David McDaniel bigraphy, stories - Science - Other

David McDaniel : biography

16 June 1939 - 1 November 1977

David Edward McDaniel (June 16, 1939 - November 1, 1977) was a US science fiction author, who also wrote spy fiction, including several novels based upon the television series The Man from U.N.C.L.E..


David McDaniel was born June 16, 1939, in Toledo, Ohio. He studied cinematography at San Diego State University, then moved to Los Angeles to be near his mother. While living in Los Angeles he joined science fiction fandom, using the pseudonym Ted Johnstone.Membership records of the LASFS This makes him one of the few authors to write under his real name but conduct his social life under a pseudonym. He was also known by the nickname "Tedron", the name of his character in a Shared universe fantasy called Coventry.

McDaniel died sometime in the early morning of November 1, 1977. A friend found him several days later, and associated evidence suggested accidental death from autoerotic asphyxiation.public records: death certificate The family preferred to not discuss this publicly, and his death was originally described to those outside his immediate circle of friends as being from less controversial causes, from slipping and falling in the bath or from a cerebral hemorrhage. At the time of his death he was contracted to fly to Baton Rouge, Louisiana for freelance work as a cameraman.


  1. At the time, Ace was the largest publisher of science fiction paperbacks, paid the lowest rates, but was the easiest "port of entry" for a would-be SF author.
  2. Carr knew about the "Thrush runs"; they had gained a certain notoriety in SF fandom.
  3. Not numbered in the series, published with permission by a small press.

Fan career

Under his fan name of Ted Johnstone, McDaniel was active in an SF fan APA called (dead link as of 9/2010), where he served as Official Arbiter. He served as editor of the LASFS's Official Organ, Shangri L'Affaires (pronounced "Shaggy") in 1964-5. He was active in the LASFS's weekly APA, APA L, for over a year, publishing a weekly zine titled, "B-Roll Negative." In addition, he wrote a column, "A Slow Train through Gondor." The first two times he submitted a column under this title, the fanzine he sent it to folded one issue after publishing it. The third time, the fanzine folded before publishing the column.

At various times he served as "Director" (presiding officer) and as "Scribe" (secretary) of the LASFS,"Menace (minutes) of the LASFS", 1963-1975 and is remembered as a "Patron Saint" (substantial donor). Patron Saints & Other Donors, LASFS official website He was Chairman of Westercon XX (officially Shere-Con because it was held at the Sheraton West hotel in Los Angeles, also referred to as "Double-Cross Con" because of internal fights within the operating committee), but Brandon Lamont was named as acting chairman for the duration of the convention.

McDaniel wrote several filk songs, including "High Fly the Nazgul-O" (tune: "Green Grow the Rushes-O) and "The Mimeo Crank Chanty" (tune: "Haul Away Joe").The Filksong Manual, Bruce E. Pelz, ed. & pub., originally published in four volumes, 1965-1972, later republished as a single volume and now available from Lee Gold Some photos of McDaniel/Johnstone can be found on the .

Letter to Lee Klingstein on Thrush Letterhead. The addresses at the top are those of McDaniel, [[Ace Books, and Dean Dickensheet. The logo was drawn by Don Simpson.As an inside joke, McDaniel would sometimes send letters to friends on stationery bearing the "letterhead" of The U.N.C.L.E. or Thrush.]]

Professional career

McDaniel sold two stories while still an undergraduate. Pulp writer Noel Loomis was teaching a course on writing at San Diego State, and offered an automatic "A" to any student who sold a story. McDaniel found a boy's magazine whose requirements he could meet, and sent them two stories. They accepted both.

Living octopus

Living octopus

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