Mon 31 Jan 2011
(1) WILLIAM JOHNSTON, 1924-2010.
Al Hubin sent me earlier today news of the death of William Johnston, author of many movie and TV tie-in novels, including nine in the Get Smart series. He was born in 1924 and is reported to have passed away last October 15th.
There’s a long article about Johnston on Lee Goldberg’s blog
on the occasion of Johnston’s being awarded last year’s Faust, the International Association of Media Tie-In Writers’ Grand Master Award.
Said Lee Goldberg: “He wrote books based on Captain Nice, Room 222, Happy Days, Welcome Back Kotter, The Flying Nun, The Brady Bunch, Nanny and the Professor, The Munsters, Gilligan’s Island, Bewitched, The Monkees and F-Troop, among others.
“But his TV tie-in work extended far beyond sitcom adaptations. He wrote books based on Ironside, Dick Tracy, The Young Rebels, The Iron Horse, Then Came Bronson, and Rod Serling’s The New People, to name a few. He even adapted the cartoon characters Magilla Gorilla and Snagglepuss into books for children.
“Johnston also penned many novelizations, including the pilots for the 1930s-era private eye series Banyon and the high school drama Sons and Daughters. His feature film novelizations include Klute, The Swinger, Echoes of a Summer, The New Interns, The Priest’s Wife, Lt. Robin Crusoe USN and his final tie-in project, Gore Vidal’s Caligula (under the pseudonym William Howard).”
(2) ARIANA FRANKLIN, 1935-2010.
From my daughter Sarah’s historical fiction blog, Reading the Past:
“Diana Norman, who also wrote historical thrillers as Ariana Franklin, passed away on Thursday after a lengthy illness. [...] Her ‘Mistress of the Art of Death’ series brought her back to the early Plantagenet era in the company of Adelia Aguilar, a Salerno-trained physician and forensic specialist (for the 12th c).”
L. J. Roberts recently reviewed A Murderous Procession, the fourth in the series, on this blog. I added a bibliography and some cover photos.
(3) ROBERT E. W. JANSSON. 1936-2011.
Born in England, died in Missouri January 13, 2011. A long online obituary can be found at
A teacher and chemist by trade, Jansson was also the author of two crime thrillers in the 1970s, both in Hubin: Meet You in Munich (Barker, 1975) and News Caper (London: Macmillan, 1978).
These were followed by Feet First in 2009, a detective novel, preceded in 2008 by a novel taking place in Iceland during the Viking era, Kari’s Saga.
[UPDATE] 02-04-11. Jiro Kimura, on his Gumshoe Site, adds the fact that Prof. Stuart Warlock appeared in both of Jansson’s 1970s novels, a series character previously unknown to Hubin.