Kenneth Bulmer

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Kenneth Bulmer
Kenneth Bulmer c. 1956
Kenneth Bulmer c. 1956
Born(1921-01-14)14 January 1921
London, England
Died16 December 2005(2005-12-16) (aged 84)
NationalityUnited Kingdom
GenreScience fiction
SpousePamela Buckmaster

Henry Kenneth Bulmer (14 January 1921 – 16 December 2005) was a British author, primarily of science fiction.


Born in London, he married Pamela Buckmaster on 7 March 1953, they had one son and two daughters, and they divorced in 1981. Bulmer lived in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, England, he died 16 December 2005.

Career in science fiction[edit]

A prolific writer, Bulmer penned over 160 novels and numerous short stories, both under his real name and various pseudonyms. For instance, his long-running Dray Prescot series of planetary romances was initially published as Alan Burt Akers, and later as by the first-person protagonist of the series, Prescot himself.

Bulmer's works are popular in translation, particularly Germany, to the extent that in some cases they have been published only in German editions, with the original English-language versions remaining unpublished.

Bulmer did some work in comics, writing Jet-Ace Logan stories for Tiger,[1] scripts for War Picture Library, Lion and Valiant, and helping to create the British comics antihero The Steel Claw.[2] Paul Grist's comics series Jack Staff acknowledges this in the real name of its character The Claw, Ben Kulmer.

Bulmer was also active in science fiction fandom, including travelling to the United States in 1955 as the TransAtlantic Fan Fund (TAFF) delegate.

In the 1970s he edited nine issues of the New Writings in Science Fiction anthology series in succession to John Carnell, who originated the series.

Pen names and imaginary biographies[edit]

Bulmer's pseudonyms include Alan Burt Akers, Frank Brandon, Rupert Clinton, Ernest Corley, Peter Green, Adam Hardy, Philip Kent, Bruno Krauss, Karl Maras, Manning Norvil, Chesman Scot, Nelson Sherwood, Richard Silver, H. Philip Stratford and Tully Zetford. Kenneth Johns was a collective pseudonym used for a collaboration with author John Newman; some of Bulmer's works were published along with the works of other authors under "house names" (collective pseudonyms) Ken Blake (for a series of tie-ins with the 1970s television programme The Professionals), Arthur Frazier, Neil Langholm, Charles R. Pike, and Andrew Quiller, he also ghost-wrote books for Barry Sadler.

In some cases, Bulmer used not only a different name but also included in the books a detailed imaginary biography giving specific personal details substantially different from the true ones. For example, the Viking series published under the name "Neil Langholm" included biographical details intended to create the impression that the series – as appropriate to its subject – was written by a Dane:

Neil Langholm was born in Copenhagen in 1931, but was educated in England at Eton and Oxford, he started his career as a veterinary surgeon but gave up in 1960 to begin writing full time. He is the author of several bestselling western and science fiction series, which he writes under a pseudonym. Mr. Langholm now lives with his wife and five children in Ruislip, his hobbies are breeding dogs and archery.[3]


Science fiction novels[edit]

Dray Prescot series (written as Alan Burt Akers and Dray Prescot)[edit]

Consists of eleven cycles (the last is unfinished), four stand-alone novels, and three stand-alone short stories as noted below; the first thirty-seven volumes were published by DAW Books from December 1972 – April 1988; print editions of the later volumes were initially published solely in German translation by Wilhelm Heyne Verlag from 1991–1998. English language ebooks of volumes 38–41 were later issued by the now-defunct electronic publisher Savanti from September 1995 – December 1998; ebooks of volumes 1–52 have since been issued by another electronic publisher, Mushroom eBooks. Publication was interrupted for close to six years between volumes 45 and 46 due to family illness and difficulty in locating the manuscripts;[4] as of 5 February 2014 it was reported that all the missing manuscripts had been found except that for Demons of Antares (Book 46), which was being translated back into English from the German version, a process then "almost finished."[5] Publication of the volume followed in June 2014, with the remaining volumes appearing at intervals during the remainder of the year. Volume 52 was published in November 2014. Bladud Books, a sister imprint of Mushroom eBooks, has published collected omnibus editions of all volumes in hardcover, paperback and ebook formats.[6]

Delian cycle[edit]
  • 1. Transit to Scorpio (Dec. 1972) ISBN 978-1-84319-333-3 (PDF)
  • 2. The Suns of Scorpio (Apr. 1973)
  • 3. Warrior of Scorpio (Aug. 1973)
  • 4. Swordships of Scorpio (Dec. 1973)
  • 5. Prince of Scorpio (Apr. 1974)

Collected in The Saga of Dray Prescot: The Delian Cycle (Apr. 2007) ISBN 978-1-84319-557-3 (hbk)

Havilfar cycle[edit]

Collected in The Saga of Dray Prescot: The Havilfar Cycle I (Feb. 2009) and The Saga of Dray Prescot: The Havilfar Cycle II (Feb. 2009)

Krozair cycle[edit]

Collected in The Saga of Dray Prescot: The Krozair Cycle (Feb. 2009)

Vallian cycle[edit]

Collected in The Saga of Dray Prescot: The Vallian Cycle (Apr. 2009)

Jikaida cycle[edit]

Collected in The Saga of Dray Prescot: The Jikaida Cycle (Aug. 2009)

Spikatur cycle[edit]

Collected in The Saga of Dray Prescot: The Spikatur Cycle (Mar. 2010)

Pandahem cycle[edit]

Collected in The Saga of Dray Prescot: The Pandahem Cycle I (May 2011) and The Saga of Dray Prescot: The Pandahem Cycle II (Jun. 2011)

Witch War cycle[edit]

Collected in The Saga of Dray Prescot: The Witch War Cycle (Sep. 2011)

Lohvian cycle (originally published in German only)[edit]
  • 38. Scorpio Reborn (Wiedergeborenes Scorpio, 1991; English ebook edition Sep. 1995)
  • 39. Scorpio Assassin (Meuchelmörder von Scorpio, 1992; English ebook edition Feb. 1996)
  • 40. Scorpio Invasion (Invasion von Scorpio, 1992; English ebook edition Aug. 1996)
  • 41. Scorpio Ablaze (Scorpio in Flammen, 1992; English ebook edition Dec. 1998)
  • 42. Scorpio Drums (Die Trommeln von Scorpio, 1992; English ebook edition Apr. 2008)
  • 43. Scorpio Triumph (Der Triumph von Scorpio, 1993; English ebook edition Jun. 2008)

Collected in The Saga of Dray Prescot: The Lohvian Cycle I (Dec. 2011) and The Saga of Dray Prescot: The Lohvian Cycle II (Sep. 2012)

Balintol cycle (originally published in German only)[edit]

Collected in The Saga of Dray Prescot: The Balintol Cycle I (Aug. 2015) and The Saga of Dray Prescot: The Balintol Cycle II (Aug. 2015)

Spectre cycle (originally published in German only)[edit]
  • 50. Shadows over Kregen (Schatten über Kregen, 1996; English ebook edition Sep. 2014) (stand-alone novel)
  • 51. Murder on Kregen (Mord auf Kregen, 1997; English ebook edition Oct. 2014)
  • 52. Turmoil on Kregen (Aufruhr auf Kregen, 1997; English ebook edition Nov. 2014)

Collected in The Saga of Dray Prescot: The Spectre Cycle (Sep. 2015)

  • 53. Betrayal on Kregen (Verrat auf Kregen, unpublished eleven page fragment)

Ryder Hook series (written as Tully Zetford)[edit]

The last six books in the series were published only in German, under Bulmer's real name; the first four books have also been published under his real name, collected in a single volume.

Keys to the Dimensions series[edit]

Odan the Half-God series (written as Manning Norvil)[edit]

Other science fiction novels[edit]

  • Space Treason (1952) with A. V. Clarke
  • Cybernetic Controller (1952) with A. V. Clarke
  • Encounter in Space (1952)
  • Zhorani (Master of the Universe) (1953) (as Karl Maras)
  • Empire of Chaos (1953)
  • Galactic Intrigue (1953)
  • Space Salvage (1953)
  • The Stars are Ours (1953)
  • Mission to the Stars (1953) (as Philip Kent)
  • Vassals of Venus (1953) (as Philip Kent)
  • Challenge (1954)
  • World Aflame (1954)
  • Home Is the Martian (1954) (as Philip Kent)
  • Slaves of the Spectrum (1954) (as Philip Kent)
  • Peril from Space (1954) (as Karl Maras)
  • City Under the Sea (1957)
  • The Secret of ZI (1958) (a.k.a. The Patient Dark (1969))
  • The Changeling Worlds (1959)
  • The Earth Gods are Coming (1960) (a.k.a. Of Earth Foretold (1961))
  • Defiance (1960)
  • Beyond the Silver Sky (1961)
  • Land Beyond the Map (1961)
  • No Man's World (1961) (a.k.a. Earth's Long Shadow (exp 1962))
  • The Fatal Fire (1962)
  • The Wind of Liberty (1962)
  • The Wizard of Starship Poseidon (1963)
  • Demons' World (1964) (a.k.a. The Demons (1965))
  • The Million Year Hunt (1964)
  • Behold the Stars (1965)
  • Worlds for the Taking (1966)
  • To Outrun Doomsday (1967)
  • Cycle of Nemesis (1967)
  • The Doomsday Men (1968)
  • The Ulcer Culture (1969) (a.k.a. Stained-Glass World (1976))
  • Kandar (1969)
  • The Star Venturers (1969)
  • Quench the Burning Stars (1970) (a.k.a. Blazon (expanded 1970))
  • Star Trove (1970)
  • Swords of the Barbarians (1970)
  • The Electric Sword-Swallowers (1971)
  • The Insane City (1971)
  • On the Symb-Socket Circuit (1972)
  • Roller Coaster World (1972)

Historical novels[edit]

The Vikings series (as Neil Langholm)[edit]

Wolf's Head series (as Arthur Frazier)[edit]

The Eagles – Gladiator series (as Andrew Quiller)[edit]

Captain Shark series (as Richard Silver)[edit]

Fox series (as Adam Hardy)[edit]

  • The Press Gang (1973)
  • Prize Money (1973)
  • The Siege (1973) (a.k.a. Savage Siege)
  • Treasure (1973) (a.k.a. Treasure Map (1974))
  • Powder Monkey (1973) (a.k.a. Sailor's Blood (1974))
  • Blood for Breakfast (1974) (a.k.a. Sea of Gold)
  • Court Martial (1974)
  • Battle Smoke (1974)
  • Cut and Thrust (1974)
  • Boarders Away (1975)
  • Fireship (1975)
  • Blood Beach (1975)
  • Sea Flame (1976)
  • Close Quarters (1977)

Sea Wolf series (as Bruno Krauss)[edit]

Western novels[edit]

Jubal Cade series (as Charles R. Pike)[edit]

Adventure novels[edit]

Casca series (as Barry Sadler [house name])[edit]

Strike Force: Falklands series (as Adam Hardy)[edit]

Television tie-ins[edit]

The Professionals series (as Ken Blake)[edit]

Asterisked titles also published in hardback under Bulmer's own name

Children's books[edit]

  • Pretenders (1972)


  • The Wind of Liberty (1962) [novel plus 1 short story]



  • The True Book about Space Travel (1960) (with John Newman, as Kenneth Johns)


  1. ^ Andrew Darlington, "Captain Condor: Space Hero in Search of an Artist", The Mentor 84, October 1994, pp. 5-8, 11
  2. ^ Obituary: Ken Bulmer, The Independent, 20 December 2005
  3. ^ From the introduction page to "Blood Sacrifice", 1975
  4. ^ Martyn. "A message from Ken Bulmer's family." 3 Oct. 2009.
  5. ^ Martyn. "Demons of Antares – progress report." 5 Feb. 2014.
  6. ^ Alan Burt Akers webpage on Mushroom eBooks site

External links[edit]