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Wilcox, Don

Working name of US author Cleo Eldon Wilcox (1905-2000), who taught creative writing at Northwestern University; his claim in sf circles that his real name was Cleo Eldon Knox appears to have been fictitious. Most of his work, sometimes as Cleo Eldon (once), Miles Shelton or Max Overton (twice), was for Ray Palmer's Amazing Stories and Fantastic Adventures, where he published his first story, "The Pit of Death", in July 1939. A good and pioneering Generation-Starship tale, "The Voyage that Lasted 600 Years" (October 1940 Amazing), soon followed. Wilcox used the House Name Alexander Blade at least once, and also published a novelette, "Confessions of a Mechanical Man" (May 1947 Amazing), as Buzz-Bolt Atomcracker. The Ebbtide Jones stories beginning with "Whirlpool in Space" (November 1939 Amazing) – the rest appearing in Fantastic Adventures from January 1940 to June 1942 – were published as by Miles Shelton; Jones is a junk dealer who often comes across odd and unusual inventions such as an atom constricter that converts things into two Dimensions to save space.

Wilcox's solo "The Whispering Gorilla" (May 1940 Fantastic Adventures) was cobbled together with "The Return of the Whispering Gorilla" (February 1943 Fantastic Adventures) by his Ziff-Davis stablemate David Vern writing as David V Reed, to form The Whispering Gorilla (fixup 1950), published as by David V Reed; the two stories were much later separately assembled as The Whispering Gorilla/Return of the Whispering Gorilla (coll 1998) with David V Reed. A project to showcase his best short fiction opened with The Best of Don Wilcox Volume 1 (coll 2016) edited by Von Rothenberger. [JC/PN/DRL]

Cleo Eldon Wilcox

born Lucas, Kansas: 29 August 1905

died Lucas, Kansas: 9 March 2000



The Best of Don Wilcox

individual titles



Entry from The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction (2011-current) edited by John Clute and David Langford.
Accessed 14:35 pm on 19 January 2022.