John Lymington

John Lymington

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John Lymington

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John Lymington (1911–1983) was born John Richard Newton Chance in London. He was a prolific writer of short stories, children's literature, mystery and science fiction novels. An obituary in Ansible Link credits Lymington with writing over 150 novels, 'including 20+ SF potboilers', adding that he 'made a steady income by delivering thrillers to Robert Hale (the publisher) at a chapter a week'.

Lymington's first book, Wheels in the Forest, was written in 1935. He also wrote Night of the Big Heat in 1959. Several of his short stories were collected in The Night Spiders in 1964. Pseudonyms used by Lymington throughout his career included John Drummond, David C. Newton, Desmond Reid (see 'Sexton Blake') and Jonathan Chance. Brian Stableford suggested in the Historical Dictionary of Science Fiction Literature (pp. 208) that the name Lymington was chosen 'in a blatant attempt to cash in' on John Wyndham's popularity.

Chance was educated in a private school in London, and subsequently attended a technical college with the intention of becoming a civil engineer, an ambition which he left behind to become a quantity surveyor. By the age of 21, he decided to give up this job and began to work full-time as a writer.

During his career with the RAF, which began in the summer of 1940, he became a flying instructor at South Cerney, Long Newnton and Bibury airfields in the Cotswolds. The three airfields were administrated under the Cerney office. In this role, he applied previous...
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