The Short Stories of Captain S.P. Meek - Captain S. P. Meek

The Short Stories of Captain S.P. Meek

By Captain S. P. Meek

  • Release Date: 2018-02-08
  • Genre: Short Stories


Sterner St. Paul Meek was born on April 8th, 1894 in Chicago, Illinois.

He wrote under a variety of pseudonyms including Captain S.P. Meek, then, briefly, as Major S.P. Meek and, after 1933, as Colonel. S. P. Meek and as Sterner St. Paul.

Meek received his Associate degree from University of Chicago in 1914 and his Bachelor's in Metallurgical Engineering from University of Alabama in 1915. His Education continued at University of Wisconsin–Madison in 1916. He joined the United States army in 1917 as a chemist and ordnance expert. He continued his Army career except for a spell at MIT from 1921–1923. He served as Chief, Small Arms Ammunition Research, in 1923-1926, and Chief Publications Officer, Ordnance Dept., in 1941-1945. He retired a colonel in 1947, at which point he became a full-time writer.

He married in 1927 and had one son.

In 1928 he sold his first story “Taming Poachers", to Field and Stream, where it appeared in September 1928. Between early 1929 and January 1933, he published over 20 science fiction stories and short novels in pulp science fiction magazines like Astounding Science Fiction and Amazing Stories, most of them in his popular Dr. Bird and Operative Carnes series. Meek left the field in early 1933, with only one further science fiction story published in 1939.

Like many early pulp science fiction writers, Meek used fiction to give detailed descriptions of current and projected scientific advances. He utilized many contemporary science fiction tropes, e.g. the notion that atoms were miniaturized solar systems in his stories "Submicroscopic" and "Awlo of Ulm".

Meek quickly became popular with pulp magazine readers and was eagerly sought out by editors. In the first issue of Astounding Science Fiction in 1930, its editor Harry Bates listed Meek among "some of the finest writers of fantasy in the world", alongside Murray Leinster, Ray Cummings and others. However, Meek's stories were crudely executed and the higher standards introduced with the Golden Age of Science Fiction soon made them of strictly historical interest.

After leaving science fiction, Meek published over twenty children's books between 1932 and 1956, starting with Jerry, the Adventures of an Army Dog, usually about dogs or horses. Many of these books drew on Meek's experiences in the military.

Sterner St. Paul Meek died on June 10, 1972.