Bill Baldwin

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For other people with the same name, see Billy Baldwin (disambiguation).

Bill (Merl. W, Jr.) Baldwin (1935 – October 14, 2015) was an American science fiction writer. He wrote militaristic space opera. His main series is about a male protagonist named Wilf Ansor Brim.

He graduated from The Mercersburg Academy and the University of Pittsburgh, where he earned a B.A. in Journalism and a Master of Letters degree. He served as a Lieutenant at the U.S. Air Force Missile Test Center, Foreign Technology Division, Cape Canaveral, Florida, supporting Project Mercury as Chief of the Reports Division. Later, Baldwin served as a contractor for the NASA Manned Spacecraft Center.

Until recently, he has been the president of the Wooden Boat Association of north Texas. He was also the managing editor of the magazine The Brass Bell of the Chris-Craft Antique Boat Club. In his younger days, he appeared as an actor in 4 episodes of the Space Patrol TV series in the 1950s.

Published works[edit]

The Helmsman Saga[edit]

  • The Helmsman (1985)
  • Galactic Convoy (1987)
  • The Trophy (1990)
  • The Mercenaries (1991)
  • The Defenders (1992)
  • The Siege (1994)
  • The Defiance (1996)
  • The Turning Tide (2011)

Several books of the original Helmsman saga, The Siege, The Defenders and The Defiance in particular, appear to reproduce (sometimes word for word, sometimes paraphrasing) large sections of a World War II autobiography titled The Big Show (written by Pierre Clostermann, published 1948, translated into English by Oliver Berthoud (copyright 1951 by Random House, first printing, Time/Life Book series: Wings of War: The Big Show). The Defenders pages 79–83 (Warner Books paperback, 1992) resemble in form, chronological order and paraphrase almost the complete chapter titled "Radar At Dawn" from The Big Show, pages 40–44.

Baldwin's work contains allusions to other science fiction works. For example, Galactic Convoy mentions a planet named Throon (the capital world in the Star Kings books). The Turning Tide features a freighter captain named Verger Antillies.

This series began in 1985 but was later reprinted in "Director's Cut Special Editions" by Timberwolf Press. Also, as of October 2012, rewritten versions of the first four books have been made available in both paper and electronic form.

Other works[edit]

  • Canby's Legion (1995)
  • The Enigma Strategy (2006)

At the time of his death, Bill was working on a novel entitled "Heisenberg's U-Boat" and was starting on a final Wilf Brim book.

External links[edit]