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Gordon, Rex

Entry updated 12 September 2022. Tagged: Author.

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Most frequently used pseudonym of UK author Stanley Bennett Hough (1917-1998) for his sf work, although under his own name he published the borderline Frontier Incident (1951); Mission in Guemo (1953), describing a resurgent Nazi conspiracy centred Lost-Race-like up the Amazon; the borderline-sf thriller Extinction Bomber (1956); and Beyond the Eleventh Hour (1961), a Near Future story of nuclear Holocaust in which all the major nations of the world except the UK and India destroy themselves. As Gordon, he began publishing sf with Utopia 239 (1955), whose protagonists escape a nuclear holocaust by Time Travel into a future Britain, where a sexually liberated Utopia uses its high technology to survive the consequences of the final war. No Man Friday (1956; vt First on Mars 1957), a Robinsonade which is perhaps Gordon's strongest book, retells Crusoe's adventures on Mars, in quietly convincing terms, though the science is sometimes shaky; the film Robinson Crusoe on Mars (1964) does not credit Gordon, though the storyline bears notable resemblances. First to the Stars (1959; vt The Worlds of Eclos 1961) is thematically similar: a crash-landed man and woman try to survive and breed without any cultural aids at all. First Through Time (1962; vt The Time Factor 1964) is a Time Travel thriller that asks most of the standard questions about predestination. Throughout his career Gordon showed a strong grasp of human motivation that jarred against a rather superficial use of sf themes and scientific knowledge in general; his underlying pessimism about humanity seemed as a consequence rather underargued, a lack of passion that may have contributed to his long silence as an author. [JC]

Stanley Bennett Hough

born Preston, Lancashire: 25 February 1917

died Falmouth, Cornwall: February 1998


as S B Hough

as by Rex Gordon


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