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Murphy, Warren

Entry updated 19 June 2023. Tagged: Author.

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(1933-2015) US author, married to Molly Cochran, known largely for the Destroyer sequence, a long series of spoof thrillers, many with Richard Ben Sapir, featuring the Doc Savage-like adventures of Remo Williams, a White man (and avatar of Shiva the Destroyer) trained in the paranormal combat arts of Sinanju, which allow him (for instance) to interpenetrate his body with other matter (see Matter Penetration). The first titles were written mostly by Murphy and Sapir, who died in 1987, but later titles – sometimes listed as by these two, sometimes by one alone – are by various hands, usually including Murphy, though the most prolific recent author of Destroyer titles is Will Murray, who also wrote The Assassin's Handbook (coll 1982; rev vt Inside Sinanju 1985) as by Murphy and Sapir, an amused (and amusing) companion to the sequence; other authors include Murphy's wife Molly Cochran, Ed Hunsburger, William Joy, Ric Meyers and Robert Randisi. For convenience, see Checklist for all ascertained titles, by all authors involved; individual titles by Molly Cochran, Will Murray (we here ignore ascriptions to other authors for whom Murray ghosted) and Richard Ben Sapir are also listed in their entries.

The sequence began, rather inauspiciously, with Destroyer #1: Created, the Destroyer (1971) with Sapir (who collaborated on all but one through #24) and Destroyer #2: Death Check (1972), ponderous imitations of James Bond; but with Destroyer #3: Chinese Puzzle (1972) it took off with remarkable panache, some instalments coming close to Space Opera, others engaging with Superman themes, and most indulging in raucous Satire of US politics and mores. The sequence then continues with Destroyer #4: Mafia Fix (1972) [for full list of titles see Checklist], the last volume being Destroyer #115: Misfortune Teller (1999) with Sapir (who had died in 1987) still acknowledged as co-author. An out-of-series Destroyer title, Remo: The Adventure Begins (1985) by Sapir, is a film tie to Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins (1985; vt Remo – Unarmed and Dangerous).

Other genre adventures by Murphy include Grandmaster (1984) with Molly Cochran, High Priest (1987) with Cochran, The Hand of Lazarus (1988) with Cochran, Scorpion's Dance (1990), and The Forever King (1992), again with Cochran. [JC]

Warren Burton Murphy

born Jersey City, New Jersey: 13 September 1933

died Virginia Beach, Virginia: 4 September 2015





  • Grandmaster (New York: Pinnacle Books, 1984) with Molly Cochran [Grandmaster: pb/Mark Gerber]
  • High Priest (New York: New American Library, 1987) with Molly Cochran [Grandmaster: hb/]


individual titles


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