Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Terry Maloney (1917-2008)

Writer and illustrator Terry Maloney died on 16 March 2008, aged 90. Born in Mortlake, Surrey, on 20 April 1917, Francis Joseph Terence Maloney was the son of a Fleet Street printer and attended the Richmond School of Art. In February 1937, still a student, he joined the Communist Party and renounced his Catholic upbringing and the church; in November he volunteered for the International Brigades fighting in the Spanish Civil War and was assigned to the British Battalion's machine-gun company. He survived a shrapnel wound to the chest at the battle of the Ebro in August 1938, having already seen many of his comrades killed fighting around Gandesa. He had earlier encountered the enemy when he inadvertently crossed the lines in search of drinking water but, thinking he was an Italian, Maloney slipped away—minus the company's water bottles—before Franco's troops realised who he was.

He returned to England in December but continued to campaign for the Spanish Republic until their defeat some months later. Through his political activism he met Dorothy Toms whom he married in 1943.

By this time he was a member of the Royal Corps of Signals, shortly to take part in the D-Day landings. He saw action in France, Belgium, Holland and Germany before being demobbed.

In 1946, Maloney helped design posters for London Underground and became art editor of Spain Today, produced by the International Brigade Association to publicise the repression in Spain under Franco.

Maloney had a growing interest in astronomy which led him to set up a 10 foot-long telescope, mounted on a cast-iron pillar, in his back garden in Kew, Surrey, where he would spend hours observing the night sky. This interest in space and the possibilities of space travel led him to join the British Astronomical Association and he subsequently became a fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society.

In early 1950 he joined Frank Hampson's studio, working on Dan Dare for the cover of Eagle but he did not remain long. He also produced a number of book covers in the early 1950s for paperback science fiction novels published by Curtis Warren, Hamilton & Co., Edwin Self and the Cherry Tree Fantasy Series. However, from the mid-1950s he was able to concentrate on work as a writer/illustrator and editor of books.

His first title, both written and illustrated by Maloney, was the children's guide to the planets of the solar system, Other Worlds in Space, released the same month as the launch of Sputnik 1 in October 1957. Other books on astronomy followed, although Maloney's own activities as an amateur astronomer were curtailed thanks to the glare of newly installed electric street lighting.

He also worked as an editor for various book publishers, including Aldus Books, Mayflower Publishing and Odhams Press until retiring in 1981. With his wife he moved to West Knighton, near Dorchester, where he lived until his death. He is survived by his wife, two sons and a daughter.

Other Worlds in Space. London, Acorn Press, 1957.
The Story of Maps. New York, Sterling Publishing Co., 1959.
The Sky in Our Window. New York, Sterling Publishing Co., 1960; London, Mayflower, 1960.
The Story of Clocks. New York, Sterling Publishing Co., 1960; London, Oak Tree Press, 1962.
The Story of the Stars. New York, Sterling Publishing Co., 1961; London, Oak Tree Press, 1962.
The Sky at Night. London, Four Square Books, 1963.
Dictionary of Astronomy. London, Arco Publications, 1964.
Glass in the Modern World. A study in materials development. London, Aldus, 1967.
Telescopes: How to Choose and Use Them. New York, Sterling Publishing Co., 1968; London, Oak Tree Press, 1968.
Astronomy. London, Macdonald Educational, 1977.

Illustrated Books
Astronomy by H. C. King. London, Vista, 1960.
The Story of Keys and Locks by John Stephen. New York, Sterling Publishing Co., 1962; London, Oak Tree Press, 1962.

(* Unfortunately, most of the above books are now out of print and only available second-hand.)


  1. I red in “Dames, Dolls & Delinquents” (p. 21) – the excellent Gary Lovisi’s Books on Sexy Pulp Fiction Paperbacks that some cover artists signed their work with some mysterious intials, and that Terry Maloney would have been behind “F.T.” intitials…
    Some “F.T.” covers are wellknown… like “Tragedies of Montmartre” (RenĂ© Laroche), “Phantom Detectives Cases”, or your amazing “Mushroom Jungle”
    Can you confirm or contradict us that Terry Maloney was really behind the “F.T.” initials ? ? ?

  2. I can't confirm that Terry Maloney was the artist of the artwork signed F.T. but it seems likely. He certainly signed some work F.T.M.

    F.T. did quite a few covers for Curtis Warren and Bernard Kaye, too. I'll try to put together a little gallery when I get a chance to scan and clean up some covers.

  3. Many thanks for your answer and thanking you in advance for the covers.



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