Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Willard E. Hawkins (1887-1970)

Author, Editor, Publisher, Public Speaker
Born September 27, 1887, Fairplay, Colorado
Died April 17, 1970, presumably in Craig, Colorado

Willard E. Hawkins was born on September 27, 1887, in Fairplay, Colorado, and seems to have lived in Colorado all his life. He was a writer, editor, publisher, public speaker, and proprietor of World Press, Inc., all without benefit of a college degree. According to the The FictionMags Index his first magazine credit was "The Human Factor" in The Blue Book Magazine, September 1912. Hawkins also contributed to Breezy Stories, The Cavalier, Chicago Ledger, The Green Book Magazine, The Red Book MagazineWestern Outlaws, Western Rangers, and Western Trails, among others. The Speculative Fiction Database lists his stories in the fields of fantasy and science fiction:

  • "The Dead Man's Tale" in Weird Tales (Mar. 1923; reprinted July 1934)
  • "The Dwindling Sphere" in Astounding Science-Fiction (Mar. 1940)
  • "Romance Across the Ages" in Thrilling Wonder Stories (July 1940)
  • "Master of Emotions" (1941)
  • "The Rannie" in Super Science Novels (May 1941)
  • "Power for Zenovia" in Thrilling Wonder Stories (June 1941)
  • "The Story Behind the Story: Power for Zenovia" in Thrilling Wonder Stories (June 1941)
  • "The Man Who Was Millions" in Science Fiction (June 1941)
  • "Master of Emotion" in Science Fiction (Sept. 1941)
  • "The Chalice of Circe" in Fantastic Adventures (Apr. 1950)
  • "Look to the Stars" in Imagination (Oct. 1950)
  • "The Green Blood of Treachery" in Amazing Stories (Sept. 1951)
  • "Scratch One Asteroid" in Amazing Stories (Nov. 1952)

Hawkins also wrote a detective novel, The Cowled Menace (1930), and Castaways of Plenty: A Parable of Our Times (1935), which the online Encyclopedia of Science Fiction calls "an anti-capitalist satire set in the near future." Willard Hawkins founded The Student Writer magazine in 1916. His World Press, Inc., of Denver, Colorado, published non-fiction books on the West and Hawkins' own Castaways of Plenty. He was also an editor associated with the Denver Times and Rocky Mountain News, and was editor himself of Rocky Mountain Hotel Bulletin and American Greeter.

I can't let this article go without mentioning Willard Hawkins' wife.

Her name was Queenabelle.

Willard E. Hawkins died on April 17, 1970, presumably in Craig, Colorado, where he was buried.

Willard E. Hawkins Story in Weird Tales
"The Dead Man's Tale" (Mar. 1923; reprinted July 1934)

As the publisher of a magazine for student writers, Hawkins would probably have known about new markets. Maybe that's how his own story ended up in the first issue of Weird Tales.

Further Reading
If you do an online search for Willard E. Hawkins, you will find snippets on his career in places here and there.

Willard E. Hawkins, a native-born Westerner, took naturally to Westerns. He wrote dozens during the pulp era. His byline is on the cover of Western Rangers for December 1930.
Hawkins' own World Press, Inc., reprinted his novel Castaways of Plenty in 1940.

Text and captions copyright 2014 Terence E. Hanley

1 comment:

  1. I read the Dwindling Sphere in German when I was young. Never forgot about that story.
    The topic - long-term ecological survival of mankind or rather myopia and self-destruction - was really an unlikely one in 1940. And a very important one today, to me at least. I plan to use it in the context of story-telling about the climate and energy crisis.
    At the time I thought it was a great story idea-wise, but was unsure about the quality of the writing. I've downloaded it in English and will have another look at it. Anyway, a great tale.