|Title:||The Vultures of Desolate Island|
|Publisher:||The Ace Publishing Co.|
|Tags:||aviation, fiction, flying, World War I|
One of many Flying Beetle stories written by George E. Rochester involving aviation sleuthing and dogfights during the period of the Great War. Harry Davies, alias The Flying Beetle, is a British Secret Service Agent, master of disguise, and protector of the Empire from the red menace and yellow peril. In this story, the mission is to find the pirate who is plundering and destroying the Empire’s air route to Japan over the Arctic. [Suggest a different description.]
Author Bio for Rochester, George E. (Ernest)
George Ernest Rochester (17 December, 1898—23 March, 1966) was a British author, writing under his own and several other names, including John Beresford, Frank Chaltam, Barton Furse, Jeffrey Gaunt, Eric Roche, and Hamilton Smith.
Rochester was extremely popular in the 1930s writing serial stories for British magazines such as The Boys’ Friend Library, Knockout, and Boy’s Own Paper with science fiction themes of mad scientists; or, stories based on Rochester's pilot experience as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Royal Flying Corps during World War I. These pilot stories come close to science fiction, but typically restrict themselves to adventures in airplanes, often featuring air pirates.
His later career was inconspicuous and he fell silent after about 1954. Of interest in his post-War output is the Black Wing series comprising Black Wing (1951) and Secret Pilot (1954), featuring a young heroic cadet who has been fitted with a flying suit powered by an atomic engine.
Sources: http://www.collectingbooksandmagazines.com; http://www.sf-encyclopedia.com
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