Stuart James Byrne (October 26, 1913 - September 23, 2011) was an American screenwriter and writer of science fiction and fantasy. He published under his own name and the pseudonyms Rothayne Amare, John Bloodstone, Howard Dare, and Marx Kaye (a house pseudonym).
Stuart J. Byrne
|Born||Stuart James Byrne|
26 October 1913
St. Paul, Minnesota, USA
|Died||23 September 2011|
|Occupation||screenwriter and Author|
Byrne was born in St. Paul, Minnesota. Later he recalled, "I was in there early enough to see magic lantern slides instead of movies, to watch the little man in the black suit climb his ladder to light our gas lamp out front, and in the early twenties I was excited by whisperings of a thing called radio!" Favorite fiction memories of the time included Grimm's Fairy Tales, Alice in Wonderland, L. Frank Baum's Oz stories, the Rover Boys, the Boy Allies, Gernsback science fiction, and "the life-changing impact of the Edgar Rice Burroughs books."
At the age of twelve, he moved with his family to California. In his teen years, his interest in science fiction continued. He also became an avid amateur astronomer. Years later, he recalled that "many a summer night ... were spent in awe ... in the Pleiades and the great Orion Nebula, or surfing the moons of Jupiter and rings of Saturn. In fact at fifteen I was grinding parabolic mirrors for my amateur telescope."
In the 1930s, he married Joey and fathered two children, Richard and Joanne; he now has three grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. He earned an M.A. at UCLA. He published his first science fiction story, entitled "Music of the Spheres" in Amazing Stories in 1935. It told how a young man sacrificed his life to send a passenger spaceship away from a fatal encounter with the sun. In their capsule review of the book, Bleiler and Bleiler state, "The story, which is purple in writing, now considers the sensations of the young man as he approaches death in the sun, fancying that he hears the music of the spheres."
Byrne's character, Michael Flanagan, appeared as the hero of three novels published in Amazing Stories: The Land Beyond the Lens, The Golden Gods, and The Return of Michael Flannigan, all listed as by John Bloodstone. The first two of these stories were collected as Godman (spelled "Godman!" on the cover) in 1970. All have been reprinted by Armchair Fiction as by S.J. Byrne. According to Byrne's later reminiscence, the name "John Bloodstone" was suggested by Ray Palmer to fool Howard Browne, the editor of Amazing Stories, who had requested that Palmer write a story about a picture showing a man going through some kind of lens. Palmer passed the job over to Byrne, but eventually confessed the switch to Browne.
In 1955, Byrne became known as the author of an unpublishable new Tarzan novel called Tarzan on Mars via an editorial called "Tarzan Never Dies", by editor Ray Palmer, in Other Worlds Science Stories magazine. The novel could not be published because Palmer was unable to get authorization from the estate of Edgar Rice Burroughs.
As a screenwriter, Byrne wrote for the Men into Space TV show in 1959 and 1960. He is credited with writing the episode entitled "Quarantine" (1959) and providing the story for the one entitled "Contraband" (1960). He received credit for the story of the 1971 film called The Deserter as well as the original story and screenplay for the 1972 film The Doomsday Machine. According to Bleiler and Bleiler, he was also a screenwriter for the 1975 film Journey into Fear, although he is not so credited in the IMdb online database.
Byrne reverted to the Bloodstone pseudonym for the publication of his original paperback novel Thundar, about the adventures of Michael Storm, also known as Thundar, on the Earth in the far future. After a framing device concerning Michael Storm's diaries, the story begins with Storm's adventures in the Peruvian mountains searching for the legendary time-gate of Viricocha. According to Byrne, "The scenes and locale of the opening adventure in the Peruvian Andes are authenticated by the fact that I spent some years in those mouintains, following the trails of Pizarro while guided by archaic Spanish manuscript". Byrne also declared: "An ERB attorney once suggested to me that I try writing my own ERB-style fantasy adventures using my own characters. The result was Thundar - Man of Two Worlds, written also in the ERB classical fantasy style, under my fantasy pen name, John Bloodstone."
Thundar - Man of Two Worlds inspired the 1980 children's cartoon show Thundarr the Barbarian through its mixture of swords and superscience.
In the 1970s, Byrne also worked as a translator on the Perry Rhodan series from German to English. He is credited as co-author with Clark Dalton of the two-part story called "Test Flight to Eden" (1975), which appeared in two consecutive Perry Rhodan books. When there were financial problems publishing Perry Rhodan books due to a change in the exchange rate between German and US currencies, Byrne undertook to write the Star Man series, of which 11 appeared in print, published by Forrest J. Ackerman's Master Publications. The first story was the Supermen of Alpha.
Also in the 1970s, Byrne tried his hand at Gothic writing from the first-person female point of view. The result was The Visitation, originally published in 1977, and republished as Hoaxbreaker in 2003.
Since 1998, many of Byrne's stories have been published in electronic form. They are all listed as by "Stuart J. Byrne", with "writing as John Bloodstone" and his other bynames.
Men Into Space (a.k.a. Space Challenge in later UK syndication) is an American black-and-white science fiction television series, produced by Ziv Television Programs, Inc., that was first broadcast from September 30, 1959 to September 7, 1960 by CBS. The syndicated series depicts future efforts by the United States Air Force to explore and develop outer space. The series' star, William Lundigan, played Col. Edward McCauley.Perry Rhodan
Perry Rhodan is the eponymous hero of a German science fiction novel series which has been published each week since 8 September 1961 in the 'Romanhefte' format (digest-sized booklets, usually containing 66 pages, the German equivalent of the now-defunct American pulp magazine) by Pabel-Moewig Verlag, a subsidiary of Bauer Media Group. As of March 2018, almost 2950 booklet novels of the original series plus 850 spinoff novels of the sister series Atlan plus over 400 paperbacks and 200 hardcovers have been published, totalling over 300,000 pages. Having sold approximately two billion copies (in novella format) worldwide alone, (including over one billion in Germany), it is the most successful science fiction book series ever written. The first billion of worldwide sales was celebrated in 1986.The first 126 novels (plus five novels of the spinoff series Atlan) were translated into English and published by Ace Books between 1969 and 1978, with the same translations used for the British edition published by Futura Publications which issued only 39 novels. When Ace cancelled its translation of the series, translator Wendayne Ackerman self-published the following 19 novels (under the business name 'Master Publications') and made them available by subscription only. Financial disputes with the German publishers led to the cancellation of the American translation in 1979.
An attempt to revive the series in English was made in 1997–1998 by Vector Publications of the US which published translations of four issues (1800–1803) from the current storyline being published in Germany at the time.
The series and its spin-offs have captured a substantial fraction of the original German science fiction output and exert influence on many German writers in the field. The series is told in an arc storyline structure. An arc—called a "cycle"—would have anywhere from 25 to 100 issues devoted to it, similar subsequent cycles are referred to as a "grand-cycle".Matthias Rust, the then-19 year old aviator who landed his Cessna 172 aircraft on the Red Square in Moscow in 1987, has cited Perry Rhodan's adventures as his main inspiration to penetrate Soviet airspace.