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Smith, D R

Entry updated 14 June 2021. Tagged: Author, Editor, Fan.

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Working name of Donald Raymond Smith (1917-1999), UK author, editor and fan who along with J Michael Rosenblum was instrumental in maintaining lines of communication within UK Fandom during World War Two, in particular editing the British Fantasy Society Bulletin (1942-1946). He was an often controversial columnist in Britain's first Fanzine, Novae Terrae, from its second issue in April 1936, and published some amateur fiction beginning with "It's a Devil" in The Fantast for September 1939.

Smith is of greatest sf interest for an early example of fan fiction, not in its initial fannish meaning of stories woven around real-life fans and their activities but in the more modern sense of creating new adventures for established fictional characters. A kind of multi-sourced Sequel by Another Hand, The Road to Fame (1941-1942 The Fantast; completed 1946; 1953; exp 2021) describes a Recursive SF quest for literary immortality by various genre notables: Professor Challenger and his companions from Arthur Conan Doyle's The Lost World (April-November 1912 Strand; 1912), Edgar Rice Burroughs's Tarzan and John Carter of Mars, and others from John W Campbell Jr's Space Operas, E E Smith's Skylark and Lensman sagas, H G Wells's The Food of the Gods (December 1903-June 1904 Pearson's Magazine; 1904), and so on. The hostile landscapes to be traversed, beginning with the Impassable Precipice of Public Ridicule, are allegorically reminiscent of John Bunyan's The Pilgrim's Progress (1678; exp 1684). [DRL]

Donald Raymond Smith

born Nuneaton, Warwickshire: 24 October 1917

died Coventry, Warwickshire: 24 September 1999


  • The Road to Fame (Mount Rainier, Maryland: Bill Evans/Elder Publications for FAPA, 1953) [chap: six chapters first appeared 1941-1942 The Fantast; completed 1946: pb/nonpictorial]
    • The Road to Fame (Reading, Berkshire: Ansible Editions, 2021) [ebook: exp of the above with introduction and profile of the author by Rob Hansen: na/]


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