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Ship, Reuben

Entry updated 25 March 2019. Tagged: Author.

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(1915-1975) Canadian Radio scriptwriter and author; in US from 1939 to 1953, when he was deported after refusing to testify before the House Un-American Activities Committee (as what is known in America as a premature anti-fascist, he had staged leftist plays before 1939); from 1956 until his death he lived in the UK. Though he was active in radio and Television in his later career, he remains best known for his Satire The Investigator (as radio play 30 May 1954 Canadian Broadcasting Company; 1956), which follows the posthumous career of a thinly disguised Senator Joe McCarthy (1908-1957) [for Afterlife and Posthumous Fantasy see The Encyclopedia of Fantasy under links below]. After his death in a plane crash, the senator is interrogated by the famous traitors who occupy the Permanent Committee at the gates of heaven, but deposes the Gatekeeper and sends "subversives" like Socrates, John Milton and Abraham Lincoln to Hell. The tale – whose detailed focus on the contemporary world marks it as Fantastika rather than fantasy as such – was not published in America until 1966. [JC]

Reuben Ship

born Montreal, Quebec: 18 October 1915

died England: 23 August 1975

works (selected)

  • The Investigator (London: Sidgwick and Jackson, 1956) [first broadcast as radio play 30 May 1954 Canadian Broadcasting Company: illus/hb/Ronald Searle]


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