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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Edward Boyd and his Whopper Space Stories

(* Reposted as I've been able to expand on the original piece. My thanks to Jeremy Briggs and Roger Robinson for additional info.)

Whopper Space Stories has always been something of a mystery. I had a copy for years and guessed it was from around the late 1950s. The mystery began when I learned that there was an entirely different book also called Whopper Space Stories, then that the same stories had appeared in various other volumes. Now, thanks to Jeremy Briggs, I think I've got a handle on the order of events.

The stories first appeared in a volume called Space Story Omnibus, pictured above, which can be firmly dated (via The Bookseller) as appearing in July 1955. The book was published by The Children's Press (an imprint of Collins) and the full contents follow, although I'm not quite sure of the correct order.

Space Story Omnibus (Children’s Press, nd (July 1955), 128pp, hc)
Illustrated by R. A. Branton and Bruce Gaffron.
_7 · Boyd, Edward · A Question of Proof · ss
_12 · Allward, Maurice F. · Out Into Space · ar
_16 · [Comic Strip] · Rex Strong, Space Ace · cs
_19 · Boyd, Edward · Space Pirate · ss
_52 · Allward, Maurice F. · The Journey · ar
_33 · Boyd, Edward · A Matter of Time · ss
_46 · Boyd, Edward · Operation Mirror · ss
_74 · Allward, Maurice F. · Exploration · ar
_60 · Boyd, Edward · Mickey’s Monkey · ss
_67 · Boyd, Edward · Space Barr and the Insect Army · ss
_79 · Boyd, Edward · Mutiny in Space · ss
_93 · [Comic Strip] · Don Regan · cs
_96 · Allward, Maurice F. · Space Medicine · ar
_102 · Boyd, Edward · The Miraculous Mushrooms · ss
_113 · Allward, Maurice F. · Stations in Space · ar
_122 · Boyd, Edward · Space Barr and the Saboteur · ss

I believe that a couple of years later the same stories and features were split into two volumes, both with the title Whopper Space Stories. There appears to be one original story, entitled "The Man in the Moon", added to the pair of volumes. Confusing matters even more, the first of these (with the T. E. North painting of a winged rocket approaching a space station) was also published in hardback with an additional frontispiece signed S.D.—almost certainly Serge Drigin.

Whopper Space Stories (Children’s Press, c.1959 , 72pp, pb, cover by T. E. North)
Illustrated by R. A. Branton and Bruce Gaffron.
_Boyd, Edward · Operation Mirror · ss
_Allward, Maurice F. · Out Into Space · ar
_Boyd, Edward · Space Barr and the Insect Army · ss
_[Comic Strip] · Rex Strong Space Ace · cs
_Allward, Maurice F. · The Journey · ar
_Boyd, Edward · A Question of Proof · ss
_Allward, Maurice F. · Exploration · ar
_Boyd, Edward · Space Barr and the Saboteur · ss
_Allward, Maurice F. · First Into Space · ar
_Boyd, Edward · The Miraculous Mushrooms · ss

Whopper Space Stories (Children’s Press, c.1959 , 72pp, pb)
Illustrated by R. A. Branton and Bruce Gaffron.
_Boyd, Edward · Space Pirate · ss
_[Comic Strip] · Don Regan · cs
_Boyd, Edward · Mickey’s Monkey · ss
_Allward, Maurice F. · Stations in Space · ar
_Boyd, Edward · The Man in the Moon · ss
_[Comic Strip] · Rex Strong on the Planet Orbona · cs
_Boyd, Edward · A Matter of Time · ss; illus. R. A. Branton
_Allward, Maurice F. · Space Medicine · ar
_Boyd, Edward · Mutiny in Space · ss

We then come to another version of Space Story Omnibus, published in either 1960 or 1961. I've seen a copy advertised which was inscribed 1961, but some library records date the book 1960. This volume included a 4-page strip by Chas. Ian Kennedy, reprinted from a 1950s volume of Collins Boys' Annual.

The Giant Book of Amazing Stories (Children’s Press, 1960 , ???pp, pb. cover by T. E. North)
Illustrated by R. A. Branton and Bruce Gaffron.
_[Comic Strip] · Rex Strong on the Planet Orbona · cs
_[Comic Strip] · Dave Garratt and the Space Pirates · cs; illus. Chas. Ian Kennedy
_Boyd, Edward · A Question of Proof · ss
_Boyd, Edward · Mickey’s Monkey · ss
_Boyd, Edward · Space Barr and the Saboteur · ss
_Boyd, Edward · A Matter of Time · ss; illus. R. A. Branton
_Boyd, Edward · Mutiny in Space · ss
_Boyd, Edward · Space Barr and the Insect Army · ss
_[Comic Strip] · Rex Strong Space Ace · cs
_[Comic Strip] · Don Regan · cs
_Boyd, Edward · The Miraculous Mushrooms · ss
_Boyd, Edward · Space Pirate · ss

There is also the Bumper Cowboy Book, published by Collins in hardback (with d/j) in 1956. The frontispiece was signed by Wynne (possibly Dudley Wynne?) and had uncredited illustrations by Ron Embleton, Nat Brand, Geoffrey Whittam and others. One interesting thing about this album is that some of the stories are by genuine American Western authors (Jeff Jefferis, Frank C. Robertson and possibly Ray Harris); Skeena Fraser may also be a reprint by a pseudonymous Canadian author as Skeena and Fraser are two rivers near Prince Rupert in British Columbia.

Bumper Cowboy Book (Collins, May 1956, 128pp, hc)
_Jefferies, Jeff · Carlson's Welcome · ss
_Boyd, Edward · Dudes Is Dangerous · ss; illus. Nat Brand
_Jefferies, Jeff · Flash · ss
_[Comic Strip] · Walt Cody--Mustanger · cs
_Boyd, Edward · Showdown · ar; illus. Geoffrey Whittam
_Anon. · Gold Is Where You Find It · ss
_Boyd, Edward · A Tooth For a Tooth · ss; illus. Nat Brand
_[Comic Strip] · Buck Larson in The Bullion Hold-Up · cs
_Harris, Ray · Opal Cavern · ss
_Boyd, Edward · The Last of Sitting Bull · ar; illus. Stephen Chapman
_Boyd, Edward · Express Delivery · ss; illus. Ron Embleton
_[Comic Strip] · Thunder - Watcher Of The Herd · cs
_Fraser, Skeena · Charles Or Chuck? · ss
_Boyd, Edward · Sixty Seconds · ar; illus. Geoffrey Day
_Robertson, Frank C. · With A Bull By The Tail · ss

This volume was subsequently reprinted in part as Whopper Cowboy Book, published by The Children's Press in softcover.

Whopper Cowboy Book (Children’s Press, c.1959 , ??pp, pb)
_Boyd, Edward · Express Delivery · ss; illus. Ron Embleton
_[Comic Strip] · Walt Cody--Mustanger · cs
_Boyd, Edward · A Tooth For a Tooth · ss; illus. Nat Brand
_Boyd, Edward · Sixty Seconds · ar; illus. Geoffrey Day
_[Comic Strip] · Buck Larson in The Bullion Hold-Up · cs
_Boyd, Edward · Showdown · ar; illus. Geoffrey Whittam
_Boyd, Edward · Dudes Is Dangerous · ss; illus. Nat Brand
_Boyd, Edward · The Last of Sitting Bull · ar; illus. Stephen Chapman
_Boyd, Edward · The Long Wait · ss; illus. Stephen Chapman

The main writer behind both Space Story Omnibus and Bumper Cowboy Book was Edward Boyd, a Scottish author, poet and playwrite who contributed heavily to Collins and their children's annuals in the 1950s.

Born in Stevenston, Ayrshire, in 1916, Boyd was a member of Glasgow Unity Theatre in the 1940s and worked with them as a stage manager, actor and director. He wrote a number of children's books before earning success writing plays for radio and television. He wrote mostly in the crime and thriller field, including many episodes for early Z-Cars as well as creating various series, including Crime on Our Hands, The Corridor People and the popular The View from Daniel Pike which starred Roddy MacMillan.

Boyd died in 1989. The Glasgow University Library holds a collection of his papers.

PUBLICATIONS

Novels
Introducing Wanderlust Brown, illus. Goss. London & Glasgow, Collins, Apr 1948.
Wanderlust Goes South, illus. Duncan. London & Glasgow, Collins, Feb 1949.
Walt Disney's Rob Roy: The Highland Rogue, based on the screenplay by Lawrence Edward Watkins. Collins, May 1954.
Wanderlust's Third Innings. London & Glasgow, Collins, 1954 [Mar 1955].
The Dark Number, with Roger Parkes [based on a radio play, 'The Same River Twice' by Boyd, subsequently written for television as 'The Dark Number']. London, Constable, 1973; New York, Walker & Co., 1974.

Collections
Space Story Omnibus. London & Glasgow, Children's Press, Jul 1955; revised (with one additional story) in 2 vols as Whopper Space Stories, Children's Press, c.1959; reprinted as The Giant Book of Amazing Stories, Collins, 1960.
Bumper Cowboy Book. London & Glasgow, Collins, May 1956; reprinted in part as Whopper Cowboy Stories, London & Glasgow, Children's Press, c.1959?

Non-fiction
Grand Prix: The know-how of racing and racing cars, illus. Barry Rowe. London, Collins, 1978.
Helicopter Book: The story of the whirlybird, illus. Barry Rowe. London, Collins, 1978.
Car Book: How a car is made from the design board to the transporter, illus. Barry Rowe. London, Collins, 1978.
Glasgow, photographed by Douglas Corrance. Glasgow, Collins, 1981.
Strathclyde, photographed by Douglas Corrance. Glasgow, Collins, 1985.

Verse
Night Flight. Glasgow, Scoop Books, 1945.

Others
Nada the Lily by H. Rider Haggard, illus. Will Nickless; intro. by Edward Boyd. London & Glasgow, Collins Clear-Type Press, 1957.

Short Stories
Home Is The Sailor... (Manchester Guardian, 2 Mar 1938)
For Fear of Little Men (Argosy, Sep 1951)
Soldier's Farewell (Magpie, Nov 1951)
The Secret of the Crannog (Collins Children's Annual, 1953)
A Favourite of Misfortune (Collins Girls' Annual, 1953?)
The First Falcon (Collins Girls' Annual, 1953?)
Pop Pinfold's Kid (Collins Young Elizabethan, Jan 1954)
Stooge Trip (Collins Boys' Annual, c.1954?; reprinted, The Splendid Book for Boys, 1957)
A Visit to the Cinema (Collins Boys' Annual, c.1955?; reprinted, The Crackerjack Book for Boys, 1962)
My Uncle Dirk (Collins Boys' Annual, 1950s; reprinted, Adventure Book for Boys, 1965?)
The Rescue (Collins Children's Annual, 1950s)
My Sister the Cavewoman (Collins Girls' Annual, 1950s; reprinted, The Crackerjack Book for Girls, 1962)
A Day in October (Collins Boys' Annual, 1958?; reprinted, Thrilling Stories for Boys, n.d.)
The Lady of the Lamp--Florence Nightingale (The Splendid Book for Girls, 1958?; reprinted as The Story of Florence Nightingale, Girls' Story Omnibus, n.d.)
My Great Aunt Honoria (Girls' Story Omnibus, n.d.)
The Search (The Crackerjack Book for Boys, 1962)
The Story of Grace Darling (The Crackerjack Book for Girls, 1962)
Dinty's Double (The Crackerjack Treasure Book, 1962?)
The Strange Happenings at Number 8 (The Splendid Story Book for Children, 1962)
The Desk in the Desert (Girl's Own Book, 1964?)

Also contributed to The Treasure Book for Girls.

PLAYS

TV
Crime On Our Hands. BBC, 25 Aug-29 Sep 1954.
The Odd Man. Granada, 2 eps., 30 Nov 1960, 26 Jul 1963.
Saki. Granada, 6 Jul-24 Aug 1962.
Z-Cars. BBC
The Corridor People: Victim as Birdwatcher. Granada, 26 Aug 1966
Wednesday Play:
__A Black Candle for Mrs Gogarty
. BBC2, 25 Oct 1967.
__The Lower Largo Sequence. BBC1, 9 Oct 1968.
Confession: The Fell Sergeant. Granada, 21 Aug 1970.
Menace: Good Morning, Yesterday. BBC2, 6 Oct 1970.
Out of the Unknown: The Sons and Daughters of Tomorrow. BBC2, 19 May 1971.
The View from Daniel Pike. BBC2, 1971. Novelisation by Bill Knox, London, Hutchinson, 1974; New York, St. Martin's Press, 1974.
Crown Court:
__A Bang or a Whimper. 4 May 1976.
__Auld Lang Syne. 29 Dec 1976.
XYY Man:
__Law & Order. ITV, 15 Jul 1977.
__The Detrimental Man. ITV, 22 Aug 1977
__A View to a Death. ITV, 29 Aug 1977.
Huntingtower [based on the novel by John Buchan]. BBC1, Oct-Nov 1978.
Strangers. Granada, c.1978
Badger by Owl Light. BBC1, 1 Apr 1982.

Radio
It's Always Sinatra. BBC, 1969. Available online.
Badger by Owl Light. Radio 4, 24 Nov 1975. Available online.
Curlew in Autumn. Radio 4, Apr-May 1984.
Castles in Spain. Radio 4, 1987. Available online.

Film
Robbery, with George Markstein & Peter Yates [based on a story by Gerald Wilson]. 1967.

(* With many thanks to Jeremy and Roger for contents lists and scans.)

2 comments:

Norman Boyd said...

Hi Steve,
I've had the same sort of problem with Odham's 1930-1940s children's compilation hardbacks. How many times have I got excited finding another Odham's title just to discover it's the same darn book re-packaged with almost the same name.
BTW, THIS Boyd is unrelated to my direct family!

Combom said...

i have just bought whopper space stories from a car boot for 50p :) good condition too :)