Dr. Lloyd Biggle, Jr. (April 17, 1923 - September 12, 2002), was a musician, author, and internationally known oral historian.
Biggle was born in 1923 in Waterloo, Iowa. He served in World War II as a communications sergeant in a rifle company of the 102nd Infantry Division; during the war, he was wounded twice. His second wound, a shrapnel wound in his leg received near the Elbe River at the end of the war, left him disabled for life.
After the war, Dr. Biggle resumed his education. He received an A.B. Degree with High Distinction from Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan, and M.M. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Michigan. Dr. Biggle taught at the University of Michigan and at Eastern Michigan University in the 1950s. He began writing professionally in 1955, and became a full-time writer with the publication of his novel, All the Colors of Darkness in 1963; he continued in the writing profession until his death.
Both Dr. Biggle's science fiction and mystery stories have received international acclaim. He was celebrated in science fiction circles as the author who introduced aesthetics into a literature known for its scientific and technological complications. His stories frequently used musical and artistic themes. Such notables as songwriter Jimmy Webb and novelist Orson Scott Card have written of the tremendous effect that his early story, The Tunesmith, had on them in their youth. Among Biggle's enduring science fiction creations were the Interplanetary Relations Bureau and the Cultural Survey, both featured in novels and magazine stories.
In the field of mystery writing, Biggle's Grandfather Rastin stories appeared for many years in Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine. He loved writing historical fiction set in late Victorian and Edwardian England. He wrote a series of new Sherlock Holmes stories from the perspective of Edward Porter Jones, an assistant who began his association with Holmes as a “Baker Street Irregular”; several stories, including The Quallsford Inheritance and The Glendower Conspiracy, feature Jones and Holmes. These were followed by a series of stories featured in Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine starring Biggle's Victorian sleuth, Lady Sara Varnley.
He published two-dozen books as well as magazine stories and numerous articles. His last novel was The Chronocide Mission. He was writing almost to the moment of his death. “I can write them faster than the magazines can publish them,” he once said, and indeed, magazines continued to publish backlogged stories of his well after his death.
Dr. Biggle was the founding Secretary Treasurer of Science Fiction Writers of America and served as Chairman of its trustees for many years. In the 1970s, he founded the Science Fiction Oral History Association, which built archives containing hundreds of cassette tapes of science fiction notables making speeches and discussing aspects of their craft. He numbered many of these science fiction notables among his friends, and his article in the July/August 2002 Analog Magazine, “Isaac Asimov Remembered”, was based in part on his personal recollections of that celebrity.
He was a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the Disabled American Veterans, and the Military Order of the Purple Heart.
He died after a twenty-year battle with leukemia and cancer.