Fiction Complete by H.B. Fyfe (ed. Jerry eBooks, 2019)
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Overview: Horace Brown Fyfe, born on September 30, 1918 in Jersey City, New Jersey, was a science fiction author of several dozen short stories and one magazine-published novel.
H.B. Fyfe’s first story, “Locked Out”, appeared in Astounding Science-Fiction in February 1940 and was followed by “Hold That Comet!” in Astonishing Stories in December 1940. He would not become fully active until after World War II, with the publication of “Sinecure 6” in Astounding Science Fiction in January 1947.
Fyfe’s five Bureau of Slick Tricks tales, beginning with “Bureau of Slick Tricks” (Astounding Science Fiction, December 1948) are typical of John W. Campbell Jr’s fondness for stories in which humans deftly outwit thick-skulled (often bureaucratic) Aliens; here the B.S.T., officially the Bureau of Special Trading, specializes in leveraging Terra’s position as a hub of interstellar trade to keep aliens happy and trading via Terran-controlled space. In Fyfe’s thematically similar novel, D-99, Department 99 of the Terran government has the job of finagling citizens out of jams on other planets when conventional diplomatic approaches have failed, and generally flummoxing thicker species. The tone is fortunately light.
Fyfe’s other stories range from the typical sf story of the time to harder sf to satire; sprinkled with everything in-between. Most of which are quite polished and worth reading.
With the publication of his last short story, “The Old Shill Game” in Analog in January 1967, Fyfe officially retired from writing. In 2015 two unpublished stories were found and published by Wildside Press as part of their “Megapack” series; and in 2016 John Gregory Betancourt complete a third unfinished story.
H.B. Fyfe died on November 17, 1997 in Teaneck, New Jersey
Revived by Jerry