Joseph Augustus Winter, M.D.
Joseph Augustus Winter was born in winter, on February 17, 1911, and in a wintery place, Negaunee, in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. His father was Joseph H. Winter (1871-1956), a bank president and a mayor of Negaunee. His mother was Lucy MacKenzie Winter (1878-1949).
Joseph A. Winter attended the University of Michigan and the College of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota. In 1937, he received his degree as a medical doctor from Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Previous to that, on August 29, 1934, he had married Marjorie Roosen (1908-1999), a native of Ontonagon, Michigan. The place was Little Lake in Marquette County, Michigan. There is a chapel at Little Lake, established in the 1930s. I wonder if that could have been where the Winters were married.
Dr. Winter was a surgeon and a physician. He practiced medicine in Cheboygan, Michigan, for four years before serving in the U.S. Army, from June 24, 1942, to August 3, 1944. Winter returned to civilian life and again practiced medicine, this time in St. Joseph, Michigan, from 1945 to 1949. In January 1949, he moved himself and his family to Bayside, New Jersey, to take up a new endeavor.
Joseph A. Winter was an author, and that's where things get interesting for us, for he is listed in the Internet Speculative Fiction Database (ISFDb) with the following credits:
- "Endocrinology in Tough" [sic] in Astounding Science Fiction (essay, Oct. 1948)
- "Expedition Mercy" in Astounding Science Fiction (short story, Nov. 1948)
- "Expedition Polychrome" in Astounding Science Fiction (short story, Jan. 1949)
- Letter in Astounding Science Fiction (Aug. 1950)
- "The General Adaptation Syndrome" in Astounding Science Fiction (essay, Nov. 1950)
- "What is Psychosomatic?" in Astounding Science Fiction (essay, Aug. 1952)
- "Thinking in Men and Machines" (essay, Aug. 1953)
- "The Reference Library: One More World," with P. Schuyler Miller, in Astounding Science Fiction (essay, Mar. 1954)
- Review of The Living Brain (1953) by W. Grey Walter in Astounding Science Fiction (Mar. 1954)
- A Doctor's Report on Dianetics (Julian Press, 1951)
- Are Your Troubles Psychosomatic? (Julian Messner, 1952)
|According to the Internet Speculative Fiction Database (ISFDb), J.A. Winter, M.D., had a grand total of two short stories published in the genres of fantasy and science fiction. Both have been reprinted in book form, "Expedition Mercy" in Great Science Fiction About Doctors (1963) and "Expedition Polychrome" in this book, Gates to Tomorrow, edited by Andre Norton and Ernestine Donaldy (1973).|
"Expedition Polychrome" is set in the future on a distant planet where men from Earth have arrived in their expeditionary spacecraft. One of them is afflicted by a mysterious disease, which turns his skin an aquamarine blue, like "Lake Superior in July." (Remember that Winter was from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.) The main action in the story involves the crewman's treatment by onboard physicians, and there is a good deal of talk of medicine, chemistry, and even botany. Eventually the patient is cured not by Earth medicine but by the natives of the planet, who practice a kind of homeopathy. I wonder whether John W. Campbell, Jr., editor of Astounding, could have coached Winter in writing science fiction stories. Whether he was coached or not, Winter introduced a pseudoscience, homeopathy, into his story as a cure for the blue spaceman of the planet Minotaur, this from a medical doctor turned science fiction author. Interesting.
Cover art by Jack Gaughan.