Previous Entry Share Next Entry
A salute to one of my heroes
abby2
lil_shepherd
Ivan Southall died in on 15th November aged 87.

I wrote about my love for the Simon Black books here.

http://lil-shepherd.livejournal.com/62454.html

I could also say that I once came in three-quarters of the through a radio dramatisation of one of his 'serious' children's novels - Ash Road - (without knowing what it was) and was crying by the end – some of his kids' books are tough on the emotions but genuinely uplifting.

Though he was 87 when he died, he will still always be, for me, the good-looking young RAAF officer whose photo graced the back of the early Simon Black hardbacks. During the war he was (like his "superheroes" Simon and Alan) in Coastal Command and received the DFC for sinking a U-boat. His dislike of guns, violence and war (like his love of aircraft and flying) was based on experience.

As a writer, he probably had as much effect on my writing style as anyone, particularly in his (and my) love for wisecracking partnerships, memorable eccentric minor characters and for putting his heroes in ridiculous situations – not to mention for dramatic entrances. As an SF writer he had a knack of creating completely believable machines – all marques of the rocket-propelled Firefly with their rotor driven VTOL, and, of course, the ground-effect battleship Arion are totally convincing. He wrote about flying and, indeed, combat flying, with the sure touch of someone who had been there, done that, and printed the T-shirt.

I'm sorry he's gone, if only because I'm pretty sure this means the end of even the faintest possibility of ever seeing Simon Black in Arabia. [sigh]
Tags:

  • 1

What is this place?

(Anonymous)
I received an RSS notice that led here. This isn't the sort of place I usually end up when I follow those links, and now I'm curious where I've come? The phrase that tripped the feed was:

"marques of the rocket-propelled Firefly with their rotor driven VTOL, and, of course, the ground-effect battleship Arion are totally convincing. He wrote about flying and, indeed, combat flying, with the sure touch of someone who"

Who is the woman? Who is the cat? Why might not some content suit minors? What if I'm a writer? What if I build ground-effect battleships, skirtless hovercraft, and similar VTOL what-have-yous?

Curiously,

Matthew
SierraMultimedia@Yahoo.Com

Re: What is this place?

There's no RSS feed leading to this LJ.

Sorry, old son.

Just me blogging about an author I loved in my childhood.

I have known for a long time that _Let the Balloon Go_ is one of the books that have affected me more than most.

I must have been only eleven or twelve when I read it (and, I think (_Ash Road_), and (not finding any other books by him in the St. James' or school library) never read anything else.

Do you know: did Ivan have a disability - or did he just "get it" through being a superior human being?


He appears to have just 'got it'. He was in the RAAF in WW2, and came out of it without a disability, so I reckon he just "got it" (unless there was a member of his family who was disabled.) He does, however, seem to have a good insight into character, and even his early books (Meet Simon Black was originally written when he was 14, though extensively revised when he was in his 20s before publication) are sympathetic to "ordinary" people. None of his aliens are evil or even wicked, and his characters show deep sympathy for damaged people (for instance the people deeply damaged by radiation in Simon Black in China, written long before his "serious" books.

Always enjoyed the Simon Black books,

Good life though - 87 aint bad

  • 1
?

Log in

No account? Create an account