Wayne Robbins

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Windom Wayne Robbins
Windom Wayne Robbins.jpg
Born(1914-07-22)July 22, 1914
Stillwater, Oklahoma
DiedJanuary 18, 1958(1958-01-18) (aged 43)
Spokane, Washington
Pen nameWayne Robbins, W. Wayne Robbins, Wyndham Brooks
OccupationAuthor, Artist, Propagandist
LanguageAmerican English
NationalityUnited States
GenrePulp fiction, Sci fi, Horror
SubjectHorror
Literary movementWeird menace
 
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Windom Wayne Robbins
Windom Wayne Robbins.jpg
Born(1914-07-22)July 22, 1914
Stillwater, Oklahoma
DiedJanuary 18, 1958(1958-01-18) (aged 43)
Spokane, Washington
Pen nameWayne Robbins, W. Wayne Robbins, Wyndham Brooks
OccupationAuthor, Artist, Propagandist
LanguageAmerican English
NationalityUnited States
GenrePulp fiction, Sci fi, Horror
SubjectHorror
Literary movementWeird menace

Windom Wayne Robbins (July 22, 1914 – January 18, 1958) was an American author of horror and weird fiction. His work was primarily published in the Popular Publications catalog of weird menace pulp fiction. His first published short story was Horror's Holiday Special in the July 1939 issue of Dime Mystery Magazine.

Robert Kenneth Jones reported that Robbins "excelled in explosive chaos," and remarked on his "credible" speculative fiction, namely Test Tube Frankenstein, from the May 1940 issue of Terror Tales, a tale of biological mimicry along the lines of Don A. Stuart's Who Goes There?.[1] Test Tube Frankenstein is featured in Sheldon Jaffery's anthology Sensuous Science Fiction of the Weird and Spicy Pulps, where it is offered as his prime example: "one of the best of its kind to be published."[2]

Weird menace stories often dealt with conventional themes required by the publisher, themes in which an author might specialize. Stories involving "Inescapable Doom" were supplied by Donald Dale (Mary Dale Buckner); Mindret Lord handled the "Woman Without Volition"; Ray Cummings delivered stories about the "Girl Obsessed"; and many of Wayne Robbins' stories portrayed the "Man Obsessed," and a subsequent descent into madness.[3]

Wayne Robbins' published works are usually attributed to Wayne Robbins or W. Wayne Robbins, but he occasionally used the pen name Wyndham Brooks, a variation on his own given name and his mother's maiden name.

Wayne Robbins' brother, Ormond Robbins, also wrote horror, hardboiled, and western fiction for Popular Publications. Ormond Robbins used the pen names Dane Gregory and Breck Tarrant.

Biography[edit]

Francis, Wayne, Ormond, and Lorimer Robbins
Francis, Wayne, Ormond, and Lorimer Robbins

Wayne Robbins was born in Pawnee/Stillwater, Oklahoma to Charles L. Robbins and Clara Pauline Robbins née Brooks on July 22, 1914. The family moved from Stillwater to Sunnyside, Washington in March 1919. He graduated (valedictorian) from Washington High School in May 1932. He was something of a polymath, showing ability in music, sculpture, painting, and writing.

During the Depression, he painted signs and posters with his brother Francis, first in Sunnyside, then in Yakima, Washington. He married Margaret Elizabeth Marlin on July 16, 1936 in Prosser, Washington, bearing a son and daughter.

In late 1930s, he became a successful freelance writer for pulp magazines. Popular Publications was one of the more attractive pulp publishers to work with since they offered at least a penny or more per word accepted.[4]

During World War II, Wayne Robbins wrote speeches and propaganda for the United States Department of Agriculture at Bozeman, Montana and Pullman, Washington. When his brother Francis returned from the North African Campaign of World War II to Spokane, Washington in 1943, Wayne Robbins shortly relocated there himself. He found employment with the Naval Supply Depot near Spokane where he painted signs. He and Francis pooled their resources to buy a house in Spokane. When the war ended, Wayne and a partner, Vic B. Linden, opened a sign painting shop in Spokane called Post Street Signs. The business was sold about 1951 and the family relocated to Ephrata, Washington where he worked in a neon sign shop. In the spring of 1952 the family returned to their home in Spokane (which had been rented out). He found employment at Valley Neon Company in Spokane Valley where he worked until shortly before his death. He was a member of the Sign and Pictorial Artists' Union.

The death of his brother Francis in 1949 was a great shock to him, and may have contributed to his own death in 1958, following a three-month illness. He is buried at Riverside Memorial Park Cemetery in Spokane, Washington. His grave remains unmarked (grave #14-22N-16E Geranium).

Bibliography[edit]

Published short stories and novelettes[edit]

Other works accepted by Popular Publications[edit]

Works rejected by Popular Publications[edit]

Anthologized works[edit]

Extant unpublished works[edit]

See also[edit]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ The Shudder Pulps (Chapter 13, Variations on a Theme), Robert Kenneth Jones, Fax Collector's Editions Inc., 1975, ISBN 0-913960-04-7.
  2. ^ Sensuous Science Fiction of the Weird and Spicy Pulps, Sheldon Jaffery, Bowling Green State University Popular Press, 1984, ISBN 0-87972-305-X, ISBN 0-87972-306-8.
  3. ^ The Shudder Pulps (Chapter 13, Variations on a Theme), Robert Kenneth Jones, Fax Collector's Editions Inc., 1975, ISBN 0-913960-04-7.
  4. ^ Sensuous Science Fiction of the Weird and Spicy Pulps, Sheldon Jaffery, Bowling Green State University Popular Press, 1984, ISBN 0-87972-305-X, ISBN 0-87972-306-8.

References[edit]