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Suddaby, Donald

Entry updated 12 September 2022. Tagged: Author.

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(1900-1964) UK author, mostly for children, whose first work was Scarlet-Dragon: A Little Chinese Phantasy (1923 chap), a seemingly self-published jeu d'esprit. He began publishing work of genre interest as Alan Griff with stories like "The Emerald" (August 1930 Colour), "The Coming of Glugm" (September 1930 Colour), which is Prehistoric SF, and "House of Desolation" (January 1934 Cornhill); his first sf novel was Lost Men in the Grass (1940) as by Griff, whose chemist protagonist invents (see Invention) a serum designed to prolong life, but which in facts enormously shrinks its subjects (see Miniaturization). The third novella assembled in Masterless Swords: Variations on a Theme (coll of linked stories 1947) is set in a future where men wage war on women. Suddaby soon became – and remained – best known for his juvenile sf novels, beginning with The Star Raiders (1950), which involves a trip to Venus, and The Death of Metal (1952), a Disaster tale with a Cosy-Catastrophe emphasis on its effects on a local village: more grimly, metal suddenly becomes soft, transforming the UK, and the action moves Underground, where a strange unhuman species may have been involved in the disaster; in the end, however, the protagonists return to their village. The most notable is perhaps Village Fanfare, or The Man from the Future (December 1934 Cornhill as by Alan Griff; much exp 1954), a Time-Travel tale in which a 1907 Shropshire village is visited from the future by a somewhat disruptive Mysterious Stranger looking for, and finding, human wisdom in his past. Prisoners of Saturn (1957) is a Space Opera. Some of Suddaby's non-sf books, like Tower of Babel (1962), have some fantasy content. [JC]

see also: Children's SF.

William Donald Suddaby

born Leeds, England: 20 December 1900

died Worcestershire: 14 March 1964



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