Today marks the 100th birthdays of two talented writers.
Australian SF writer and ship's captain A. Bertram Chandler was best known for his stories set in the Galactic Rim, including those about Captain John Grimes. Chandler took his nautical knowledge and showed us that there really is a "sea" of space. I still sometimes use the phrase from his stories, "This is Liberty Hall; you can spit on the mat and call the cat a bastard." Baen Books has been republishing much of Chandler's work; the 480-page collection Ride the Star Wind will be released next week.
Lucille Fletcher wrote the popular Edgar-winning Sorry, Wrong Number, both as a play and as a bestselling novel. The book was adapted for film at least seven times over the last 65 years, perhaps most notably in the 1948 version starring Barbara Stanwyck and Burt Lancaster. Alfred Hitchcock (actually his ghost editor, Robert Arthur) included the novel in his anthology Alfred Hitchcock Presents Stories Not for the Nervous. Although certainly not the first, Fletcher helped pave the way for the acceptance of women as creators of top-rate suspense. Lucille Fletcher was married twice, first to composer Bernard Herrmann (that marriage ended when Herrmann had an affarir with Fletcher's cousin), then to Douglas Wallop, author of Damn Yankees!, the musical based on his book The Year the Yankees Lost the Pennant.
Both authors are highly recommentded. There must have been something very special in the air on March 28, 1912.