(1926 — June 30, 2014)
Frank Malcolm Robinson was born in Chicago, Illinois. As a teenager, he was an active SF fan, living at the Slan Shack in Battle Creek, Michigan, collecting magazines, attending conventions, and publishing fanzines (Fanewscard). He was also known as Frqnk from a typo.
Also in his teens he worked as a copy boy for International Service, and then became an office boy for Ziff-Davis Publishers.
He was drafted into the Navy during World War II, and when his tour was over went to Beloit College where he majored in physics, graduating in 1950. He went back into the Navy during the Korean War. Afterward, he went to graduate school in journalism, then worked for a Chicago-based Sunday supplement. Soon afterward he switched to Science Digest, where he worked from 1956-1959. From there, he moved into men's magazines: Rogue, Cavalier, and Playboy (1969-1973). He left Playboy to write full-time.
After moving to San Francisco in the 1970s, Robinson was a speechwriter for politician Harvey Milk; he also has a small role in the film Milk.
Robinson is the author/editor of around 20 books, and has written numerous stories and articles. He has used the pen names of Thomas Benji, Robert Courtney, and James Walsh. Some of his novels have been made into movies and TV series, including The Power, The Glass Inferno (co-written with Thomas N. Scortia), and The Fifth Missile (an NBC mini-series). He collaborated on several other works with Scortia, including The Prometheus Crisis, The Nightmare Factor, and Blow-Out.
His later books included The Dark Beyond the Stars (1991), and an updated version of The Power (2000), which closely followed Waiting (1999), a novel with similar themes to The Power. A medical thriller about organ theft, called The Donor, was published in 2005.
His short fiction has been collected in A Life in the Day of Frank Robinson and Other Short Stories (1981) and Through My Glasses Darkly (2002).
He collected SF pulps, and one of his non-fiction books was Pulp Culture (1998).
Awards, Honors and GoHships:
- 1981 — Toastmaster at RiverCon VI
- 1984 — Toastmaster at VCON 12
- 1998 — Special Guest at the World Fantasy Convention 1998.
- 2001 — First Fandom's Hall of Fame
- 2008 — Sam Moskowitz Archive Award