I don’t know if you’ve ever met Vince Monte, who holds the title of My No. 1 Fan. He’s a well informed person with a collection that, apart from foreign editions, is much better than my own, and when he asks a question, I do my best to answer it.

This time the question had to do with pen names, of which I admittedly have, over the years, used a number. Vince sent me a list of 14 names that I have at some time or other used, and what is noteworthy about the list is that it does not include Frederik Pohl, a name I have used quite often. So let me try to answer Vince’s question, as follows:

  • Ernst Mason
    This is the name I used for my nonfiction biography of the Roman emperor Tiberius. I wanted a name that was not identified with me or with science fiction, though when I then wrote about Tiberius for the Encyclopedia Britannica, the editor encouraged me to go back to my own name. Ernst Mason was created by taking the family name of my maternal grandfather, William Mason, and adding it to the given name of my paternal one, Ernst Pohl.

  • S.D. Gottesman
    Name used on some early collaborations with Cyril Kornbluth. He picked it, I think taken from the name of one of his high-school teachers.

  • Dirk Wylie
    Not my name, the name taken by my high-school pal Joseph Harold Dockweiler when he got tired of the name his parents had picked for him. The precipitating incident was the plan of Dirk, Dick Wilson and Don Wollheim to rent an apartment together, and Dick and Donald demanded that Dirk had a name starting with a D.

  • Charles Satterfield
    Horace Gold laid this one on me. He wanted me to use a new pseudonym for one of my stories in Galaxy, I said I was tired of inventing pseudonyms, he said, “Then I will.” He had a prizefight going on the TV, Ezzard Charles against Bob Satterfield, and he said, “There’s your name.” What we didn’t know was that there was a real man named Charles Satterfield, but he apparently never saw the story, or didn’t care.

  • Jordan Park
    Jordan Park was a pen name of Cyril’s. I just wrote part of one Jordan Park story.

  • Paul Dennis Lavond
    Used for a few three-way collaborations; P for Pohl, D for Dirk, L for Lowndes.

  • Elton Andrews
    Sometimes Elton V. Andrews, once or twice just the initials, eva. My first professional sale, a poem to Amazing Stories, was signed with this. I have no idea why I picked it.

  • James MacCreigh
    My most frequently used pen name, not just for sf but for other pulps and for my first attempts at non-pulp sales.

  • Edson McCann
    Joint penname with Lester del Rey. After we had written the book we used that name on, Lester realized that the name could be written as EM.CC and read, if we chose, as E = mc2.

  • Donald Stacy
    I think, repeat THINK, that this was the name (or pseudonym) of someone who had written a novel about TV called The God of Channel One, which Ian Ballantine had bought but was dissatisfied with and asked me to do a rewrite on.

  • Paul Flehr, Warren F. Howard, Scott Mariner
    They sound sort of familiar. I think I did use them, but I don’t remember where or why.

There may have been others.

When I was quite new to all this, I confess I had a romantic view of pseudonyms. By “romantic,” I mean as in a boy-meets-girl scene like this one:

I imagined myself sitting at a soda fountain — I didn’t say cocktail bar, I said soda fountain, which gives an idea of how old I was — and there was an extremely good-looking girl sitting a stool or two away, reading a story of mine, and my plan was to wait until she had finished it and then let her knows that the pen name on the story was me.

Never happened, though. Probably just as well. My wife probably wouldn’t like it.

7 Comments

  1. David Moles says:

    It’s about time “Bob Ezzard” wrote something, don’t you think?

  2. Richard Gruetter says:

    Fred,

    just want you to know that I’m loving your blog – I was and am still a huge fan of yours and you were part of my youth and adulthood. Keep up the great work!

    Richard

  3. qiihoskeh says:

    I enjoyed talking with Vince at Necronomicon. He does have quite a collection.

    I once had the idea that if I wrote a lot of stories, they would all have the same title but be each published under a different name.

  4. Phil Stephensen-Payne says:

    Paul Flehr was used on several stories in GALAXY and IF, such as “The Hated”, “A Life and a Half” and “Mars by Moonlight”.

    Warren F. Howard was used on a single story (“A Voyage in Time”) in SUPER SCIENCE STORIES.

    Scott Mariner was used on two collaborations with Kornbluth – one in 10-STORY MYSTERY (“Cure for Killers”) and one in SUPER SCIENCE STORIES (“An Old Neptunian Custom”).

    Ernst Mason was used for a couple of spoof articles in GALAXY as well as for TIBERIUS.

    In the same way as DONALD STACY counts, so does WALT LASLY for your work on TURN THE TIGERS LOOSE. Arguably Lee Gregor and Robert Heinlein are also pseudonyms – the former for some rewriting you did of Milt Rothman’s stories and the latter for the editing of TOMORROW, THE STARS.

    I believe you also used the names Henry De Costa and Allen Zweig in some fannish pieces, but I have no details of these.

  5. Leigh Hanlon says:

    I can understand the need for crafty pseudonyms. Because my first name has gender-specificity issues, I sold my first short story to a gay erotic magazine under my father’s byline of “Tom Hanlon.” He was thoroughly honked off to be mistaken as the author of “I Tongued Two Truckers,” but that’s he got for treating my mom so badly, failing to pay child support for my younger siblings — and for having a fling with a woman my age who was in one of my journalism classes.

  6. Denny Lien says:

    “Donald Stacy” was apparently Jerome Weidman, per this copyright record:

    The God of channel 1. By Donald Stacy, pseud. of Jerome Weidman
    Type of Work:
    Non-dramatic literary work
    Registration Number / Date:
    RE0000231110 / 1984-12-27
    A00000238998 / 1956-02-23
    Title:
    The God of channel 1. By Donald Stacy, pseud. of Jerome Weidman.
    Variant title:
    The God of channel 1.
    Copyright Claimant:
    Jerome Weidman (writing as Donald Stacy) (A)

    Read more: http://www.faqs.org/copyright/my-father-sits-in-the-dark-and-other-selected-stories-by/#ixzz0xYJMLpFK

  7. Jim Satterfield says:

    I still have the book Fred signed, “To my cousin, Jim” because of the Charles Satterfield pseudonym.