Will Murray

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Will Murray
Born William Murray
Nationality American
Area(s) Writer
Notable works
Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Doc Savage
The Destroyer
Squirrel Girl

Will Murray (born 1953)[1] is an American novelist, journalist, and short-story and comic-book writer. Much of his fiction has been published under pseudonyms.


Early life and career[edit]

Will Murray grew up in Boston, Massachusetts,[2] and graduated North Quincy High school in June 1971, subsequently graduating Summa Cum Laude from the University of Massachusetts at Boston.[1] After becoming a fan of the pulp fiction hero Doc Savage, he began collecting pulp magazines and wrote two psychological profiles of the character in The Doc Savage Reader.[1] He went on to write for fanzines and edit the fanzines Duende and Skullduggery before joining the pulp-reprint publisher Odyssey Publications.[1] He also co-authored the landmark study, The Duende History of The Shadow Magazine.[1] Circa 1978, "I discovered the outline to [Doc Savage creator] Lester Dent's unwritten Python Isle and decided to take a shot at writing it. Bantam [Books] passed on it initially, and by the time they came back and asked for it and two more Docs, I was busily ghosting [the adventure paperback series] The Destroyer for [series co-creator] Warren Murphy."[1]

Novels and magazines[edit]

The Destroyer assignment had come about when Murray, editing Skullduggery sought out Murphy and The Destroyer co-creator Richard Sapir for an interview, and later doing freelance research for Sapir. This led to his editing a Destroyer sourcebook, The Assassin's Handbook (1982) and eventually ghostwriting the series, beginning with the 56th book, Encounter Group (1984). He began writing the series regularly with the 69th book, Blood Ties, altogether ghosting 69 through book #107, Feast or Famine.[1] Murray has also written Cthulhu Mythos stories, including a pair of stories about Nug and Yeb, the Twin Blasphemies, and contributed single novels in The Executioner and Mars Attacks series.[citation needed] He wrote the retro-pulp collection Spicy Zeppelin Stories under various pen names.[citation needed]

Murray, also an author of nonfiction articles about pulp magazine writers such as Doc Savage creator Lester Dent, and the Shadow creator Walter B. Gibson; since 1979, he has been the literary executor for the estate of Dent,[2] and has published fifteen Doc Savage novels from Dent's outlines under Dent's pseudonym, Kenneth Robeson.[3] His 2013 Wild Adventures of Doc Savage novel, Skull Island, teams him up with King Kong.

In June 2015, Altus Press released the first in what is expected to be a new series, The Wild Adventures of Tarzan, Return to Pal-ul-don, an authorized sequel to Edger Rice Burroughs' 1921 novel, Tarzan the Terrible.

For Necronomicon Press, he edited Tales of Zothique and The Book of Hyperborea, two collections of stories by Clark Ashton Smith. His essays have appeared in books ranging from S. T. Joshi's compedium on H. P. Lovecraft, An Epicure in the Terrible, to Jim Beard's survey of the 1960s Batman TV show, Gotham City 14 Miles. He also contributed to the encyclopedias St. James Crime and Mystery Writers, St. James Science Fiction Writers, Contemporary Authors and The Dictionary of Literary Biography. A collection of his Doc Savage articles was published by Altus Press under the title, Writings in Bronze, in 2011. As a contributor editor of Starlog magazine,Murray wrote for that publication and for Starlog Press movie tie-in publications, covering location films such as Total Recall and Watchmen all over the globe. For the Starlog Group, he single-handedly wrote the licensed magazines for Rambo III and The Shadow, among others.

Murray stories have appeared in The UFO Files, Future Crime, Miskatonic University, 100 Wicked Little Witch Stories, 100 Creepy Little Creature Stories, 100 Vicious Little Vampire Stories, The Cthulhu Cycle, Disciples of Cthulhu II, Cthulhu's Reign, "Worlds of Cthulhu", The Yig Cycle, Dead But Dreaming II, Horror for the Hollidays, "The Mountains of Madness," Nightbeat: Night Stories and other collections.

For National Public Radio, he adapted Lester Dent's 1934 novel The Thousand-Headed Man as a six-part serial for The Adventures of Doc Savage, which aired in 1985,[citation needed] and was released on CD by Radioarchives.com in October 2010.[citation needed]

For Radio Archives, the prolific Murray produces the Will Murray Pulp Classics line of audio and ebooks, starring popular pulp heroes such as The Spider, G-*8 and His Battle Aces, among many others.

Murray's 2013 book, Wordslingers: An Epitaph for the Western, has been hailed as one of the most significant studies of the Western genre ever published.

With S. T. Joshi and Jon L. Cooke, Murray organized The Friends of H. P. Lovecraft, which raised funds to place a memorial plaque dedicated to the Providence fantasy writer on the grounds of Brown University's John Hay Library on the centennial of Lovecraft's birth in August, 1990.

Beginning in 2006, Murray has been a consulting editor for Sanctum Books' Doc Savage, Shadow, Avenger and Whisperer reprints. He has also written dozens of introductions to the reprints being published by Altus Press, covering characters such as Lester Dent's Lee Nace and Frederick Nebel's Black Mask detective, Ben Donohue. With Off-Trail Publications' John Locke, he has co-edited the three-volume The Gangland Sagas of Big Nose Serrano, which collects all 12 of Anatole Feldman's Big Nose Serrano stories. For Black Dog Books, he penned introductions to their ongoing Lester Dent Library series of pulp-magazine reprints.

Comic books[edit]

A contributor to numerous anthologies, Murray has written stories of the characters Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Spider-Man, Ant-Man, the Hulk, the Spider, the The Avenger, the Green Hornet, The Secret 6, Sherlock Holmes, Sky Captain, Honey West, and Lee Falk's the Phantom.

For Marvel Comics, Murray and artist Steve Ditko,co-created the superhero Squirrel Girl. He scripted The Destroyer black-and-white magazine, as well as single stories starring Iron Man and the Punisher. Murray wrote the introduction to the Marvel Comics Omnibus volume, which celebrates the 70th anniversary of Marvel Comics, as well as introductions to Volume 2 of Daring Mystery Comics, Mighty Thor Masterworks Volume 9, Mystic Comics Volume 1, Young Allies Volume 2 and Golden Age Captain America Volume 6.

Murray's Marvel tie-in novel, Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Empyre (2000) predicted many of the operational details of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, including the use of hijacked airliners to target U. S. cities. Similarly, his 1996 Destroyer novel Angry White Mailmen had focused on a terrorist group allied with the Taliban attempting to blow up the World Trade Center.

Personal life[edit]

An explorer of the metaphysical, Murray's training includes six years at a Spiritualist Church, twelve years experimenting with Hemi-Sync technology under a Monroe Institute outreach program guided by Dee-Jay Condon, and four years studying remote viewing under former Star Gate military remoter viewer David Morehouse, which Murray has gone on to teach. A self-described professional psychic and medium for fifteen years, Murray is semi-retired from that field.


In 1979, he received the Lamont Award for his contributions to the furtherance of pulp fiction research.[citation needed] In 1999, he earned the Comic Book Marketplace award for research excellence in the area of comics history.[citation needed] Murray received the 2011 Pulp Ark Award for Best Series Revival for his work on The Wild Adventures of Doc Savage.[citation needed] His Doc Savage novel, Skull Island, won the 2014 Pulp Factory Award for Best Novel.


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Murray, Will (July 1997). "Who Is Will Murray? An Autobiographical Sketch". Sinanju.net. Archived from the original on July 20, 2011. Retrieved September 22, 2012. 
  2. ^ a b Hicks, L. Wayne (January 14, 2000). "Murray Has Hopes for Savage". Denver Business Journal. Archived from the original on September 23, 2012. Retrieved September 23, 2012. 
  3. ^ "Books, Listed by Author: Robeson, Kenneth". The Locus Index to Science Fiction. Archived from the original on October 31, 2007.