Edmund Cooper

Edmund Cooper (30 April 1926 – 11 March 1982) was an English poet and prolific writer of speculative fiction, romances, technical essays, several detective stories, and a children's book. These were published under his own name and several pen names.


Born in Marple, near Stockport, Cheshire, Cooper left school at the age of 15. In 1942 he became engaged at 16 to a teacher four years older than he was, and married her four years later on 13 April 1946.[1] He worked as a labourer, then a civil servant, and in 1944 he joined the Merchant Navy.[2] After the war he trained as a teacher,[1] and began to publish verse, then short stories, then novels. Deadly Image, the first novel to appear under his own name, was completed in 1957 and published in 1958 in the United States.[2] (The novel was published in the UK later in 1958 in a variant form and under its better-known title The Uncertain Midnight.) The Uncertain Midnight was adapted without authorisation for Swiss television in 1969.[2] His short story The Brain Child (1956) was adapted as the movie The Invisible Boy (1957), which featured the return of Robby the Robot from Forbidden Planet.[2]

Cooper reviewed science fiction for the Sunday Times from 1967 until his death in 1982.[2]

In 2009, Carol Lake published Those Summers at Moon Farm (United Writers, Cornwall: 978-1-85200-141-4), a roman à clef about the writer and family. The Author's Comments says 'Although inspired by real people, this story is fiction'. Dedicated in part to Joan and Edmund Cooper, Lake acknowledges the help of Glynis Greenman, one of Cooper's daughters, 'for sharing memories and anecdotes'.

Work and criticism

Cooper was an atheist and an individualist. His science fiction often depicts unconventional male heroes facing unfamiliar and remote environments.[3] His novel The Uncertain Midnight was noted for its treatment of the subject of androids, which was considered original at the time of writing.[4] Also uniquely treated is the subject of the colonisation of planets, which is the basis of Cooper's Expendables series, published under the pen name Richard Avery (the name of the hero of Transit). The Expendables series is notable both for the diversity of its cast of characters, and for the frank nature of their conversations and attitudes on racial and sexual topics.

Two[5] of Cooper's books depict future Earths dominated by women after the genetic or physical need for men has been reduced. His attitude to women is said to have been controversial.[6] Cooper was quoted as saying: "Let them have totally equal competition ... they'll see that they can't make it."[7] The theme of both books is actually the need to retain both sexes. Five to Twelve ends with the phrase "if we do not make any more mistakes, we can create a balanced world of men and women". The more cynical Who Needs Men? ends by asking whether love of woman for man is worth death for that love. Yes, says the heroine.



As George Kinley

  • 1954 Ferry Rocket, Curtis Books

As Broderick Quain

  • 1954 They Shall Not Die, Curtis Books

As Martin Lester

  • 1954, The Black Phoenix, Curtis Books

As Edmund Cooper

  • 1957 The Invisible Boy (chapbook) Ungar Electronics Tools
  • 1958 Deadly Image (aka The Uncertain Midnight) Ballantine (Text 1), Hutchinson (Text 2), Panther (Text 2 rev), Hodder (Text 1), Coronet (Text 1), Remploy (Text 2)[8]
  • 1959 Seed of Light, Hutchinson (Text 1), Ballantine (Text 2), Panther (Text 1), Coronet (Text 2 rev)[9]
  • 1960 Wish Goes to Slumber Land: An Adventure in Plasticene, Hutchinson[10]
  • 1964 Transit, Faber & Faber, Lancer, 4 Square, Coronet, Ace, Remploy[11]
  • 1966 All Fools' Day, Hodder & Stoughton, Walker, Coronet, Berkley, Remploy[12]
  • 1967 A Far Sunset, Hodder & Stoughton, Walker, Berkley Medallion, Hodder, Ace[13]
  • 1968 Five to Twelve, Hodder & Stoughton, Putnam, Doubleday/SFBC, Hodder, Berkley, Coronet[14]
  • 1969 Seahorse in the Sky, Hodder & Stoughton, Hodder, Putnam, SFBC, Coronet, Berkley, Ace
  • 1969 The Last Continent, Dell, Hodder & Stoughton, Hodder, Coronet
  • 1970 Son of Kronk, Hodder & Stoughton; later as Kronk, Putnam, Berkley, Coronet
  • 1971 The Overman Culture, Hodder & Stoughton, Putnam, Berkley Medallion, Readers Union, Coronet
  • 1972 Who Needs Men?, Hodder & Stoughton, Coronet; later as Gender Genocide, Ace
  • 1973 The Tenth Planet, Putnam, Hodder & Stoughton, Readers Union, Berkley, Coronet
  • 1973 The Cloud Walker, Hodder & Stoughton, Ballantine, Coronet
  • 1974 Prisoner of Fire, Hodder & Stoughton, Walker, Coronet
  • 1974 The Slaves of Heaven, Putnam, SFBC, Hodder & Stoughton, Berkley Medallion, Coronet
  • 1978 Merry Christmas, Ms Minerva!, Robert Hale
  • 2014 SF Gateway Omnibus: The Cloud Walker, All Fools' Day, A Far Sunset, Gollancz

As Richard Avery

The Expendables Series:

  • 1975 The Expendables (1) The Deathworms of Kratos, Coronet, Fawcett Gold Medal, Severn House; later as The Deathworms of Kratos by Cooper, 1979[15]
  • 1975 The Expendables (2) The Rings of Tantalus, Coronet, Fawcett Gold Medal, Severn House; later as The Rings of Tantalus by Cooper, 1979[16]
  • 1975 The Expendables (3) The War Games of Zelos, Coronet, Fawcett Gold Medal; later as The War Games of Zelos by Cooper, 1980[17]
  • 1976 The Expendables (4) The Venom of Argus, Coronet, Fawcett Gold Medal; later as The Venom of Argus by Cooper, 1980[18]

Short stories (collections)

  • 1958 Tomorrow's Gift, Ballantine, Digit
  • 1960 Voices in the Dark, Digit
  • 1963 Tomorrow Came, Panther
  • 1964 The Square Root of Tomorrow, Robert Hale
  • 1968 News from Elsewhere, Mayflower, Berkley
  • 1971 Unborn Tomorrow, Robert Hale
  • 1971 Double Phoenix (with Roger Lancelyn Green) (edited by Lin Carter, "Adult Fantasy" series), Ballantine
  • 1979 Jupiter Laughs and Other Stories, Hodder & Stoughton, Readers' Union, Coronet
  • 1980 World of Difference, Robert Hale

Short stories by Edmund Cooper

  • 1969 "The Lizard of Woz" Reprinted by permission of the author in Flying Saucers 1982 by Isaac Asimov, Martin Harry Greenberg and Charles G. Waugh, ISBN 0-449-21400-1

Work adapted for the screen

  • 1957 The Invisible Boy[19] from The Brain Child 1956[20]
  • 1969 The Uncertain Midnight (French) TV serial, unauthorised
  • 1979 Death Watch as "OBN in Arrivo", part of series I racconti di fantascienza directed by Alessandro Blasetti (Rai, Italy)"[20]


  1. ^ a b Hans Joachim Alpers, Werner Fuchs, Ronald Hahn: Reclams Science-Fiction-Führer. Philipp Reclam jun., Stuttgart 1982, p. 106
  2. ^ a b c d e Edmund Cooper's Biography, by Joe Smith Archived 24 April 2005 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ Ash, Brian: Who's Who in Science Fiction: Sphere Books Ltd; 1976 : "Cooper's forte is his portrayal of suspiciously Heinlein-type male heroes ... who act out their particular destinies (not always gloriously) against unfamiliar backdrops."
  4. ^ Ash, Brian: Who's Who in Science Fiction: Sphere Books Ltd; 1976
  5. ^ Five to Twelve, Who Needs Men? (Gender Genocide)
  6. ^ Edmund Cooper's Biography Archived 19 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine "commentary by the feminist mafia didn't help.'"
  7. ^ "We Must Love One Another or Die; an interview with Edmund Cooper by James Goddard page 3
  8. ^ The Uncertain Midnight title listing at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database
  9. ^ Seed of Light title listing at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database
  10. ^ Wish Goes to Slumberland – Picture Book 1960 children's book, info from Carnie Pollock
  11. ^ Transit title listing at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database
  12. ^ All Fools' Day title listing at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database
  13. ^ A Far Sunset publication history at the Edmund Cooper Visual Bibliography Archived 9 March 2005 at the Wayback Machine
  14. ^ Five to Twelve title listing at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database
  15. ^ The Deathworms of Kratos title listing at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database
  16. ^ The Rings of Tantalus title listing at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database
  17. ^ The War Games of Zelos title listing at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database
  18. ^ The Venom of Argus title listing at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database
  19. ^ The Invisible Boy on IMDb , written with Cyril Hume, directed by Herman Hoffman
  20. ^ a b Jonathan S Farley. "Edmund Cooper bibliography" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 15 September 2012. Retrieved 28 September 2017. page 4, Short Stories "Brain Child, The : The Saturday Evening Post (as 'The Invisible Boy'); 23 June 1956"; page 11, Filmography "Invisible Boy, The : Brain Child, The: Herman Hoffman; USA; 1957", "O .B.N. in arrivo : Death Watch: part of series ' Racconti di fantascienza di Blasetti, I':Alessandro Blasetti; Italy; 1978"

External links

1868 in architecture

The year 1868 in architecture involved some significant events.

1926 in the United Kingdom

Events from the year 1926 in the United Kingdom. The year is dominated by the general strike.

A Far Sunset

A Far Sunset is a science fiction novel by Edmund Cooper, published by Hodder & Stoughton in July 1967.

Abbey Mills Pumping Station

The original Abbey Mills Pumping Station, in Stratford, East London, is a sewage pumping station, designed by engineer Joseph Bazalgette, Edmund Cooper, and architect Charles Driver. It was built between 1865 and 1868, housing eight beam engines by Rothwell & Co. of Bolton. Two engines on each arm of a cruciform plan, with an elaborate Byzantine style, described as The Cathedral of Sewage. Another of Bazalgette's designs, Crossness Pumping Station, is located south of the River Thames at Crossness, at the end of the Southern Outfall Sewer. A modern pumping station (F Station) was completed in 1997 about 200 metres (660 ft) south of the original station.

Bermuda at the 1936 Summer Olympics

Bermuda competed in the Summer Olympic Games for the first time at the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin, Germany.

After gaining IOC recognition in February 1936, Bermuda were invited to take part in the 1936 Summer Olympics. With the financial backing of Sir Howard Trott, a team of swimmers would be sent. Whitfield Fredrick "Chummy" Hayward a successful businessman and an accomplished athlete, arranged for American coach William Brooks to come to Bermuda to train the swimmers and also persuaded Leonard Spence an ex-world breaststroke record holder to move from British Guiana to Bermuda in order to compete for them. He traveled to Berlin as the team manager, and carried the flag at the opening ceremony.

Double Phoenix

Double Phoenix is an anthology of two short fantasy novels by Edmund Cooper and Roger Lancelyn Green, edited by American writer Lin Carter. It was first published in paperback by Ballantine Books in November 1971 as the thirty-seventh volume of its Ballantine Adult Fantasy series. It was the sixth anthology assembled by Carter for the series.

The book collects two fantasy novellas, together with three introductory essays on the works, their authors and the book itself by Carter.

Edmund Cooper (politician)

Edmund Cooper (September 11, 1821 – July 21, 1911) was a U.S. Representative from Tennessee, brother of Henry Cooper.

Edmund Cooper (swimmer)

Edmund Merriman Cooper (9 September 1912–January 2003) was a Bermudian swimmer. He competed in two events at the 1936 Summer Olympics: the men's 400 metres freestyle (with a time of 5:53.8) and the 4x200 metres freestyle relay. His brother, Forster Cooper, and son, Edmund Kirkland Cooper, were also both Olympians—in swimming and sailing, respectively.

Edmund Manfred

Edmund Cooper Manfred (5 June 1856 – 20 February 1941) often referred as E.C. Manfred was an English born Australian architect who was prominent for his works for designing well known and iconic buildings in Goulburn, New South Wales.

Henry Cooper (U.S. senator)

Henry Cooper (August 22, 1827 – February 4, 1884) was a Tennessee attorney, judge, and politician who served one term in the United States Senate, 1871–1877. During his career, Cooper moved through several political affiliations, including Whig, Know Nothing, and Democrat.

Lesbian utopia

Lesbian utopia refers to a conceptual community made up entirely of women who are not dependent on men for anything.The concept of an all-female society is mentioned in Greek mythology through a legend of the Amazons, a nation of all-female warriors. In this legend, once each year the Amazons call upon the Gargareans and mate with them.


Madehurst is a small village and civil parish in the Arun District of West Sussex, England on the south slopes of the South Downs in the South Downs National Park. It is three miles (5 km) north-west of Arundel, to the west of the A29 road. The village of Madehurst is in two well-wooded valleys, listed in park guides.

Marple, Greater Manchester

Marple is a small town in the Metropolitan Borough of Stockport, Greater Manchester, England, on the River Goyt 9 miles (14 km) southeast of Manchester, 9 miles (14 km) north of Macclesfield and 4 miles (6 km) southeast of Stockport. In 2011, it had a population of 23,686.

Historically in Cheshire, the town lies along the Peak Forest Canal, containing the Marple Lock Flight and Marple Aqueduct. The Roman Lakes to the southeast of the town centre attracts anglers and walkers. Marple is served by two railway stations, Marple and Rose Hill, providing access to the rail network in Greater Manchester and beyond. It is also close by the Middlewood Way, a cycle path following the former Macclesfield, Bollington and Marple Railway line south from Rose Hill to Macclesfield.

Marsden Manfred

Marsden Erle Manfred (31 December 1888 – 26 February 1951) was an Australian politician.

He was born in Goulburn to architect Edmund Cooper Manfred and Ellen Wagstaffe. He attended King's College in Goulburn and became a solicitor, practising locally. On 13 October 1917 he married Mildred Ann Reynolds, with whom he had one son; a later marriage, on 26 November 1942, was to Lynda Mabel Rice. He was an alderman at Goulburn from 1924 to 1929, and served as a member of the New South Wales Legislative Council from 1934 to 1949, first for the United Australia Party and then for the Liberal Party. He was an assistant minister from 1939 to 1941 and served as acting Minister for Justice for sixteen days in March 1941. Manfred died at Goulburn in 1951.


Robinsonade () is a literary genre that takes its name from the 1719 novel Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe. The success of this novel spawned so many imitations that its name was used to define a genre, which is sometimes described simply as a "desert island story" or a "castaway narrative".The word "robinsonade" was coined by the German writer Johann Gottfried Schnabel in the Preface of his 1731 work Die Insel Felsenburg (The Island Stronghold). It is often viewed as a subgenre of survivalist fiction.

Swimming at the 1936 Summer Olympics – Men's 400 metre freestyle

The men's 400 metre freestyle was a swimming event held as part of the swimming at the 1936 Summer Olympics programme. It was the seventh appearance of the event, which was established in 1908. The competition was held from Monday to Wednesday, 10 to 12 August 1936.

Thirty-four swimmers from 16 nations competed.

Tennessee's 4th congressional district

The 4th Congressional District of Tennessee is a congressional district in southern Tennessee. It has been represented by Republican Scott DesJarlais since January 2011.

Transit (Cooper novel)

Transit is a science fiction novel by English writer Edmund Cooper, published in February 1964 by Faber and Faber.

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