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Smith, George H

Entry updated 12 September 2022. Tagged: Author.

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(1922-1996) US author of much popular fiction and considerable sf, under his own name and several pseudonyms including books as Jan Hudson, Jerry Jason, Jan Smith, George Hudson Smith, Diana Summers (not sf), Hal Stryker and – mostly with his wife M Jane Deer – M J Deer. He began publishing sf with "The Last Spring" for Startling Stories in 1953, and became very active after about 1960, releasing his first sf novels – Satan's Daughter (1961) as by Jan Hudson, 1976 – Year of Terror (1961; vt The Year for Love anon circa 1965), Scourge of the Blood Cult (1961), The Coming of the Rats (1961) and Love Cult (1961 as by Jan Hudson) – in a rush. These early novels are, however, rather negligible, though their combination of sf tropes and soft pornography is humorously laid on; the collaborative Flames of Desire (1963) as by M J Deer, a Post-Holocaust tales set in flood-devastated California, is also soft pornography.

But with The Four-Day Weekend (1966) Smith began to strike a more sustained note, and in the following year started a two-part sequence of tales set in the Parallel World of Annwn: Druids' World (1967), Witch Queen of Lochlann (1969), Kar Kaballa (1969 dos), Second War of the Worlds (1976), in which H G Wells's Martians, now immune to disease, invade Annwn, and The Island Snatchers (1978), in which the version of Ireland housed in Annwn begins to drift across the Atlantic. The last three volumes of this sequence, which share the same main characters, present a complex interplay between this world and the alternative domain; they are Smith's most telling example of the kind of fantasy-textured sf at which he was best. Short stories of interest include "The Last Days of L.A." (February 1959 If) and "In the Imagicon" (February 1966 Galaxy) (see Virtual Reality). [JC]

George Henry Smith

born Vicksburg, Mississippi: 27 October 1922

died 22 May 1996




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