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Herbert Livingston, better known to readers of his fiction as H. B. Hickey (the pseudonym he used for almost all his stories) died in Santa Ana, California, on March 8, 2016. He was 99 years old. An obituary for Herbert Livingston appeared in the Los Angeles Times and can be viewed here. I never knew Livingston personally, but I have enjoyed all the stories I have read by him and salute a fine writer whose best works deserve a wider exposure.

saddleswest.jpg (28962 bytes)
Published by Century Publications, 1947.
Cover art by Malcolm Smith.

H. B. Hickey is the author of Saddles West (1947), an outstanding western novel that boasts realistic characterisations and breathtaking action sequences. It tells the story of loner Jim Morgan, a gunslinger who sets out to avenge the brutal murder of his friend. Morgan's quest for vengeance takes him across the Wild West to the frontier country of Montana, where he finds himself unwillingly drawn into a violent conflict. In addition to Saddles West, Hickey wrote dozens of science fiction, fantasy, detective and western short stories that were published in various pulp magazines during the 1940s and 1950s. His first published story was "Passage to Beirut", which appeared in the March 1946 issue of Mammoth Mystery magazine. From thereon much of his short fiction appeared regularly in the Ziff-Davis pulps Mammoth Western, Mammoth Detective, Amazing Stories and Fantastic Adventures; his work being held in high regard by the editors Raymond A. Palmer (1910-1977) and Howard Browne (1908-1999). Among Hickey’s best science fantasy stories are "Photo Finish" (1947), "Like a Bird, Like a Fish" (1951) and "Tails You Lose" (1951). Hickey was a talented and versatile writer who wrote a good deal of action-packed westerns, fast-moving detective stories and colourful space operas; however, he was equally adept at writing hard science fiction stories such as the excellent "Process" (1954) as well as more offbeat, experimental tales like "Hildy Finds His Wings" (1948). His last published work was "Gone are the Lupo", an unusual and thought-provoking short story that appeared in the speculative fiction anthology Quark #1 (1970).

The name H. B. Hickey is in fact a pseudonym for Herbert B. Livingston, who was born in Chicago in 1916. Livingston was first exposed to science fiction in the late 1920s, when he discovered Amazing Stories magazine and Edgar Rice Burroughs' Mars stories. It was shortly after Livingston began publishing his own short stories in the mid-1940s that he moved from Chicago to Burbank in California where he and his wife, Rosetta Livingston (1917-2008), raised three sons. As well as writing as H. B. Hickey, Herb Livingston also wrote stories under the pen-name Harrison Latimer and various house pseudonyms including the Alexander Blade by-line. His brother, Berkeley Livingston (1909-1975) also contributed stories to various Ziff-Davis publications, under his own name and several pseudonyms. Although further biographical information on Herb Livingston is scarce, the autobiographical pieces included on this website give us some clues to his life. Also included here is my own checklist of H. B. Hickey’s short stories, nearly all of which are unfortunately out-of-print. Although Hickey is largely forgotten today, his fictional output is of such high quality that I decided to create this website in honour of his writings. I enjoy reading Hickey's stories and hope that the information I have presented here is useful to other fans of this author. Follow the links above and enjoy!




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