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Williams, Robert Moore

Entry updated 29 April 2024. Tagged: Author.

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(1907-1977) US author, active in the sf field under his own name and various pseudonyms, including John S Browning, H H Harmon, Russell Storm and the House Name E K Jarvis. He began publishing sf with "Zero as a Limit" for Astounding in 1934 as Robert Moore, and by the 1960s had published over 150 stories. Though most are unremarkable, he was an important supplier of competent genre fiction during these decades, and tales like "Robot's Return" (September 1938 Astounding) – a parable of machine Evolution whose Robot protagonists, visiting from their home on Mars, cannot believe that flesh creatures could have created them back on Earth – retain a dawn pathos. Typically adequate to demand is the Jongor series – comprising Jongor of Lost Land (October 1940 Fantastic Adventures; 1970), The Return of Jongor (April 1944 Fantastic Adventures; 1970) and Jongor Fights Back (December 1951 Fantastic Adventures; 1970) – in which a Tarzan-like barbarian Hero combats Monsters and ancient science in a Lost World in the depths of Australia. The much later Zanthar series – comprising Zanthar of the Many Worlds (1967), Zanthar at the Edge of Never (1968), Zanthar at Moon's Madness (1968) and Zanthar at Trip's End (1969) – replicates the effects of the previous series, though in space with the addition of Mutants; Zanthar himself is a professor with the thews of Jongor.

Williams did not begin publishing singletons until The Chaos Fighters (1955), but thereafter released many novels of the same general calibre as his short fiction, most of his later work being Space Operas. Notable were two novels set in a World War Three ambience: Doomsday Eve (1957 dos), a Post-Holocaust drama in which the world serves as an arena for struggling Supermen, and The Day They H-Bombed Los Angeles (1961), which includes a Recursive reference to Doomsday Eve, though the story itself focuses on the American military's bombing of Los Angeles (see California) to prevent a Pandemic whose victims are initially Zombie-like but "recover" with a compulsion to kill or infect normal humans. Williams wrote few original tales, but rarely a dull one. [JC]

Robert Moore Williams

born Farmington, Missouri: 19 June 1907

died Dateland, Arizona: 12 May 1977





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