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Rockwood, Roy

Entry updated 12 September 2022. Tagged: Author, House name.

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A House Name used on Juvenile Series published by several firms, including Cupples & Leon, The Mershon Company and George Sully, but all titles from 1906 onwards were generated by The Stratemeyer Syndicate; Edward Stratemeyer, as usual, provided outlines for his authors to work from, and probably wrote at least two of the early titles himself. The first Roy Rockwood series was the Deep Sea sequence of adventures, featuring sea monsters and the like and containing some sf content; gradually – as marked title and publisher changes – this sequence turned into the much inferior Dave Fearless sequence published in the 1920s. In Ghost of the Hardy Boys: An Autobiography (1976), Leslie McFarlane (1902-1977) states that he wrote some of the 1920s Dan Fearless novels [titles he claims are so indicated in the Checklist below]. A later Roy Rockwood series – Bomba the Jungle Boy books by John W Duffield [see Checklist below] – depends on Edgar Rice Burroughs's Tarzan books for its primary inspiration, but has some independent interest.

The best of the Roy Rockwood titles are undoubtedly the first volumes in the Great Marvel sequence, written by Howard R Garis in some collaborative arrangement with Stratemeyer, though Garis himself was immensely fertile and almost certainly wrote the entire texts from Stratemeyer's short outlines. Through the Air to the North Pole; or, the Wonderful Cruise of the Electric Monarch (1906) and its two immediate sequels feature a typical family – a couple of lads, a professorial father, a male associate or two – in adventures involving increasingly interesting Inventions and venues, the Electric Monarch of the first tale, which goes in the water and in the air, being succeeded by submarine vehicles, in which the team explore a Symmesian Hollow Earth, which contains a Lost Race of giants. Through Space to Mars; or, The Longest Journey on Record (1910) and Lost on the Moon; or, In Quest of the Field of Diamonds (1911) carry an augmented crew of protagonists to Mars and on a diamond rush to the Moon. In general the Great Marvel books avoided most of the political and imperialist implications of the contemporary Edisonade.

Authorship of individual Roy Rockwood titles, and other details of publication, have long remained insecure, but the researches of Jessica Amanda Salmonson in particular [see links below] and others have done much to give a reliable accounting of the works issued under this name. Further series of sf interest include the Dave Dashaway series beginning with Dave Dashaway, the Young Aviators; Or, in the Clouds for Fame and Fortune (1913) by Weldon J Cobb, the Deep Sea series beginning with The Wizard of the Sea; or, A Trip Under the Ocean (1900) by various authors; the Dave Dashaway Airplane Boys series beginning with Dave Dashaway, the Young Aviators; Or, in the Clouds for Fame and Fortune (1913) by Weldon J Cobb. [JC]

see also: Children's SF; Outer Planets.

"Roy Rockwood"



The Deep Sea (variously Sea Treasure and/or Dave Fearless) series

The Great Marvel series

Dave Dashaway

Bomba the Jungle Boy


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