His singleton sf stories – the first of which were "The Black Monarch" (February-June 1930 Weird Tales), which features an Underground Lost Race ruled by an Immortal Telepathic Brain in a Box, and "Marooned under the Sea" (September 1930 Astounding) – include "The 32nd of May" (April 1935 Astounding), "The Microscopic Giants" (October 1936 Thrilling Wonder), a Dimensions tale whose protagonist enters a two-dimensional world, and "'Nothing Happens on the Moon'" (February 1939 Astounding). Ernst was less prolific after the early 1940s. [PN/JC]

see also: Astounding Science-Fiction; Counter-Earth; Justice, Inc.

Paul Frederick Ernst

born West Peoria, Illinois: 7 November 1899

died Zephyr Hills, Florida: 21 September 1985



The Avenger

Dr Satan

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