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Fyfe, H B

Entry updated 12 September 2022. Tagged: Author.

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(1918-1997) US author whose first sf story, "Locked Out", appeared in Astounding in February 1940, but who became fully active, mainly with further stories in Astounding though with appearances in most other SF Magazines, only after army service in World War Two. By 1967, when he became inactive, he had published nearly 60 stories. His five Bureau of Slick Tricks tales, beginning with "Bureau of Slick Tricks" (December 1948 Astounding) and continuing in Astounding to March 1952, are typical of John W Campbell Jr's fondness for stories in which humans deftly outwit thick-skulled (often bureaucratic) Aliens; here the BST, officially the Bureau of Special Trading, specializes in leveraging Terra's position as a hub of interstellar trade to keep aliens happy and trading via Terran-controlled space. In Fyfe's thematically similar novel, D-99 (fixup 1962), Department 99 of the Terran government has the job of finagling citizens out of jams on other planets when conventional diplomatic approaches have failed, and generally flummoxing thicker species. The tone is fortunately light. [JC/DRL]

Horace Brown Fyfe

born Jersey City, New Jersey: 30 September 1918

died Teaneck, New Jersey: 17 November 1997


  • D-99 (New York: Pyramid Books, 1962) [fixup: Bureau of Slick Tricks: pb/Ralph Brillhart]

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