|Birth: ||Mar. 9, 1914|
|Death: ||Jun. 8, 1986|
Science Fiction writer, artist, craftsman, author of a series of "how to" art and craft books, photographer, translator, amateur painter and story teller extraordinaire, Manly Miles Banister was a native of the Northwest. His father was a logger. Frequently he was left in the care of the manager of a boarding house while his father was away at the logging camps. He started writing when he was thirteen. As a young man he was a fireman and an oiler on ships. Later he worked for the Federal Writers Project (1936-1939). He turned in 66 reports that are available from the Library of Congress online on diverse topics such as home medical practices, steam boating, irrigation in Oregon, ghost towns, and memoirs of old timers, on folklore and beliefs and customs of their era.
Manly was a Marine in World War 2 and was with the Sixth Marine Divison on Okinawa. He spoke often of Sugar Loaf Hill and told many anacdotes of his experiences. One concerned a mystery paperback that had been left behind in one foxhole. During breaks in the fighting he read the book but when he got to the end the last chapter was missing. Several days later by chance he jumped into another hole and there was the last chapter to his book. Once he jumped into a hole to find a Japanese soldier already there and was forced to fight for his life in close combat, but for the most part he said, the enemy was farther away. "He lay in his hole or in whatever sheltered spot he found, kept his head down-stuck his rifle over the edge and fired in the direction of the Japanese lines. Another story he told was of going out in groups with an interpreter to "holler out" Janpanese from the caves they were hiding in before the caves were blown up. The prisoners were supposed to come out naked with their hands up because they would hide hand grenades in their clothing if allowed to wear even a loin cloth. In a more humorous vein, he told about being on a ship that picked up a kamikaze pilot who, instead of crashing into the ship, had ditched his plane. He was spitting mad because he hadn't volunteered for a death mission. He'd been sent out against his will with fuel for only one way, and when he tried to drop his bombs, he found they were wired in. He was very ingignant because he had no ambition to be a martyr. Like most servicemen, Manly passionately hated the war. But he was proud of the Marine Corps and its traditions and of being a part of it."(M.H.B.)
During the war he began finding publishers for his science fiction stories.
Before and after the war Manly worked as a continuity writer and director in radio at KCKN in Kansas City, Missouri. He continued to write science fiction, and published his own magazine Nekromantikon in 1950. By this time he was employed as planner and copy writer in the advertising department of Western Auto. In the 1950's his stories appeared in many of the science fiction magazines of the era.
Manly's first wife was named Edna. They had two daughters before they divorced prior to 1953.
In 1953, he married Marjorie Houston and in that year the couple moved to Portland, Oregon.
In 1957 his novel Conquest of Earth was published by Avalon Books.
In the early 1960's Manly did a series of articles for Popular Mechanics Magazine, explaining how to build diverse items such as a space-age telescope, a car wash and a leaf blower, to name a few.
Today, Manly is probably best know for his art and craft book series. Oak Tree Press published the following titles:
1. Prints from Linoblocks and Woodcuts, July 1968
2. Etching and Other Intaglio Techniques, Dec. 1969
3. Lithographic Prints from Stone & Plate, Feb. 1973
4. Making Picture Frames, (Little Craft S), April 1974
5. Bookbinding as a Handcraft, March 1976
Dover paperback published Practical Lithographic Printmaking in 1989 and The Craft of Bookbinding in March 1994.
Later in his life Manly became a book translator. He was self-taught in French, German and Dutch, and he translated books in those languages into English.
In addition to all of the above he painted for his own enjoyment-he was particularly fond of the old barns found on outings in the countryside surrounding Portland- and for the delight of his grand nieces who received paintings titled The Slaying of the Megalophagus (by Becky Elf and Jenny Elf ) and Elfie and the Unicorn.
In 2002, his short story "Eena" was included in The Literary Werewolf, An Anthology, edited by Charlotte F. Otten, Syracuse U. Press
He was a charming man who gave generously of his time, especially to children. He gave me my first rock collection and my first telescope, which as a child growing up in the 1950's, made me feel that it was OK to be a girl and like science.
He is greatly missed by everyone who had the good fortune to know him.
Marjorie Grace Houston (1916 - 2009)*
Lincoln Memorial Park
Created by: helenpatricia
Record added: Mar 09, 2006
Find A Grave Memorial# 13569322