William Murray (born 1953) is an American novelist, journalist, short story, and comic book writer. Much of his fiction has been published under pseudonyms. With artist Steve Ditko, he co-created the superhero Squirrel Girl.
Will Murray grew up in Boston, Massachusetts and graduated North Quincy High school in June 1971, subsequently graduating summa cum laude from the University of Massachusetts at Boston. After becoming a fan of the pulp fiction hero Doc Savage, he began collecting pulp magazines and wrote two psychological profiles of the character in The Doc Savage Reader. He went on to write for fanzines and edit the fanzines Duende and Skullduggery before joining the pulp-reprint publisher Odyssey Publications. He also co-authored the study, The Duende History of The Shadow Magazine. Circa 1978, "I discovered the outline to [Doc Savage creator] Lester Dent's unwritten Python Isle and decided to take a shot at writing it. Bantam [Books] passed on it initially, and by the time they came back and asked for it and two more Docs, I was busily ghosting [the adventure paperback series] The Destroyer for [series co-creator] Warren Murphy."
The Destroyer assignment had come about when Murray, editing Skullduggery, sought out Murphy and The Destroyer co-creator Richard Sapir for an interview, and later doing freelance research for Sapir. This led to his editing a Destroyer sourcebook, The Assassin's Handbook (1982) and eventually ghostwriting the series, beginning with the 56th book, Encounter Group (1984). He began writing the series regularly with the 69th book, Blood Ties, altogether ghosting book #69 through book #107, Feast or Famine. Murray has also written Cthulhu Mythos stories, including a pair of stories about Nug and Yeb, the Twin Blasphemies, and contributed single novels in The Executioner and Mars Attacks series. He wrote the retro-pulp collection Spicy Zeppelin Stories under various pen names.
Murray, also an author of nonfiction articles about pulp magazine writers such as Doc Savage creator Lester Dent, and the Shadow creator Walter B. Gibson; since 1979, he has been the literary executor for the estate of Dent, and has published twenty-one Doc Savage novels from Dent's outlines under Dent's pseudonym, Kenneth Robeson. His 2013 The Wild Adventures of Doc Savage novel, Doc Savage: Skull Island, teams him up with King Kong.
In June 2015, Altus Press inaugurated the series The Wild Adventures of Tarzan in the novel Tarzan: Return to Pal-ul-don, an authorized sequel to Edger Rice Burroughs' 1921 novel, Tarzan the Terrible. Late in 2016, Altus released a follow-up novel, King Kong Vs. Tarzan. Early in 2020, "Tarzan, Conqueror of Mars" was released, in which John Carter of Mars was revived. In 2023, Tarzan: Back to Mars was released.
In October 2016, Altus Press released Six Scarlet Scorpions, the first entry in a new spinoff series centering around Doc Savage's adventuress cousin, called The Wild Adventures of Pat Savage. Murray wrote the novel from an outline written by the character's creator, Lester Dent.
In August, 2018, Altus Press released The Spider: The Doom Legion, reviving the pulp hero known as The Spider, as well as James Christopher, Operator 5, and G-8 of G-8 and His Battles Aces fame. A sequel, The Spider: Fury in Steel, was published in January, 2021.
In June, 2020, Altus Press released The Wild Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, collecting ten of Murray's Sherlock Holmes short stories.
For Necronomicon Press, he edited Tales of Zothique and The Book of Hyperborea, two collections of stories by Clark Ashton Smith. His essays have appeared in books ranging from S. T. Joshi's compedium on H. P. Lovecraft, An Epicure in the Terrible, to Jim Beard's survey of the 1960s Batman TV show, Gotham City 14 Miles. He also contributed to the encyclopedias St. James Crime and Mystery Writers, St. James Science Fiction Writers, Contemporary Authors and The Dictionary of Literary Biography. A collection of his Doc Savage articles was published by Altus Press under the title, Writings in Bronze, in 2011. As a contributing editor of Starlog magazine, Murray wrote for that publication and for Starlog Press movie tie-in publications.
Murray stories have appeared in The UFO Files, Future Crime, Miskatonic University, 100 Wicked Little Witch Stories, 100 Creepy Little Creature Stories, 100 Vicious Little Vampire Stories, The Cthulhu Cycle, Disciples of Cthulhu II, Cthulhu's Reign, Worlds of Cthulhu, The Yig Cycle, Dead But Dreaming II, Horror for the Holidays, The Mountains of Madness, Tales from the Miskatonic Library, Dracula Unfanged, Shadows Out of Time, Unknown Superheroes vs. the Forces of Darkness, Thrilling Adventure Yarns, Six-Gun Legends, Nightbeat: Night Stories and other collections.
For National Public Radio, he adapted Lester Dent's 1934 novel The Thousand-Headed Man as a six-part serial for The Adventures of Doc Savage, which aired in 1985, and was released on CD by Radioarchives.com in October 2010.
For Radio Archives, Murray produced the Will Murray Pulp Classics line of audio and ebooks, starring such pulp heroes as The Spider and G-8 and His Battle Aces.
With S. T. Joshi and Jon L. Cooke, Murray organized The Friends of H. P. Lovecraft, which raised funds to place a memorial plaque dedicated to the Providence fantasy writer on the grounds of Brown University's John Hay Library on the centennial of Lovecraft's birth in August 1990.
In 2000 Murray wrote the novel Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Empyre for Marvel comics. The story, which predicted the operational details of the Year 2001 terror attacks on New York and Washington a year before they transpired, identified the author as a trained remote viewer and professional psychic.
Beginning in 2006, Murray has been a consulting editor for Sanctum Books' Doc Savage, Shadow, Avenger and Whisperer reprints. He has also written dozens of introductions to the reprints being published by Altus Press, covering characters such as Lester Dent's Lee Nace and Frederick Nebel's Black Mask detective, Ben Donohue. With Off-Trail Publications' John Locke, he has co-edited the three-volume The Gangland Sagas of Big Nose Serrano, which collects all 12 of Anatole Feldman's Big Nose Serrano stories. For Black Dog Books, he penned introductions to their ongoing Lester Dent Library series of pulp-magazine reprints.
Murray's exhaustive survey, Wordslingers: An Epitaph for the Western, delved into the American Western story as it evolved in the pages of the pulp magazines of the first half of the 20th century.
Stepping into the metaphysical and spiritual genre, Murray explored the nature and origin of God in his 2016 ebook, Forever After, which he wrote under his full name of William Patrick Murray. The channelled work is told in the form of a fable, with the narrative unfolding from God's point of view.
A contributor to numerous prose anthologies, Murray has written short stories of the characters Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Spider-Man, Ant-Man, the Hulk, the Spider, The Avenger, the Gray Seal, the Green Hornet, The Secret 6, Sherlock Holmes, Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, Honey West, Zorro and Lee Falk's the Phantom.
For Marvel Comics, Murray co-created the superhero Squirrel Girl with artist Steve Ditko. He scripted The Destroyer black-and-white magazine, as well as single stories starring Iron Man and the Punisher. Murray wrote the introduction to the Marvel Comics Omnibus volume, which celebrates the 70th anniversary of Marvel Comics, as well as introductions to Volume 2 of Daring Mystery Comics, Mighty Thor Masterworks Volume 9, Mystic Comics Volume 1, Young Allies Volume 2 and Golden Age Captain America Volume 6.
In 1979, he received the Lamont Award for his contributions to the furtherance of pulp fiction research. In 1999, he earned the Comic Book Marketplace award for research excellence in the area of comics history. Murray received the 2011 Pulp Ark Award for Best Series Revival for his work on The Wild Adventures of Doc Savage. His Doc Savage novel, Doc Savage: Skull Island, won the 2014 Pulp Factory Award for Best Novel. In 2021, Murray was awarded the Golden Lion Award for his contributions to the furtherance of the works of Tarzan creator, Edgar Rice Burroughs. He received the First Fandom Hall of Fame Award in 2023 for his many career achievements.
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