The Catacombs The Merchandise Guide
Novels Guide
Compiled by Martin Willey

E C Tubb

Edwin Charles Tubb was born in 1919 and died in 2010, having written around 130 novels and over 200 short stories. His first short story was published in New Worlds Science Fiction in 1951, and later that year his first novel, Saturn Patrol under the name King Lang. His first novel under his own name was Alien Impact (1952). He contributed short stories to both UK and UK science fiction magazines, and edited Authentic from 1956 to 1957, filling up pages with his own stories under various pseudonyms (one issue was written entirely by Tubb, including the letters column). He was an active member in science fiction fandom, and as co-founder by the British Science Fiction Association in 1958. He was also editor of the first issue of its critical journal, Vector.

Tubb is best known for his Dumarest Saga book series, which began in 1967 with The Winds of Gath. The series continued until 1985, with final volumes published in 1997 and 2008.

He also wrote the Cap Kennedy series of 16 novels, written as Gregory Kern. He also wrote in other genres, including westerns and a series of Roman gladiator novels. He also wrote stories for comic strips, and in 1968 he wrote two 12 page Joe 90 Magic Instant Picture Books for Letraset, his first "novelisations".

Tubb's 1955 short Little Girl Lost was adapted as an episode of Rod Serling's Night Gallery (NBC, 1972). His generation star-ship novel The Space-Born (1956) was adapted as a live drama for French television (possibly the first ever science fiction on French TV) as Le Navire étoile (1962).

Title Author(s) First Publication
BreakawayE C Tubb1975
Collision CourseE C Tubb1975
Alien SeedE C Tubb1976
Rogue PlanetE C Tubb1976
EarthfallE C Tubb1977
EarthboundE C Tubb2002
Shepherd MoonStory "Dead End"2010
Space 1999 Year OneE C Tubb, John Rankine, Brian Ball2020

Tubb wrote forewords for Alien Seed (2002 Eagle One edition) and Space 1999 Year One. An abridged version of the Eagle One edition foreword, with commentary, appears in David Spencer's afterword for the 2020 Powys edition of Alien Seed

The story "Dead End" in Shepherd Moon was revised from an earlier short story, titled Random Sample, in New Writings in SF 29 (1976), itself adapted from the story "Entrance Exam" in New Worlds (1951).

Two of the original novels were adapted as non-Space: 1999 novellas. Alien Seed was adapted by Tubb and his agent Philip Harbottle as the story Child of Space; later Harbottle adapted Rogue Planet as Destroyer of Worlds, and the two titles were published (with two short story collections A Scatter of Stardust and Twelve From Tomorrow) as The E C Tubb Boxset, published by Lume Books, 29 Dec 2016.

When I was given the job of writing the books, I was taken to a screening in London with the other writers who were doing the books. I think it was a cinema in Marble Arch and I saw four or five episodes of the programme. I was really impressed and thought that the idea of doing them as books would be quite exciting. The problems really came along when you saw it in print. The actual scripted words were sometimes terrible.
I was far happier with the original stories I wrote for 'Space: 1999' and I was especially pleased with that last one, because I had the chance to really do something interesting with the Alphans, projecting into the future where they have had children, returning them to Earth and all of that. I tried to re-address the scientific failings of the series and add a bit of human interest as well. (2001 interview)

Copyright Martin Willey