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Lesser, Milton

Entry updated 19 February 2024. Tagged: Author.

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(1928-2008) US author, more recently the writer of many crime novels and a few sf stories under the name he took legally in the 1950s, Stephen Marlowe. His sf mostly appeared in the Ziff-Davis magazines, including his first story, "All Heroes Are Hated!" for Amazing in November 1950 (as All Heroes Are Hated 2015 dos), but he had been an active fan for some years before that. His other pseudonyms for sf included Adam Chase, C H Thames (twenty-seven times), Christopher Thames (once), and the House Name S M Tenneshaw; he also wrote thrillers as Thames, Andrew Frazer and Jason Ridgway, and ghosted the crime novel Dead Man's Tale (1961) as by Ellery Queen. As Lesser he wrote several Young Adult sf novels, including Earthbound (1952), about a space cadet unjustly confined to Earth; The Star Seekers (1953), a Generation Starship tale; Stadium Beyond the Stars (1960), in which young human athletes compete in the Interstellar Olympics (see Games and Sports); and Spacemen, Go Home (1961), a Space Opera. Novels for adult readers include Recruit for Andromeda (July 1953 Imagination as "Voyage to Eternity"; exp 1959 dos), whose hero must compete in an Alien-run game (see Games and Sports) that pits representatives of civilizations against each other in the eponymous galaxy, with Earth split into teams USA and USSR; a collaboration with Paul W Fairman under various names, The Golden Ape (January-March 1957 Amazing as "Quest of the Golden Ape" by Adam Chase and Ivar Jorgensen; 1959) as by Adam Chase, a Space Opera; and Secret of the Black Planet (1952 Amazing as "Secret of the Black Planet" and "Son of the Black Chalice"; fixup 1965), the secret being Immortality as created by a long-dead Forerunner race from what is now the asteroid belt. Lesser also edited the anthology Looking Forward: An Anthology of Science Fiction (anth 1953).

Stephen Marlowe abandoned sf in the early 1960s, but some of his later thrillers Equipoisally mix crime, sf and the supernatural, notably The Search for Bruno Heidler (1966), Translation (1976) and The Valkyrie Encounter (1978); these are much more effective than his routine action-adventure sf. He also wrote three fantasticated fictional studies in historical figures: The Memoirs of Christopher Columbus (1978); The Death and Life of Miguel de Cervantes (1991); and The Lighthouse at the End of the World (1995), about Edgar Allan Poe. [BS/JC]

Milton Lesser/Stephen Marlowe

born New York: 7 August 1928

died Williamsburg, Virginia: 22 February 2008


as Milton Lesser

as by Adam Chase

as by Ellery Queen

as by Stephen Marlowe



works as editor

about the author

  • Graham Andrews. "Milton Lesser". (November 2009 Book and Magazine Collector, whole #313) [pp48-63: mag/]


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