Sunday, August 04, 2013

John Boland

Bertram John Boland was born in Sparkbrook, Birmingham, Warwickshire, on 12 February 1913, the son of Albert Edward Boland, a manufacturer, and his wife Elizabeth (nee Mills). In the 1930s he worked in a large variety of jobs—farm hand, labourer, deck hand, lumberjack, railroad worker, factory worker, commercial traveller, etc.—and travelled widely. At the age of 17 he went to Canada and also visited the U.S., Alaska and Europe.

After the war Boland became a manufacturer's agent, selling advertising signs and automobile components. He married Philippa J. H. Carver in Birmingham in 1952 (the Philippa to whom many of his books were dedicated) and they continued to live in Northfield, Birmingham, until he went freelance in 1956. Soon after, he and Philippa moved to Wandsworth, London. They later moved to East Sussex, where they lived on the edge of Ashdown Forest.

As well as writing novels, Boland was a regular in John Carnell's SF magazines in the late 1950s and contributed several hundred short stories to newspapers. He worked for TV, writing an episode of No Hiding Place (1963) and founded John Boland Productions Ltd., a film company, in 1964. He penned two movie scripts, The Stone Desert and The Golden Fleece, neither of which were filmed.

Boland was the Chairman of the Birmingham Writers' Group, and Vice-Chairman (1956-57) and Chairman (1958-60) of the Writer's Summer School as well as being connected with other similar groups.

He died on 9 November 1976. The IMDb entry for Boland gives his date of death as 19 June 1976 in San Mateo, California. Not true: this was taken from the American SSDI and is the death date for John J. Boland, born 24 May 1889 in Ireland, who emigrated to the USA in 1908 and worked as a conductor for the US Railroad Co.; he later worked as a riveter in a ship yard and as a labourer after serving as a Sergeant in the US Army during WWI.


White August (London, Michael Joseph, 1955)
Digit Books, (May) 1957, 188pp, 2/6. Cover by Ralph Bruce
Mayflower Books 9514, 1963, 192pp, 3/6. Design by Sam Suliman

No Refuge (London, Michael Joseph, 1956)
Mayflower Books 6458, 1963, 191pp, 3/6. Cover by Richard Powers?; design by Sam Suliman

The League of Gentlemen (London, T.V. Boardman & Co., 1958)
Pan Books G298, 1960, 159pp, 2/6. Cover by Sam Peffer
Tandem Books T59, 1966, 189pp, 3/6.

Queer Fish (London, T.V. Boardman & Co., 1958)
(no UK paperback)

Bitter Fortune (London, T.V. Boardman & Co., 1959)
(no UK paperback)

Mysterious Way (London, T.V. Boardman & Co., 1959)
(no UK paperback)

Operation Red Carpet (London, T.V. Boardman & Co., 1959)
(no UK paperback)

The Midas Touch (London, T.V. Boardman & Co., 1960)
(no UK paperback)

Negative Value (London, T.V. Boardman & Co., 1960)
(no UK paperback)

The Gentlemen Reform (London, T.V. Boardman & Co., 1961)
Tandem Books T91, 1967, 183pp, 3/6.

The Golden Fleece (London, T.V. Boardman & Co., 1961)
(no UK paperback)

Inside Job (London, T.V. Boardman & Co., 1961)
(no UK paperback)

Vendetta (London, T.V. Boardman & Co., 1961)
(no UK paperback)

Fatal Error (London, T.V. Boardman & Co., 1962)
(no UK paperback)

The Gentlemen at Large (London, T.V. Boardman & Co., 1962)
Tandem Book T98, 1967, 180pp, 3/6.

Counterpol (London, George G. Harrap & Co., 1963)
Tandem Books T10, 1964, 191pp, 3/6.

Counterpol in Paris (London, George G. Harrap & Co., 1964)
(no UK paperback)

The Catch (London, George G. Harrap & Co., 1964)
Tandem Books T48, 1965, 220pp, 3/6. Cover by J. Pollack

The Good Citizens (London, George G. Harrap & Co., 1965)
(no UK paperback)

The Disposal Unit (London, George G. Harrap & Co., 1966)
(no UK paperback)

The Gusher (London, George G. Harrap & Co., 1967)
(no UK paperback)

Painted Lady (London, Cassell, 1967)
(no UK paperback)

Breakdown (London, Cassell, 1968)
(no UK paperback)

The Fourth Grave (London, Cassell, 1969)
(no UK paperback)

The Shakespeare Curse (London, Cassell, 1969)
(no UK paperback)

The Big Job (London, Cassell, 1970)
(no UK paperback)

Kidnap (London, Cassell, 1970)
(no UK paperback)

Holocaust (London, Futura, 1974)
Futura 0860-07111-1, 1974, 192pp.


Murder in Company: A play, with Philip King
French 0573-01289-X, 1973, 68pp.

Elementary, My Dear, with Philip King
French 0573-01577-5, 1975, 80pp.

Who Says Murder?, with Philip King
French 0573-01582-1, 1975, 79pp.


Free-lance Journalistm (London, T.V. Boardman & Co., 1960)
(no UK paperback)

Short Story Writing (London, T.V. Boardman & Co., 1960; revised as Short Story Technique, Crowborough, Sussex, Forest House Books, 1973)

The Trade of Kings (Crowborough, Sussex, Forest House Books, 1972)

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