beamjockey (beamjockey) wrote,
beamjockey
beamjockey

Paging through BOYS' LIFE, Part 4: Dale Colombo's Starship MAGELLAN

A series of stories about interstellar Boy Scouts appeared in Boys' Life under the pseudonym "Dale Colombo." The October 1965 issue said:
Dale Colombo is the pen name which a pair of well-known authors use for the Boys' Life space-travel stories they write together. Both are veteran Scout leaders, and one is connected with a leading aerospace company deeply involved in long-range U.S. government programs for planetary exploration. Under other names these writers contribute articles and fiction to many national magazines.

In the series, Ed Linden and his fellow Scouts live aboard the starship Magellan on a generations-long voyage to Alpha Centauri.

The stories may be found in the Google Books collection of scanned Boys' Life issues:
MonthYearPageTitleIllustrator
Jan 1964p 18 Space Tenderfoot Bob Shore
Oct 1965p 25 The Amplified Boy Robert Shore
Oct 1966p 28 Tournament in SpaceAustin Briggs
Jan 1968p 21 Derelict Spaceship (part 1) Milton Glaser
Feb 1968p 38 Derelict Spaceship (part 2) Milton Glaser
Dec 1969p 38 Settlers from Space (part 1) Al Parker
Jan 1970p 37 Settlers from Space (part 2) Illustrator unknown

Who was Dale Colombo? I have learned that half of him was Keith Monroe, also coauthor of the long-running "Time Machine" stories in Boys' Life.

This we learn from a portrait of Monroe, "He Stayed for the Dividends" by Mac Gardner, in
Scouting, January-February 1970, p. 18. Gardner writes:
Keith Monroe has been Scoutmaster of Troop 2, sponsored by the Franklin School PTA, since it was organized in December 1945. [...]
His pen names include Donald Keith, Dale Colombo, and, of course, Rice E. Cochran of Be Prepared! fame. Be Prepared! is based on Keith's experiences, plus those of some of his Scouting friends. It started as a "Letters From the Jamboree" for the New Yorker and eventually grew into the book published in 1952. It is now available as a paperback from Avon Books. Since 1963, he has been on the executive staff of North American Rockwell in El Segundo, Calif.
Who is the other half of "Dale Colombo?" I don't know. One suspect might be his father, Donald Monroe, also a Scout leader, who collaborated with Keith on the Time Machine series as "Donald Keith." But I don't have any evidence. Why might father and son use distinct pseudonyms for their time-travel stories and their space stories?

(Part 1 of this series is Donald Keith's Time Machine stories. Part 2 is Arthur C. Clarke's "The Sunjammer." Part 3 is Robert A. Heinlein's Scouts into Space.)
Tags: boys life, history, science fiction
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