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Science Fiction Writer Murray Dies

June 1, 2002

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LONDON (AP) _ John Middleton Murry, a science fiction writer who critics praised for transcending the sometimes cartoonish genre with his lyrical writing, has died. He was 75.

Murry, whose most critically acclaimed works were written under the pseudonym of Richard Cowper, died after suffering a stroke on April 29, his family said Friday.

The son and namesake of the famous British literary critic, John Middleton Murry, he wrote more than two dozen novels and several collections of short stories.

His passion for writing came in the late 1930s while at Rencomb College near Cirencester.

A spell in the Royal Navy toward the end of World War II was followed by a decision to return to study. After two years as a student of English at Brasenose College, Oxford, he became a teacher in 1950.

Murry spent 20 years as teacher, a profession he enjoyed, before quitting to become a full-time writer. By then, he had written six novels under his first pen name of Colin Murry.

The best received of those was ``The Golden Valley″ (1958), of which The Daily Telegraph critic Peter Green wrote: ``The nearest thing I can compare this book to is Colette’s ‘Le Ble en Herbe’ which is no small compliment.″

He is survived by two daughters, Jacqueline and Helen.

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