Smith George Oliver
George Oliver Smith (April 9, 1911 - May 27, 1981) (also known as Wesley Long) was an American science fiction author. He is not to be confused with George H. Smith, another American science fiction author. Smith was an active contributor to Astounding Science Fiction during the Golden Age of Science Fiction in the 1940s. His collaboration with the magazine's editor, John W. Campbell, Jr. was interrupted when Campbell's first wife, Doña, left him in 1949 and married Smith. Smith continued regularly publishing science fiction novels and stories until 1960. His output greatly diminished in the 1960s and 1970s when he had a job that required his undivided attention. He was given the First Fandom Hall of Fame award in 1980. He was a member of the all-male literary banqueting club the Trap Door Spiders, which served as the basis of Isaac Asimov's fictional group of mystery solvers the Black Widowers. Smith wrote mainly about outer space, with such works as Operation Interstellar (1950), Lost in Space (1959), and Troubled Star (1957). He is remembered chiefly for his Venus Equilateral series of short stories about a communications station in outer space. The stories were collected in Venus Equilateral (1947), which was later expanded as The Complete Venus Equilateral (1976). His novel The Fourth "R" (1959) - re-published as The Brain Machine (1968) - was a digression from his focus on outer space, and provides one of the more interesting examinations of a child prodigy in science fiction.
A new disease, space plague, shows itself as a gradual hardening, crystallization of body tissues. The disease is lethal; however, the hardened tissues can be worked up, in order to survive and become a super human. A novel “Highways in Hiding” by George Oliver Smith, a twentieth century American science fiction author, also known by the pseudonym Wesley Long, was published in 1955. Later in 1957 it was abridged as “Space Plague”. The variation of further evolution of humanity, when a completely new “Homo Supuries” appears, is a high quality detective story, involving a confrontation of the old world (usual people and their society) and thw new one (Mekstroms – super people). While a story of a common man, in search of his place in this changing world, lies at the heart of the plot.
An intelligent and profound novel devoted to a young boy James Holden who was meant to become quite different than all other people. His parents were killed and the orphan experiences strong stress. One of scientists who invented a device for education gets interested in James as experimental person. He makes James who is only five years old extremely clever. However, his knowledge is a very hard burden and it does not make him happier.
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