Jerry Sohl

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Gerald Allan "Jerry" Sohl Sr. (December 2, 1913 – November 4, 2002) was an American television scriptwriter and science fiction author who wrote for The Twilight Zone (as a ghostwriter for Charles Beaumont), Alfred Hitchcock Presents, The Outer Limits, Star Trek: The Original Series (once using the pseudonym "Nathan Butler"), and other shows. He wrote more than twenty novels as well as feature film scripts. He also wrote the nonfiction works Underhanded Chess and Underhanded Bridge in 1973.

Novels[edit]

New York Times reviewer Villiers Gerson described his 1953 novel The Transcendent Man as "contain[ing] enough twists to afford the reader a few hours' entertainment" despite being "oversimplified in motivation."[1] P. Schuyler Miller found the plot unconvincing.[2] Gerson later panned Sohl's The Altered Ego, saying "This wordy book lacks characterization, emotion, suspense, and interest."[3]

His 1955 Point Ultimate is a piece of Cold War invasion literature: in 1999, a faraway future history at the time of writing, the US lies under a cruel Soviet occupation, reinforced by a deadly artificial disease which makes conquered Americans dependent on the conquerors for the injections that keep them alive.

In The Time Dissolver (1957), a man and a woman wake one morning to find that they have lost all memory of the past eleven years, including how they met and become married.

Ghostwriting[edit]

As Charles Beaumont became increasingly ill from a mysterious brain illness, possibly Pick's disease or very early onset Alzheimer's, and unable to write, Sohl ghostwrote three episodes of The Twilight Zone for him. These were "The New Exhibit", "Queen of the Nile" and "Living Doll". Beaumont insisted on splitting the fees for each episode.[4]

Bibliography[edit]

Novels:

  • The Transcendent Man (1953)
  • Point Ultimate (1955)
  • The Time Dissolver (1957)
  • One Against Herculum
  • Costigan's Needle
  • Night Slaves
  • The Odious Ones
  • The Altered Ego
  • The Anomaly
  • The Haploids
  • The Lemon Eaters
  • The Spun Sugar Hole
  • Death Sleep
  • Night Wind (as Roberta Jean Mountjoy)
  • Black Thunder (as Roberta Jean Mountjoy)
  • The Resurrection of Frank Borchard
  • Prelude to Peril
  • Mamelle (as Nathan Butler)
  • I, Aleppo
  • Blow-Dry (as Nathan Butler)
  • Dr. Josh (as Nathan Butler)
  • Kaheesh (as Nathan Butler)
  • The Mars Monopoly
  • "Brknk's bounty (sf story)"

Non-fiction:

  • Underhanded Chess (1973)
  • Underhanded Bridge (1973)

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Spacemen's Realm", The New York Times, May 24, 1953.
  2. ^ "The Reference Library," Astounding Science Fiction, March 1954, pp.153
  3. ^ "Spaceman's Realm", The New York Times Book Review, July 18, 1954, p.20.
  4. ^ "Gary Westfahl's Bio-Encyclopedia of Science Fiction Film: Jerry Sohl". sfsite.com. Retrieved 8 November 2015.

External links[edit]