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Frances, Stephen

Entry updated 12 September 2022. Tagged: Author.

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(1917-1989) UK publisher and pulp author who lived in Spain from the early 1950s. In the mid-1940s he founded his own publishing company, Pendulum Publications, which released a variety of genre fiction, including sf. His sf line was the Pendulum "Popular" Spacetime Series, whose editor, Frank Arnold, introduced Frances to John Carnell, a meeting that led to the birth of New Worlds in 1946; but after only three issues the company was sold (and liquidated).

Frances then founded his own self-named company. For it he penned a series of fast-moving US-style thrillers as by Hank Janson; they achieved remarkable success at the time. Also for it he created the House Name Astron Del Martia (which see), but soon sold the name to Gaywood Press to help finance his move to Spain. Later he wrote three sf novels as by Hank Janson: The Unseen Assassin (1953), a routine tale in which an alien disease threatens to wipe out humanity, Tomorrow and a Day (1955), a stronger Post-Holocaust tale, and One Against Time (1956 as by Janson; 1969 as by Del Martia), a Time-Travel tale pitting a mathematician against the World Council from a future threatened by his genius. Frances's later novel, The Disorientated Man (1966; vt Scream and Scream Again 1967) as by Peter Saxon, a Mad-Scientist tale filmed in 1969 as Scream and Scream Again, was heavily revised by W Howard Baker. [SH]

Stephen Daniel Frances

born London: 28 March 1917

died Rosas, Spain: 4 September 1989


about the author

  • Stephen Holland. The Trials of Hank Janson (Richmond, Kentucky: Books Are Everything, 1991) [nonfiction: profusely illustrated with Janson's colour covers: pb/]


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