Thomas N. Scortia

Thomas Nicholas Scortia (August 29, 1926 – April 29, 1986) was a science fiction author. He worked in the American aerospace industry until the late 1960s/early 1970s. He collaborated on several works with fellow author Frank M. Robinson. He sometimes used the pseudonyms "Scott Nichols", "Gerald MacDow", and "Arthur R. Kurtz."


Scortia was born in Alton, Illinois. He attended Washington University in St. Louis, where he earned a degree in chemistry in 1949. He worked for a number of aerospace companies during the 1950s and 1960s, and held a patent for the fuel used by one of the Jupiter fly-by missions.

Scortia had been writing in his spare time while still working in the aerospace field. When the industry began to see increased unemployment in the early 1970s, Scortia decided to try his hand at full-time writing. His first novel, The Glass Inferno (in collaboration with Frank M. Robinson) was the inspiration for the 1974 film The Towering Inferno. Scortia also collaborated with Dalton Trumbo on the novel The Endangered Species.

Scortia died of leukemia in La Verne, California on April 29, 1986.

Harlan Ellison credited Scortia with having "literally saved [Ellison] from being courtmartialed back in 1958".[1]




Short stories

  • "The Shores of Night" (1956)
  • "Sea Change" (1956)
  • "The Bomb in the Bathtub" Galaxy, Feb 1957
  • "The Icebox Blonde" (1959)


  1. ^ Introduction to Angry Candy, by Harlan Ellison; published 1988

External links

Alton, Illinois

Alton is a city on the Mississippi River in Madison County, Illinois, United States, about 15 miles (24 km) north of St. Louis, Missouri. The population was 27,865 at the 2010 census. It is a part of the Metro-East region of the Greater St. Louis metropolitan area. It is famous for its limestone bluffs along the river north of the city, for its role preceding and during the American Civil War, and as the home town of jazz musician Miles Davis and Robert Wadlow, the tallest known person in history. It was the site of the last Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas debate in October 1858. The former state penitentiary in Alton was used during the Civil War to hold up to 12,000 Confederate prisoners of war.

Chelsea Quinn Yarbro bibliography

This is a list of fiction works by Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, who was awarded a 2009 Bram Stoker Award for Lifetime Achievement for her work up to that point in time. Quinn Yarbro has published under her name and under the pseudonyms of Quinn Fawcett, Trystam Kith, Terry Nelson Bonner, Camille Gabor, and Vanessa Pryor. Quinn Yarbro has also written non-fiction history works under the name of T. C. F. Hopkins.

Disaster film

A disaster film or disaster movie is a film genre that has an impending or ongoing disaster as its subject and primary plot device. Such disasters include natural disasters such as floods, earthquakes, tsunamis or asteroid collisions, accidents such as shipwrecks or airplane crashes, or calamities like worldwide disease pandemics. The films usually feature some degree of build-up, the disaster itself, and sometimes the aftermath, usually from the point of view of specific individual characters or their families or portraying the survival tactics of different people.

These films often feature large casts of actors and multiple plot lines, focusing on the characters' attempts to avert, escape or cope with the disaster and its aftermath. The genre came to particular prominence during the 1970s with the release of high-profile films such as Airport (1970), followed in quick succession by The Poseidon Adventure (1972), Earthquake (1974) and The Towering Inferno (1974).The casts were generally made up of familiar character actors. Once the disaster begins in the film, the characters are usually confronted with human weaknesses, often falling in love and almost always finding a villain to blame. The genre experienced a renewal in the 1990s boosted by computer-generated imagery (CGI) and large studio budgets which allowed for more focus on the destruction, and less on the human drama, as seen in films like 1998's Armageddon and Deep Impact. Nevertheless, the films usually feature a persevering hero or heroine (Charlton Heston, Steve McQueen, etc.) called upon to lead the struggle against the threat. In many cases, the "evil" or "selfish" individuals are the first to succumb to the conflagration.

Frank M. Robinson

Frank M. Robinson (August 9, 1926 – June 30, 2014) was an American science fiction and techno-thriller writer.

List of nuclear holocaust fiction

This list of nuclear holocaust fiction lists the many works of speculative fiction that attempt to describe a world during or after a massive nuclear war, nuclear holocaust, or crash of civilization due to a nuclear electromagnetic pulse.

Martin Hilský

Prof. Martin Hilský MBE (born 8 April 1943 in Prague) is a professor of English literature at Charles University in Prague and a translator.He is most acclaimed for his translations into Czech of William Shakespeare's works for which he was awarded the 2011 Czech State Award for Translation. In 2001 he was named an honorary holder of the Order of the British Empire. He has also written extensive prefaces and epilogues for several books.

Mythical Beasties

Mythical Beasties is an anthology of themed fantasy and science fiction short stories on the subject of legendary creatures edited by Isaac Asimov, Martin H. Greenberg and Charles G. Waugh as the sixth volume in their Isaac Asimov's Magical Worlds of Fantasy series. It was first published in paperback by Signet/New American Library in May 1986. The first British edition was issued under the alternate title Mythic Beasts in trade paperback by Robinson in 1988.The book collects thirteen novellas, novelettes and short stories by various fantasy and science fiction authors.

Nitronium perchlorate

Nitronium perchlorate, NO2ClO4, also known as nitryl perchlorate and nitroxyl perchlorate, is an inorganic chemical, the salt of the perchlorate anion and the nitronium cation. It forms colorless monoclinic crystals. It is hygroscopic, and is a strong oxidizing and nitrating agent. It may become hypergolic in contact with organic materials.

Nitronium perchlorate was investigated as an oxidizer in solid rocket propellants. Thomas N. Scortia filed for patent on such propellant in 1963. However its reactivity and incompatibility with many materials hindered such use. Coating of nitronium perchlorate particles with ammonium nitrate, prepared in situ by passing of dry ammonia gas over the particles, was investigated and a patent was awarded.Decomposition rate of nitronium perchlorate can be altered by doping with multivalent cations.Nitronium perchlorate and ammonium perchlorate do not produce smoke when stoicheometrically burned with non-metallic fuels. Potassium perchlorate and other metal perchlorates generate smoke as the metal chlorides are solid materials creating aerosols of their particles. Of all perchlorates, nitronium perchlorate is the most powerful oxidizer. It can be easily detonated, however.

Space Opera (1974 anthology)

Space Opera is a 1974 anthology of classic science fiction short stories edited by Brian Aldiss.

The Eye of Argon

The Eye of Argon is a heroic fantasy novella that narrates the adventures of Grignr, a barbarian. It was written in 1970 by Jim Theis (August 9, 1953 – March 26, 2002) and circulated anonymously in science fiction fandom since then. It has been described as "one of the genre's most beloved pieces of appalling prose", the "infamous 'worst fantasy novel ever' published for fans' enjoyment," and "the apotheosis of bad writing", and has subsequently been used as part of a common science fiction convention party game.

The Fifth Missile

The Fifth Missile is a 1986 TV movie starring Robert Conrad, Sam Waterston and David Soul about an American ballistic missile submarine, based on the novel The Gold Crew by Frank M. Robinson and Thomas N. Scortia. With the exception of Cmdr. Van Meer, the ship's crew goes slowly insane due to exposure to paint chemicals onboard and believes a missile test exercise is, in fact, nuclear war. It explores the inability of U.S. command structures to control and prevent rogue submarine officers from launching ballistic missiles.

The Glass Inferno

The Glass Inferno is a 1974 novel by Thomas N. Scortia and Frank M. Robinson. It is one of the two books that was used to create the movie The Towering Inferno, the other being the 1973 novel The Tower by Richard Martin Stern.

The Last Dangerous Visions

The Last Dangerous Visions is a mooted sequel to the science fiction short story anthologies Dangerous Visions and Again, Dangerous Visions, originally published in 1967 and 1972 respectively. Like the first two, it was scheduled to be edited by Harlan Ellison, with introductions provided by him.

The projected third collection was started but, controversially, has yet to be finished. It has become something of a legend in science fiction as the genre's most famous unpublished book. It was originally announced for publication in 1973, but the anthology has not seen print to date. Ellison came under criticism for his treatment of some writers who submitted their stories to him, who some estimate to number nearly 150. Many of these writers have since died.

Various difficulties delayed publication many times. As recently as May 2007, Ellison said he still wanted to get the book out.British author Christopher Priest, whose story "An Infinite Summer" had been accepted for the collection, wrote a lengthy critique of Ellison's failure to complete the LDV project. It was first published by Priest as a one-shot fanzine called The Last Deadloss Visions, a pun on the title of Priest's own fanzine, Deadloss. It proved so popular that it had a total of three printings in the UK and later, in book form, as the 1995 Hugo Award nominated The Book on the Edge of Forever (an allusion to Ellison's Star Trek episode, "The City on the Edge of Forever") by American publisher Fantagraphics Books. The essay is available online at the Internet Archive mirror of the original site.

On June 28, 2018, Ellison died, with the anthology still unpublished. The fate of the anthology, and/or the stories submitted for it, remains unclear.

The Tower (novel)

The Tower is a 1973 novel by Richard Martin Stern. It is one of the two books drawn upon for the screenplay Stirling Silliphant wrote for the 1974 movie The Towering Inferno, the other being the 1974 novel The Glass Inferno by Thomas N. Scortia and Frank M. Robinson.

The Towering Inferno

The Towering Inferno is a 1974 American drama disaster film produced by Irwin Allen featuring an all-star cast led by Paul Newman and Steve McQueen. The picture was directed by John Guillermin. A co-production between 20th Century Fox and Warner Bros., it was the first film to be a joint venture by two major Hollywood studios. It was adapted by Stirling Silliphant from a pair of novels, The Tower by Richard Martin Stern and The Glass Inferno by Thomas N. Scortia and Frank M. Robinson.The film earned a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Picture and was the highest-grossing film released in 1974. The picture was nominated for eight Oscars in all, winning three. In addition to McQueen and Newman, the cast includes William Holden, Faye Dunaway, Fred Astaire, Susan Blakely, Richard Chamberlain, O. J. Simpson, Robert Vaughn, Robert Wagner, Susan Flannery, Gregory Sierra, Dabney Coleman and, in her final film, Jennifer Jones.

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