PulpFest Profile — G. T. Fleming-Roberts

Apr 17, 2020 by

George Thomas Roberts, better known as G. T. Fleming-Roberts, was born on April 17, 1910 in Lafayette, Indiana. Starting out as a veterinary surgeon following in his father’s footsteps, a sideline as a pulp writer quickly took over.

Best known as the creator of The Green Ghost, the highly prolific pulp writer was also a regular scribe for Secret Agent XDan Fowler, and Captain Zero. Fleming-Roberts wrote literally hundreds of pulp stories from the early 1930s to the mid-1950s under a variety of house names with only his service during the Second World War to slow him down. His career peak in the 1940s saw two of his stories filmed by Hollywood with Warner Brothers releasing Find the Blackmailer in 1943 and PRC releasing Lady Chaser in 1946.

While The Green Ghost remains his best known creation, Fleming-Roberts also wrote popular pulp series about two other magician detectives, Diamondstone for POPULAR DETECTIVE and Jeffrey Wren for DIME DETECTIVE. Once the pulp era came to an end, Fleming-Roberts turned to the lecture circuit to share his experiences with other aspiring writers and fans alike. Late in life, George “Tommy” Roberts was active in Indiana politics. He died in 1968 and was survived by his wife of nearly 30 years, Agatha Halcyon Amell.

Monte Herridge compiled an excellent survey of Fleming-Roberts’ works including the most comprehensive bibliography available along with biographical information on the writer. Herridge’s work on Fleming-Roberts can be found at the Mystery File website.

(Soon after Popular Publications took over BLACK MASK in 1940, G. T. Fleming-Roberts began appearing in the magazine. He sold eight stories to BLACK MASK between 1940 and 1951, the pulp’s final year of publication. His story, “Rats Breed Rats,” appeared in the August 1940 BLACK MASK — featuring cover art by  Rafael M. DeSoto. It was Fleming-Roberts first appearance in the classic detective pulp.

On Friday evening, August 7, we hope you’ll join PulpFest as we welcome award-winning author John Wooley and award-winning publisher John Gunnison for a look at “BLACK MASK: The Popular Years.” It’s part of the convention’s celebration of the 100th anniversary of BLACK MASK, the magazine where the hardboiled detective story took root and blossomed.

Please join us for “Bradbury, BLACK MASK, and Brundage” at PulpFest 2020. We’ll be at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry in Mars, Pennsylvania from August 6 – 8.)