David McDaniel by JM Stine
To contact Ms. Stine, you can visit her website at http://www.members.aol.com/futurgurl/mystery.html, where she has reprints of some previously sold mystery fiction posted.
The inside story of how DMcDaniel became involved in UNCLE.
I was eighteen and visiting my grandmother in Bradley Arkansas which only got 1 TV station! It got the channel that carried the Outer Limits. Drunk on Ayn Rand at the time, I looked up and saw on the screen a man who looked just like she described the hero of Atlas Shrugged (which DM had read). The show was a wow (The Form of Things Unknown? the protagonist had tinkered with time and come to his past, our present) The actor I had never seen before, but memorized his name. David McCallum. Back in L.A. I enthused about this actor to McDaniel because he was so perfect for John Gault in AS. Then I read a TV guide listing saying he would be in this new series called The Man from... I insisted McDaniel watch the first episode with me. We came for McCallum but stayed for UNCLE. McDaniel was hooked instantly, began daydreaming about it, and when the chance to write one of the novels came, took it.
Dave was considered a master essayist and personal raconteur. And he wrote much about the writing of the UNCLE books and various excursions in the name of UNCLE.
I know he and Owen Hanifen, immortalized in the Vampire affair as a major character, I think, and others dressed up as Thrush members, complete with badges and showed up at some early Felton press conference during the first season and totally freaked Felton and his co-producer out.
Once Dave had worked out what THRUSH must stand for (he came up with it, not Felton, I assume you know), he called up a call-in show Felton was on and kidded him that THRUSH was real and existed. Felton laughed of course, denied it.
Said he made THRUSH up. Then Dave played his ace. He said, if so, then what does THRUSH stand for. Felton said nothing. Dave said, you're wrong, it's the Technological Hierarchy for the Removal of .... etc. Felton was stunned to silence. Then wanted to write it down.
One of Dave's favorite in-jokes from UNCLE was the episode where the ran the legend "Somewhere in the Swiss Alps" over a shot of the Griffith Park observatory.
One of mine is the moment in one of the expanded UNCLE movies we caught in some sleazy downtown theater where I hardly dared sit down, where we cut to Illya who has a pile of various items stacked one on top of the other on a table, and as he puts a match to a piece of paper on top, we hear the concluding line of whatever story he has been telling a fascinated listener, "And thus I became the first Russian Lt. to set fire to an igloo!"
Here is how Dave came to write the UNCLE novels. I almost didn't tell you this, because I thought it was one claim too many, until I remembered Dave had told it in his famous fanzine "B-roll Negative" (an esoteric film term).
Yes, here again, by happenstance, I was the catalyst. We both dreamed of being sci-fi writers. In those days the chosen point of entry was Ace Books, who published the most SF paperbacks and paid the lowest rates, so they bought the most books from new writers and were the least hard to sell to. I suggested a collaboration which didn't pan out. However, in discussing the "ideal" Ace book, I pointed out that a typical title usually had "of" in it somewhere. Pirates of Zan, Star of Danger, Falcons of Narabalda, Fugitive of the Stars, etc. Dave began thinking about "of" titles and came up with the idea of a lost cache of alien weapons left by some long vanished super race. He decided the title should be "The Weapons of..." but couldn't come up with a good name for the aliens. In the meantime, he typed XXX as the place holder (this was shortly before XXX gained its present meaning). Thus the first draft bore the title "The Weapons of XXX." and every time he came to the place where the name of the aliens would appear, he typed XXX. Well, at the end, he still hadn't come up with a good name, so he sent it in that way!
He sent it to Terry Carr at Ace, a former fan who had just become the junior editor there. Terry liked it, the top boss, Donald A. Wollheim, wasn't sold, so they returned it. However, a month or so later Ace landed the contract for the UNCLE novels. When they began to consider who to contact to write some of them, Dave's name came u. This may be because Terry had heard of Dave's involvement in UNCLE and figured he'd be good at it. They offered him a contract and the rest is history. Except for... in those days the authors of books based on series and movies got no royalties, just a small flat payment, or he would have been rich like those who write them today!
To get even, as you probably know, the first letters of the chapter titles of one of the books spell out "A. A. Wynn is a tightwad!" Wynn was the publisher of Ace! Terry told me later that he had caught this in copyediting and decided to leave it in! Wynn died of a stroke a few months later, and Dave always wondered if Wynn had see what he had done and dropped dead as a result of his anger over it!! Terry assured me this was not true, Wynn was such a tightwad he would have laughed delightedly!
Well, after a couple of Dave's books had become Ace's biggest bestsellers ever (true of all his UNCLE books, but not necessarily the other writer's), Wollheim decided he couldn't lose by publishing The Weapons of XXX, so he asked to see it again, then asked Dave to expand it!, and published it too!! Of course, they changed the title. To The Arsenal out of Time! As Dave once said, Show business is a place where they have you write a story around a title, then they change the title. Then they change the story!
Dave's other favorite spy show, I Spy! Mine too.
Why the Final Affair was never published.
As Dave's UNCLE books were the best-selling of the lot, prized then, as now,
by fans of discerning taste, they sent him a contract for a new one as soon
as he turned the ms. for the current one. By the time news reached us and Ace
Books UNCLE was being canceled Dave was just inking his contract for a new book
in the series. He and his editor, Terry Carr, discussed this and thus the idea
for the Final Affair was hatched.
In many ways Dave considered this his best book ever, and not just because he got to wipe out THRUSH! He, and we all, was high on the book when he sent it in. Alas, several months late.
At that time Terry Carr, and due to a change in ownership triggered by the death of founder/president of Ace books AA Wynn, Terry was just resigning, and when the book came in, Terry said he was passing the ms. on to the editor-in-chief Donald A. Wollheim (who would soon resign too in the face of the out and out criminal activity of the new owners and found DAW books).
Dave awaited Don's expected enthusiastic reaction for several weeks. Instead he got the ms. back with a short note from Don saying that since so long had passed since the publication of the previous UNCLE book and the series was now off the air.
Dave, sadly, never recovered emotionally from this blow, and that, combined with a series of other incidents over the next several years, went into a tailspin of increasing lack of self-confidence which lasted until the accident which untimely ended his life.
Here is the sad, tragic kicker: About a year later, I was talking to Don Wollheim about another matter, and must have mentioned something about Dave needing money, and although Ace had rejected the Final Affair, couldn't they send him the last payment on his advance (usually reserved by publishers in case the author doesn't finish the book). Don stopped dead in the midst of a word. "You mean we had that book under contract?" he asked. "Of course," I said. "Gosh," said Don, "I didn't know that. I thought he just sent it in freelance. If I'd known we owned it and had already given him half the payment, I would have published it. Too bad it's far too late now." Nor could he get the execrable new publishers to pay Dave his final payment.
I shared this with Dave, who was equally stunned. I seem to remember that Larry Maddock (author of the time-traveling UNCLE pastiche, the Agent of TERRA series, which itself was developed from a rejected outline for a UNCLE book, as a close read of the first book in that series will reveal) called up Don and pleaded with him to publish the book, knowing how the rejection had wounded Dave, but it was no soap. It had been almost two years since the show went off and more than a year since the last book had appeared.
And so it goes...
Dave McDaniel's UNCLE Novels - Behind the Dedications
BREAKING NEWS "lost" dedication for Vampire Affair below, and original title of that book!
Herewith from the somewhat cloudy memory of Jean Marie Stine, and copies of Dave's own ms. for the books.
MFU #4 - The Dagger Affair. The dedication is: "To Dean and Shirley Dickensheet, Technological Advisors on the Hierarchy." Dean Dickensheet was a wonderfully crotchety old genius, a gentleman of the old school, a Sherlockian scholar, an expert on more subjects than I can remember, foremost among them San Francisco. He was one of Dave's mentors, and appears in his UNCLE books as THRUSH higher-up, Ward Baldwin. His wife Shirley, a formidable individual in her own right, appears as Irene Baldwin.
MFU #6 - The Vampire Affair - has no printed dedication, however, a check of the title page of Dave's original ms. for the book revealed he had intended it to have a dedication which was somehow omitted. Here it is revealed to the public for the first time. "To Owen: Will you ever forget the bloaters." Owen was our beloved companion, the brilliant, delightful, crazy, and spiky trufan, Owen Hannifen, who was married to Hilda (nee Hoffman, I seem to remember). He appears in this book as Gradat Hanevich, while she appears as Eclary , a name she later took. Owen passed away last year unexpectedly last year in San Francisco. Eclary lives there still, but I understand suffers from a number of physical disabilities and is not too mobile. The portrayals of them in the Vampire Affair are, as always with Dave, bang on. Sorry, I know nothing about bloaters. (Dave's original title, by the way, was The Carpathian Vampire Affair.)
MFU #8, The Monster Wheel Affair. The dedication: "To Ted Johnstone, for ten years of unremitting labor which put me where I am today." Ted Johnstone is Dave's fan pseudonym. Here is Dave's irrepressible sense of humor at play.
The 4th is MFU #13, The Rainbow Affair. The dedication: "To John Gosling, Det. Supt. (ret.), for background; and UNCLE Harry, for three-a-day." John Gosling, was a retired Scotland Yard man whose experiences on the force with London's underworld had given him reason to believe that Britain's Great Bank Robbery of the early 1960s (there's a fine Peter Yates movie that takes off on this called, you guessed it, the GBR) was pulled off by a criminal mastermind who used the alias of -- Johnny Rainbow. Gosling wrote a nonfiction book explaining the robbery and his theories about Rainbow, which Dave was reading at the time, and this was the genesis of The Rainbow Affair. Astute readers will have realized that most of the side characters are the greats of British mystery-adventure fiction: Sherlock Holmes, Steel and Peel, the Saint, FuManchu and Sir. Dennis Nayland Smith, etc. (Alas, in these sadly puritanical times I do not feel it circumspect to reveal the significance of the rest of the dedication, least you wrongly think less or more of Dave. I can say that it was fan, actor and acting teacher, Evan Hayworth, AKA Mitch Evans -- a member of the famous Hollywood Hayworth family which includes Rita and his father, Vinton Hayworth, who played the base commander on I Dream of Jeannie -- coined the term.
MFU #15, The Utopia Affair. Dedication: "FOR RON ELLIK--a squirrel with a cross of gold." I don't know why Ron Ellik, trufan beloved of everyone he met, became known as the Squirrel, but I do recall that in Bjo (Star Trek) Trimble's cartoons of Los Angeles fandom in those days, Ron was always portrayed as a giant squirrel. Ron was one of the two authors of the Cross of Gold affair. The other was Steve Langley, AKA Steve Tolliver (Tolliver was a name the Saint used, and the Saint usually used aliases with his own ST initials, and Steve was a Simon Templar fan). They used the pseudonym Fredrick Stratton. Ron died in a tragic car crash in a blizzard too many years ago; Steve lives in Oregon, I believe.
MFU #17, The Hollow Crown Affair. Dedication: "To Joyce--for Faith, Support, Patience and Courage." Joyce was Dave's wife. She had an MA in math and was a computer programmer when the term meant something, back in the early 1960s.
Meanwhile, the final Affair is
Dedicated to Sam Rolfe and Norman Felton -- for a hell of a good idea. And to Terry Carr, without whom, etc." Terry Carr, as noted earlier, was the Ace Books editor who gave Dave his chance at writing the UNCLE books, realized Dave's superior abilities, and kept sending him Contracts. Terry was a long-time fan, known for a superior witty style in his fan writing, and for producing some high-quality fanzines. He died far to young at around age fifty, of an inherited heart disease.
Ps. Dave had the following legend printed on top of his typewriter, where he would see it every minute he was writing. "Tell me a story."
There was a rumor that Dave's editor had to actually move into his apartment to get him to finish his UNCLE books. Not true. Because he wrote carefully, and occasionally suffered from self-doubt, several of his UNCLE books were finished months late. However, his editor on them all, even the last, Terry Carr never visited him to kick him into gear and he never came to L.A. even once during this whole period for any purpose other than to attend World SF Cons and maybe a Westercon (West Coast SF Cons). Of course Dave came there to see him, but I doubt if Terry Carr ever saw the inside of Dave's apartment. Terry may have called up Dave to nudge him occasionally, but as Terry told me and others on the Worldcon night that led to the idea of Ace doing the Prisoner books, he had a backlog of UNCLE books written and published only in the UK by British writers, that he could throw in the schedule when Dave came in late, plus a raft of freelance submissions from fan/semipros like the "Stratton" team of Ellik and Langley which he used. Any body who was at Dave's home constantly during this period could only, only have been Lee Gold, who really helped him (impractical artist) keep organized. But he mostly wrote in private, and couldn't have written a word if any one was pressuring him by sitting in the other room waiting for copy! Since the incomparable Lee Gold (to whom we all owe a great debt for her single-handed and single-minded devotion to Dave during his last few years, and to Lee' husband, Barry, a really sweet fan who being a fan knew Lee's interest was purely platonic fan-hero-worship) was often there, she doubtless had him thrust fresh copy off this typewriter into her hands frequently.
Wilson "Bob" Tucker, a fan who turned pro in the 1940s used to use his friends, or at least their names, in his sci-fi and mystery books. Other authors copied him, and using your friends or their names on a sci-fi book became known as "Tuckerizing."
Dave did this a lot in the UNCLE books. I hope to provide a guide to this (at least the one's I know). Often the name he gave the character was a variant, like Hanevich for Hannifen in Vampire Affair.
To provide a sample, in the Dagger Affair, the inventor of the energy damper, the mad scientist Keldur, was modeled on Durk Pearson, who had just graduated magna cum everything from MIT and was doing post-grad work at UCLA in physics. Durk went on to become the famous life extension guru to the stars and author of the book of the same name with Sandra Shaw, with whom he co-wrote one of the Dirty Harry movies, the Dead Pool (?), for client Clint Eastwood.
The UNCLE-TERRA Connection
When I moved to LA at age 19, one of the first people Dave McDaniel introduced me to was the writer Larry Maddock. Larry was a longtime fan, a few years older than we, who had sold two saucy novels to an adult publisher, and a sci-fi book, Sword of Lankor, a kind of Conan meets early Marion Zimmer Bradley story, to Ace Books. Dave and I were much impressed, and dreamed of one day emulating his success.
It was actually the thought that if Larry could do it, we ought to be able to do it, that led me to suggest we try to collaborate on a sci-fi adventure for Ace, and Dave to eventually carry through and write his Arsenal Out of Time and submit it to them--which in turn led to Ace offering Dave the chance to write UNCLE novels. (Since AOT was published after the success of Dave's UNCLE books, the publisher wanted to call it The Alien Arsenal Affair, but wiser heads prevailed.)
When Larry, also an UNCLE fan, learned that Dave was writing UNCLE novels for Larry's own publisher, he decided why not get in on the act. (For the time, the pay was good.) Larry came up with an outline for an UNCLE book he titled, The Flying Saucer Affair. For reasons I no longer recall, Don Wollheim at Ace didn't want to use the story as an UNCLE book. He wanted to create some kind of UNCLEish sci-fi series he hoped would sell very well by appealing both to UNCLE fans and traditional sci-fi readers. The result was the Agent of T.E.R.R.A., about urbane time-traveling secret agent, Hannibal Fortune and his alien sidekick, Webley. (Sound familiar?) With Larry's outline for the Flying Saucer Affair revised to become the first book in the new series, The Flying Saucer Gambit.
Altogether, Larry penned four TERRA novels. The FSG, The Golden Goddess Gambit, The Emerald Elephant Gambit, and The Time Trap Gambit.
Wollheim was right, all four books found a big audience with both sci-fi and UNCLE fans.
What brings all this to mind is that I have located Larry Maddock (living under his real name of Jack Jardine), who would be delighted to hear from any fans at JackJardine@excite.com.
For more about Dave and the Prisoner novels visit my new Prisoner pages http://members.aol.com/futurgurl/PRISONER.html where you can also read the entire text of my Prisoner novel!!
Finally, if there are enough fans out there who want to know more about Dave, e-mail me via one of the above websites, and I will create a special Dave McDaniel page and tell more!