Anthony Boucher

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Anthony Boucher_table_infobox_0

Anthony BoucherAnthony Boucher_header_cell_0_0_0
BornAnthony Boucher_header_cell_0_1_0 William Anthony Parker White

(1911-08-21)August 21, 1911 Oakland, California, United StatesAnthony Boucher_cell_0_1_1

DiedAnthony Boucher_header_cell_0_2_0 April 29, 1968(1968-04-29) (aged 56)

Oakland, California, United StatesAnthony Boucher_cell_0_2_1

Pen nameAnthony Boucher_header_cell_0_3_0 H. H. HolmesAnthony Boucher_cell_0_3_1
OccupationAnthony Boucher_header_cell_0_4_0 Writer, editorAnthony Boucher_cell_0_4_1
LanguageAnthony Boucher_header_cell_0_5_0 EnglishAnthony Boucher_cell_0_5_1
GenreAnthony Boucher_header_cell_0_6_0 Crime, mysteryAnthony Boucher_cell_0_6_1

William Anthony Parker White (/ˈbaʊtʃər/; August 21, 1911 – April 29, 1968), known by his pen-name Anthony Boucher, was an American author, critic, and editor, who wrote several classic mystery novels, short stories, science fiction, and radio dramas. Anthony Boucher_sentence_0

Between 1942 and 1947 he acted as reviewer of mostly mystery fiction for the San Francisco Chronicle. Anthony Boucher_sentence_1

In addition to "Anthony Boucher", White also employed the pseudonym "H. Anthony Boucher_sentence_2 H. Holmes", which was the pseudonym of a late-19th-century American serial killer; Boucher would also write light verse and sign it "Herman W. Mudgett" (another of the murderer's aliases). Anthony Boucher_sentence_3

In a 1981 poll of 17 detective story writers and reviewers, his novel Nine Times Nine was voted as the ninth best locked room mystery of all time. Anthony Boucher_sentence_4

Background Anthony Boucher_section_0

White was born in Oakland, California, and went to college at the University of Southern California. Anthony Boucher_sentence_5

He later received a master's degree from the University of California, Berkeley. Anthony Boucher_sentence_6

After a friend told him that "William White" was too common a name, he used "H. H. Holmes" to write and review mysteries and "Anthony Boucher" for science fiction. Anthony Boucher_sentence_7

He pronounced Boucher phonetically, "to rhyme with voucher". Anthony Boucher_sentence_8

Fiction writing and editing Anthony Boucher_section_1

Boucher (as he was more commonly known) wrote mystery, science fiction, and horror. Anthony Boucher_sentence_9

He was also an editor, including science fiction anthologies, and wrote mystery reviews for many years in The New York Times. Anthony Boucher_sentence_10

He was one of the first English translators of Jorge Luis Borges, translating "The Garden of Forking Paths" for Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine. Anthony Boucher_sentence_11

He helped found the Mystery Writers of America in 1946 and, in the same year, was one of the first winners of the MWA's Edgar Award for his mystery reviews in the San Francisco Chronicle. Anthony Boucher_sentence_12

He was a founding editor (with J. Anthony Boucher_sentence_13 Francis McComas) of The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction from 1949 to 1958, and attempted to make literary quality an important aspect of science fiction. Anthony Boucher_sentence_14

He won the Hugo Award for Best Professional Magazine in 1957 and 1958. Anthony Boucher_sentence_15

Boucher also edited the long-running Best from Fantasy and Science Fiction anthology series, from 1952 to 1959. Anthony Boucher_sentence_16

Among Boucher's critical writing was also contributing annual summaries of the state of speculative fiction for Judith Merril's The Year's Best SF series; as editor, he published the volumes in E. Anthony Boucher_sentence_17 P. Dutton's The Best Detective Stories of the Year annual volumes published in 1963–1968, succeeding Brett Halliday and followed, after his death, by Allen J. Hubin in that task. Anthony Boucher_sentence_18

Boucher's first short story saw print when he was fifteen years old in the January 1927 issue of Weird Tales. Anthony Boucher_sentence_19

Titled "Ye Goode Olde Ghoste Storie," it was the only story to appear under his real name, William A. P. White. Anthony Boucher_sentence_20

Boucher went on to write short stories for many pulp fiction magazines in America, including Adventure, Astounding, Black Mask, Ed McBain's Mystery Book, Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine, Galaxy Science Fiction, The Master Detective, Unknown Worlds and Weird Tales. Anthony Boucher_sentence_21

His short story "The Quest for Saint Aquin" was among the stories selected in 1970 by the Science Fiction Writers of America as one of the best science fiction short stories of all time. Anthony Boucher_sentence_22

As such, it was published in The Science Fiction Hall of Fame, Volume One, 1929–1964. Anthony Boucher_sentence_23

Boucher was the friend and mentor of science-fiction writer Philip K. Dick and others. Anthony Boucher_sentence_24

His 1942 novel Rocket to the Morgue, in addition to being a classic locked room mystery, is also something of a roman à clef about the Southern California science fiction culture of the time, featuring thinly veiled versions of personalities such as Robert A. Heinlein, L. Anthony Boucher_sentence_25 Ron Hubbard and rocket scientist/occultist/fan Jack Parsons. Anthony Boucher_sentence_26

Radio Anthony Boucher_section_2

Boucher also scripted for radio and was involved in many other activities, as described by William F. Nolan in his essay "Who Was Anthony Boucher? Anthony Boucher_sentence_27

": Anthony Boucher_sentence_28

With respect to his scripting of the Sherlock Holmes radio dramas, Nigel Bruce, who played Dr. Watson, said that Boucher "had a sound knowledge of Conan Doyle and a great affection for the two characters of Holmes and Watson." Anthony Boucher_sentence_29

Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction years Anthony Boucher_section_3

Boucher left dramatic radio in 1948, "mainly because I was putting in a lot of hours working with J. Anthony Boucher_sentence_30 Francis McComas in creating what soon became The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction. Anthony Boucher_sentence_31

We got it off the ground in 1949 and saw it take hold solidly by 1950. Anthony Boucher_sentence_32

This was a major creative challenge and although I was involved in a lot of other projects, I stayed with F&SF into 1958." Anthony Boucher_sentence_33

Throughout his years with the magazine, Boucher was involved in many other projects. Anthony Boucher_sentence_34

He wrote fiction for the SF and mystery markets (primarily short stories). Anthony Boucher_sentence_35

He taught an informal writing class from his home in Berkeley. Anthony Boucher_sentence_36

He continued his Sunday mystery columns for the New York Times Book Review, while also writing crime-fiction reviews for The New York Herald Tribune as Holmes (he also reviewed SF and fantasy (as H. H. Holmes) for the Herald Tribune) and functioning as chief critic for Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine. Anthony Boucher_sentence_37

He edited True Crime Detective, supervised the Mercury Mystery Line and (later) the Dell Great Mystery Library; hosted Golden Voices, his series of historical opera recordings for Pacifica Radio, and served (in 1951) as president of Mystery Writers of America. Anthony Boucher_sentence_38

As part of his reviews of mystery novels, he published a list of Best Crime Fiction of the Year from 1949 to 1967, listing from 12 to 15 titles each year. Anthony Boucher_sentence_39

He published his list as Anthony Boucher. Anthony Boucher_sentence_40

Boucher was a devoted poker player, a political activist, a rabid sport fan (football, basketball, track, gymnastics and rugby), an active Sherlockian in The Baker Street Irregulars and a spirited chef. Anthony Boucher_sentence_41

Television Anthony Boucher_section_4

In the years 1964-65 Boucher worked as a story consultant for the Kraft Suspense Theatre. Anthony Boucher_sentence_42

Death Anthony Boucher_section_5

Boucher died of lung cancer on April 29, 1968, at the Kaiser Foundation Hospital in Oakland. Anthony Boucher_sentence_43

Bouchercon, the "Anthony Boucher Memorial World Mystery Convention," was named in his honor. Anthony Boucher_sentence_44

Descriptions of those conventions from the first, in 1970, until that in 2004, appear in Marvin Lachman's The Heirs of Anthony Boucher. Anthony Boucher_sentence_45

Selected works Anthony Boucher_section_6

Short stories Anthony Boucher_section_7

Anthony Boucher_unordered_list_0

Mystery novels Anthony Boucher_section_8

Anthony Boucher_unordered_list_1

Collections of short fiction and scripts of radio plays Anthony Boucher_section_9

Anthony Boucher_unordered_list_2

Collections of reviews Anthony Boucher_section_10

Anthony Boucher_unordered_list_3

  • The Anthony Boucher Chronicles: Reviews and Commentary 1942-1947: Volume I: As Crime Goes By, edited by Francis M. Nevins (2001) (reviews from San Francisco Chronicle)Anthony Boucher_item_3_14
  • The Anthony Boucher Chronicles: Reviews and Commentary 1942-1947: Volume II: The Week in Murder, edited by Francis M. Nevins (2001)Anthony Boucher_item_3_15
  • The Anthony Boucher Chronicles: Reviews and Commentary 1942-1947: Volume III: A Bookman's Buffet, edited by Francis M. Nevins (2001)Anthony Boucher_item_3_16

[These three volumes were later published in one volume.] Anthony Boucher_sentence_46

Anthony Boucher_unordered_list_4

  • Multiplying Villainies: Selected Mystery Criticism 1942-1968, edited by Francis M. Nevins and Robert Briney (1983) (reviews from the New York Times)Anthony Boucher_item_4_17

Other Anthony Boucher_section_11

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  • The Lost Adventures of Sherlock Holmes: based on the original radio plays by Dennis Green and Anthony Boucher, Written by Ken Greenwald (1989)Anthony Boucher_item_5_18
  • The Forgotten Adventures of Sherlock Holmes: Based on the Original Radio Plays by Anthony Boucher and Denis Green, by H. Paul Jeffers (2005)Anthony Boucher_item_5_19


Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anthony Boucher.