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Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Authors

Clark Darlton

Added By: Engelbrecht
Last Updated: Engelbrecht

Clark Darlton

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Full Name: Walter Ernsting
Born: June 13, 1920
Koblenz, Rhine Province, Prussia, Germany
Died: January 15, 2005
Salzburg, Austria
Occupation: Writer
Nationality: German


Walter Ernsting was a German science fiction and fantasy author who mainly published under the pseudonym Clark Darlton. He grew up in Koblenz and was drafted into the German Wehrmacht shortly after the beginning of World War II. He served in an intelligence unit in Norway and on the Eastern Front where he was captured and spent several years as a prisoner of war in Siberia.

After returning to Germany, Ernsting started to work as a translator for the British authorities in 1952 and came into contact with Anglo-American science fiction magazines. Intrigued with this literary genre, he started working on some science fiction novels of his own, but Germany's cultural climate was apparently not ready for native science fiction authors. Ernsting finally managed to get some of his novels published by inventing a fictitious British author, Clark Darlton, and selling his own works as translations of Darlton's works. His first novel, Ufo am Nachthimmel, was published in 1955 as issue 19 of Utopia Großband.

In 1961, Ernsting, his colleague K. H. Scheer and other authors invented what would become the most successful German science fiction series, Perry Rhodan. There has been some debate as to which parts of the series' concept were created by whom, but it seems certain that the name of the main protagonist and many of his character traits were developed by Ernsting. Ernsting also invented a number of alien races and many of the series' supporting characters. He stayed with the series until issue 1622, which was published in 1992.

Perry Rhodan is the eponymous hero of a German science fiction novel series which has been published each week since 8 September 1961 in the 'Romanhefte' format (digest-sized booklets, usually containing 66 pages, the German equivalent of the now-defunct American pulp magazine) by Pabel-Moewig Verlag, a subsidiary of Bauer Media Group. As of February 2019, 3000 booklet novels of the original series plus 850 spinoff novels of the sister series Atlan plus over 400 paperbacks and 200 hardcovers have been published, totalling over 300,000 pages. Having sold approximately two billion copies (in novella format) worldwide alone, (including over one billion in Germany), it is the most successful science fiction book series ever written. The first billion of worldwide sales was celebrated in 1986.

Works in the WWEnd Database

 Perry Rhodan: The Third Power (US)

 1. (1961)


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