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Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Authors

John Lymington

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John Lymington

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Full Name: John Richard Newton Chance
Born: April 21, 1911
London, England
Died: August 3, 1983
Occupation: Writer
Nationality: British


He was a prolific writer of short stories, children's literature, mystery (including several 'Sexton Blake' novels) 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. Pseudonyms used by Lymington throughout his career included John Drummond, David C. Newton, Desmond Reid 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. In this role, he applied previous experience of flying, from as early as 1928. In 1943 he met his wife-to-be, Shirley Savill, at the time serving as a section officer in the Women's Auxiliary Air Force. They married on 22 July. In November of that year, Chance was given indefinite leave, and was invalided out with the permanent rank of Flight Lieutenant on 8 February 1944. He wrote about this time in his autobiography, 'Yellow Belly', published by Robert Hale in 1959.

After the war, he moved to Hampshire with his wife, where their three sons were born. The family moved to the Isle of Wight in 1956, to take up management of a pub.

Works in the WWEnd Database

 Non Series Works