Alfred Bester

Last updated
Alfred Bester
Born(1913-12-18)December 18, 1913 [1]
New York City, US
DiedSeptember 30, 1987(1987-09-30) (aged 73)
Doylestown, Pennsylvania, US
OccupationWriter, editor
Genre Science fiction novels, short stories, comic book scripts, TV and radio scripts
Rolly Bester (m. 1936)

Alfred Bester (December 18, 1913 – September 30, 1987) was an American science fiction author, TV and radio scriptwriter, magazine editor and scripter for comic strips and comic books. He is best remembered for his science fiction, including The Demolished Man , winner of the inaugural Hugo Award in 1953.

<i>The Demolished Man</i> novel by Alfred Bester

The Demolished Man is a science fiction novel by American writer Alfred Bester, which was the first Hugo Award winner in 1953. An example of inverted detective story, it was first serialized in three parts, beginning with the January 1952 issue of Galaxy Science Fiction, followed by publication of the novel in 1953. The novel is dedicated to Galaxy's editor, H. L. Gold, who made suggestions during its writing. Bester's title was Demolition!, but Gold talked him out of it.

Hugo Award set of awards given annually for the best science fiction or fantasy works and achievements of the previous year

The Hugo Awards are a set of literary awards given annually for the best science fiction or fantasy works and achievements of the previous year. The awards are named after Hugo Gernsback, the founder of the pioneering science fiction magazine Amazing Stories, and were officially named the Science Fiction Achievement Awards until 1992. Organized and overseen by the World Science Fiction Society, the awards are given each year at the annual World Science Fiction Convention as the central focus of the event. They were first given in 1953, at the 11th World Science Fiction Convention, and have been awarded every year since 1955. Over the years that the award has been given, the categories presented have changed; currently Hugo Awards are given in more than a dozen categories, and include both written and dramatic works of various types.


Science fiction author Harry Harrison wrote, "Alfred Bester was one of the handful of writers who invented modern science fiction." [2]

Harry Harrison (writer) American science fiction author

Harry Max Harrison was an American science fiction author, known for his character The Stainless Steel Rat and for his novel Make Room! Make Room! (1966). The latter was the rough basis for the motion picture Soylent Green (1973). Harrison was the co-president of the Birmingham Science Fiction Group.

Shortly before his death, the Science Fiction Writers of America (SFWA) named Bester its ninth Grand Master, presented posthumously in 1988. [3] The Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame inducted him in 2001. [4]

Life and career

Alfred Bester was born in Manhattan, New York City, on December 18, 1913. His father, James J. Bester, owned a shoe store and was a first-generation American whose parents were both Austrian. Alfred's mother, Belle (née Silverman), was born in Russia and spoke Yiddish as her first language before coming to America as a youth. Alfred was James and Belle's second and final child, and only son. (Their first child, Rita, was born in 1908.) Though his mother was born Jewish, she became a Christian Scientist, and Alfred himself was not raised within any religious traditions; he wrote that "his home life was completely liberal and iconoclastic." [5]

Manhattan Borough in New York City and county in New York, United States

Manhattan, often referred to locally as the City, is the most densely populated of the five boroughs of New York City and its economic and administrative center, cultural identifier, and historical birthplace. The borough is coextensive with New York County, one of the original counties of the U.S. state of New York. The borough consists mostly of Manhattan Island, bounded by the Hudson, East, and Harlem rivers; several small adjacent islands; and Marble Hill, a small neighborhood now on the U.S. mainland, physically connected to the Bronx and separated from the rest of Manhattan by the Harlem River. Manhattan Island is divided into three informally bounded components, each aligned with the borough's long axis: Lower, Midtown, and Upper Manhattan.

Bester attended the University of Pennsylvania, where he was a member of the Philomathean Society. He played on the Penn Quakers football team in 1935 and, by his own account, was "the most successful member of the fencing team." [6] [7] He went on to Columbia Law School, but tired of it and dropped out.

University of Pennsylvania Private Ivy League research university in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

The University of Pennsylvania is a private Ivy League research university located in the University City neighborhood of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Chartered in 1755, Penn is the sixth-oldest institution of higher education in the United States. It is one of the nine colonial colleges founded prior to the Declaration of Independence. Benjamin Franklin, Penn's founder and first president, advocated an educational program that trained leaders in commerce, government, and public service, similar to a modern liberal arts curriculum. The university's coat of arms features a dolphin on its red chief, adopted from Benjamin Franklin's own coat of arms.

Philomathean Society oldest student group at the University of Pennsylvania

The Philomathean Society of the University of Pennsylvania is a collegiate literary society, the oldest student group at the university, and a claimant to the title of the oldest continuously-existing literary society in the United States. Founded in 1813, its goal is "to promote the learning of its members and to increase the academic prestige of the University." Philomathean is derived from the Greek philomath, which means "a lover of learning." The motto of the Philomathean Society is Sic itur ad astra.

Penn Quakers football

The Penn Quakers football team is the college football team at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Penn Quakers have competed in the Ivy League since its inaugural season of 1956, and are currently a Division I Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). Penn has played in 1,364 football games, the most of any school in any division. Penn plays its home games at historic Franklin Field, the oldest football stadium in the US. All Penn games are broadcast on WNTP or WFIL radio.

Rolly Bester in a 1948 ABC Radio publicity shot Rollybester48.jpg
Rolly Bester in a 1948 ABC Radio publicity shot

Bester and Rolly Goulko (December 21, 1917 January 12, 1984) married in 1936. Rolly Bester was a Broadway, [8] radio and television actress, originating the role of Lois Lane on the radio program The Adventures of Superman . [9] She changed careers in the 1960s, becoming a vice president, casting director and supervisor at the advertising agency Ted Bates & Co. in New York City. [8] [10] The Besters remained married for 48 years until her death. Bester was very nearly a lifelong New Yorker, although he lived in Europe for a little over a year in the mid-1950s and moved to exurban Pennsylvania with Rolly in the early 1980s. Once settled there, they lived on Geigel Hill Road in Ottsville, Pennsylvania.

Lois Lane fictional character in the Superman series

Lois Lane is a fictional character appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics. Created by writer Jerry Siegel and artist Joe Shuster, she first appeared in Action Comics #1. Lois is an award-winning journalist for the Metropolis newspaper, the Daily Planet, and the love interest of the superhero Superman. In DC continuity, she is also his wife and the mother of their son, Jonathan Samuel Kent, the current Superboy in the DC Universe.

Advertising form of communication for marketing, typically paid for

Advertising is a marketing communication that employs an openly sponsored, non-personal message to promote or sell a product, service or idea. Sponsors of advertising are typically businesses wishing to promote their products or services. Advertising is differentiated from public relations in that an advertiser pays for and has control over the message. It differs from personal selling in that the message is non-personal, i.e., not directed to a particular individual. Advertising is communicated through various mass media, including traditional media such as newspapers, magazines, television, radio, outdoor advertising or direct mail; and new media such as search results, blogs, social media, websites or text messages. The actual presentation of the message in a medium is referred to as an advertisement, or "ad" or advert for short.

Theodore Lewis "Ted" Bates was an American advertising executive who founded a worldwide advertising agency that bears his name: Ted Bates Inc.

Writing career

Early SF career, comic books, radio (1939–50)

After his university career, 25-year-old Alfred Bester was working in public relations when he turned to writing science fiction. Bester's first published short story was "The Broken Axiom", which appeared in the April 1939 issue of Thrilling Wonder Stories [11] after winning an amateur story competition. Bester recalled, "Two editors on the staff, Mort Weisinger and Jack Schiff, took an interest in me, I suspect mostly because I'd just finished reading and annotating Joyce's Ulysses and would preach it enthusiastically without provocation, to their great amusement. ... They thought "Diaz-X" [Bester's original title] might fill the bill if it was whipped into shape." [12] This was the very same contest that Robert A. Heinlein famously chose not to enter, as the prize was only $50 and Heinlein realized he could do better selling his 7,000-word unpublished story to Astounding Science Fiction for a penny a word, or $70. Years later, Bester interviewed Heinlein for Publishers Weekly and the latter told of changing his mind for Astounding. Bester says that he replied (in jest), "You sonofabitch. I won that Thrilling Wonder contest, and you beat me by twenty dollars." [13]

However, as Bester was the winner of the contest, Mort Weisinger also "introduced me to the informal luncheon gatherings of the working science fiction authors of the late thirties." He met Henry Kuttner, Edmond Hamilton, Otto Binder, Malcolm Jameson and Manly Wade Wellman there. [14] During 1939 and 1940 Weisinger published three more of Bester's stories in Thrilling Wonder Stories and Startling Stories . [11] For the next few years, Bester continued to publish short fiction, most notably in John W. Campbell's Astounding Science Fiction.

In 1942, two of his science fiction editors got work at DC Comics, and invited Bester to contribute to various DC titles. Consequently, Bester left the field of short story writing and began working for DC Comics as a writer on Superman , and, under the editorship of Julius Schwartz, [15] Green Lantern , among other titles. He created super-villain Solomon Grundy and the version of the Green Lantern Oath that begins "In brightest day, In blackest night". [16] Bester was also the writer for Lee Falk's comic strips The Phantom and Mandrake the Magician while their creator served in World War II. It is widely speculated how much influence Bester had on these comics. One theory claims that Bester was responsible for giving the Phantom his surname, "Walker".

After four years in the comics industry, in 1946 Bester turned his attention to radio scripts, after wife Rolly (a busy radio actress) told him that the show Nick Carter, Master Detective was looking for story submissions. Over the next few years, Bester wrote for Nick Carter, as well as The Shadow , Charlie Chan , The New Adventures of Nero Wolfe and other shows. He later wrote for The CBS Radio Mystery Theater . [17]

With the advent of American network television in 1948, Bester also began writing for television, although most of these projects were lesser-known.

In early 1950, after eight years away from the field, Bester resumed writing science fiction short stories. However, after an initial return to Astounding with the story "The Devil's Invention" (a.k.a. "Oddy and Id"), he stopped writing for the magazine in mid-1950 when editor John Campbell became preoccupied with L. Ron Hubbard and Dianetics, the forerunner to Scientology. Bester then turned to Galaxy Science Fiction , where he found in H. L. Gold another exceptional editor as well as a good friend.

In New York, he socialized at the Hydra Club, an organization of New York's science fiction writers, including such luminaries as Isaac Asimov, James Blish, Anthony Boucher, Avram Davidson, Judith Merril, and Theodore Sturgeon. [18]

The Demolished Man period: 1951–57

In his first period of writing science fiction (1939–1942), Bester had been establishing a reputation as a short story writer in science fiction circles with stories such as "Adam and No Eve". However, Bester gained his greatest renown for the work he wrote and published in the 1950s, including The Demolished Man and The Stars My Destination (also known as Tiger! Tiger!).

The Demolished Man (1953)
The first installment of Bester's The Demolished Man was the cover story in the January 1952 issue of Galaxy Science Fiction Galaxy 195201.jpg
The first installment of Bester's The Demolished Man was the cover story in the January 1952 issue of Galaxy Science Fiction
The first installment of Bester's next sf novel, The Stars My Destination, took the cover of the October 1956 issue of Galaxy Galaxy 195610.jpg
The first installment of Bester's next sf novel, The Stars My Destination, took the cover of the October 1956 issue of Galaxy

The Demolished Man , recipient of the first Hugo Award for best Science Fiction novel, is a police procedural that takes place in a future world in which telepathy is relatively common. Bester creates a harshly capitalistic, hierarchical and competitive social world that exists without deceit: a society in which the right person with some skill (or money) and curiosity can access your memories, secrets, fears and past misdeeds more swiftly than even you.

Originally published in three parts in Galaxy, beginning in January 1952, The Demolished Man appeared in book form in 1953. It was dedicated to Gold, who made a number of suggestions during its writing. Originally, Bester wanted the title to be Demolition!, but Gold talked him out of it.

Who He? (1953)

Bester's 1953 novel Who He? (also known as The Rat Race) concerns a TV variety show writer who wakes up after an alcoholic blackout and discovers that someone is out to destroy his life. According to Bester, the TV show elements were based on his experiences working on The Paul Winchell Show . [19] A contemporary novel with no science fiction elements, it did not receive wide attention. It did, however, earn Bester a fair amount of money from the sale of the paperback reprint rights (the book appeared in paperback as The Rat Race). He also received a substantial sum of money from a movie studio for the film option to the book. Reportedly, Jackie Gleason was interested in starring as the variety show writer and licensed movie rights to the story; however no movie was ever made of Who He? Still, the payout from the film option was large enough that Alfred and Rolly Bester decided they could afford to travel to Europe for the next few years. They lived mainly in Italy and England during this period.

The Stars My Destination (1956)

Bester's next novel was outlined while he was living in England and mostly written when he was living in Rome. The Stars My Destination (also known as Tiger, Tiger) had its origins in a newspaper clipping that Bester found about Poon Lim, a shipwrecked World War II sailor on a raft, who had drifted unrescued in the Pacific for a world record 133 days because passing ships thought he was a lure to bring them within torpedo range of a hidden submarine. From that germ grew the story of Gully Foyle, seeking revenge for his abandonment and causing havoc all about him: a science fiction re-telling of Alexandre Dumas' The Count of Monte Cristo with teleportation added to the mix. It has been described as an ancestor of cyberpunk. [20] [21] [22] [23]

As had occurred with The Demolished Man, The Stars My Destination was originally serialized in Galaxy. It ran in four parts (October 1956 through January 1957) and the book was published later in 1957. Though repeatedly voted in polls the "Best Science Fiction Novel of All Time", The Stars My Destination would prove to be Bester's last novel for 19 years. A radio adaptation was broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in 1991 [24] and again in 1993. [25]

Film adaptations of The Stars My Destination have been frequently rumored. According to David Hughes' Greatest Sci-Fi Movies Never Made, Richard Gere owned the rights to this novel right after his success with Pretty Woman , and wanted to star in it. Later, NeverEnding Story producer Bernd Eichinger had the rights and hired Neal Adams to do concept art. Still later, Paul W.S. Anderson was set to direct it, but wound up doing Event Horizon instead. Since then, a number of scripts have been written, but nothing more has happened. [26]

Magazine fiction and non-fiction: 1959–62

While on his European trip, Bester began selling non-fiction pieces about various European locations to the mainstream travel/lifestyle magazine Holiday . The Holiday editors, impressed with his work, invited Bester back to their headquarters in New York and began commissioning him to write travel articles about various far-flung locales, as well as doing interviews with such stars as Sophia Loren, Anthony Quinn, and Sir Edmund Hillary. As a result of steady work with Holiday, Bester's science fiction output dropped precipitously in the years following the publication of The Stars My Destination.

Bester published three short stories each in 1958 and 1959, including 1958's "The Men Who Murdered Mohammed" and 1959's "The Pi Man", both of which were nominated for Hugo Awards. However, for a four-year period from October 1959 to October 1963, he published no fiction at all. Instead, he concentrated on his work at Holiday (where he was made a senior editor), reviewed books for The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction (from 1960 to 1962) and returned to television scripting.

Television: 1959–62

During the 1950s, Bester contributed a satiric sketch, "I Remember Hiroshima," to The Paul Winchell Show . [27] His later story "Hobson's Choice" was based on it.

In 1959, Bester adapted his 1954 story "Fondly Fahrenheit" to television as Murder and the Android. Telecast in color on October 18, 1959, the hour-long drama took place in the year 2359 amid futuristic sets designed by Ted Cooper. This NBC Sunday Showcase production, produced by Robert Alan Aurthur with a cast of Kevin McCarthy, Rip Torn, Suzanne Pleshette and Telly Savalas, was reviewed by syndicated radio-television critic John Crosby:

Murder and the Android was nominated for a 1960 Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation [28] and was given a repeat on September 5, 1960, the Labor Day weekend in which that Hugo Award was presented (to The Twilight Zone ) at the World Science Fiction Convention in Pittsburgh. Bester returned to Sunday Showcase March 5, 1960 with an original teleplay, Turn the Key Deftly. Telecast in color, that mystery, set in a traveling circus, starred Julie Harris, Maximilian Schell and Francis Lederer.

For Alcoa Premiere , hosted by Fred Astaire, he wrote Mr. Lucifer, which aired November 1, 1962 with Astaire in the title role opposite Elizabeth Montgomery. [29] [30] [31] A light comedy, the story concerned the modern day Lucifer—whose offices are now on Madison Avenue—working with his beautiful secretary to try to corrupt a clean-cut American husband and wife.

Senior editor of Holiday: 1963–71

After a four-year layoff, Bester published a handful of science fiction short stories in 1963 and 1964. However, writing science fiction was at this stage in Bester's life clearly more of a sideline than the focus of his career. As a result, from 1964 until the original version of Holiday folded in 1971, Bester published only one science fiction short story, a 700-word science fiction spoof in the upscale mainstream magazine Status.

Still, as senior editor of Holiday, Bester was able to introduce occasional science fiction elements into the non-fiction magazine. On one occasion, he commissioned and published an article by Arthur C. Clarke describing a tourist flight to the Moon. Bester himself, though, never published any science fiction in Holiday, which was a mainstream travel/lifestyle magazine marketed to upscale readers during an era when science fiction was largely dismissed as juvenilia.

Later career: 1972–87

Holiday magazine ceased publication in 1971, although it was later revived and reformatted by other hands, without Bester's involvement. For the first time in nearly 15 years, Bester did not have full-time employment.

After a long layoff from writing science fiction, Bester returned to the field in 1972. His 1974 short story "The Four-Hour Fugue" was nominated for a Hugo Award, [32] and Bester received Hugo [33] and Nebula Award nominations for his 1975 novel The Computer Connection (titled The Indian Giver as a magazine serial and later reprinted as Extro). Despite these nominations, Bester's work of this era generally failed to receive the critical or commercial success of his earlier period.

Bester's eyesight began failing in the mid-1970s, making writing increasingly difficult, and another layoff from published writing took place between early 1975 and early 1979. It is alleged during this period that the producer of the 1978 Superman movie sent his son off to search for a writer. The name Alfred Bester came up, but Bester wanted to focus the story on Clark Kent as the real hero, while Superman was only "his gun." The producers instead hired Mario Puzo, author of The Godfather , to write the film.

Carolyn Wendell wrote, "I shall always remember the time I saw Alfie Bester in larger-than-life action, at an academic conference in New York City ten years before he died":

Bester published two short stories in 1979 and rang in the 1980s with the publication of two new novels: Golem100 (1980), and The Deceivers (1981). In addition to his failing eyesight, other health issues began to affect him, and Bester produced no new published work after 1981. His wife Rolly died in 1984. In the following years, Bester dated Judith H. McQuown [pronounced "McQueen"]. [35]

In 1985, it was announced that Bester would be a Guest of Honor at the 1987 Worldcon, to be held in Brighton, England. As the event neared, however, Bester fell and broke his hip. With his worsening overall health, he was plainly too ill to attend.

Bester died less than a month after the convention from complications related to his broken hip. However, shortly before his death he learned that the Science Fiction Writers of America would honor him with their Grand Master Nebula award [36] at their 1988 convention.

Two works by Bester were published posthumously. The first, Tender Loving Rage (1991), was a mainstream (i.e., non-science fiction) novel that was probably written in the late 1950s or early 1960s. The second, Psychoshop (1998), was based on an incomplete 92-page story fragment. It was completed by Roger Zelazny and remained unpublished until three years after Zelazny's death. When published, it was credited as a collaborative work.

Upon his death, Bester left his literary estate to his friend and bartender Joe Suder. [37]

Legacy and tributes

  • StarShipSofa described Bester as "the godfather of modern science fiction", and made a two-part show about him.
  • In Babylon 5 , Psi-Cop Alfred Bester is named after him (and the treatment of telepathy in Babylon 5 is similar to that in Bester's works).
  • The time-travelling pest named "Al Phee" in Spider Robinson's Callahan's Crosstime Saloon series is based on Bester.
  • F. Gwynplaine MacIntyre wrote a series of stories — beginning with "Time Lines" (published in Analog , 1999) — about a time-traveling criminal named Smedley Faversham, who constantly runs afoul of a scientific principle called "Bester's Law" (explicitly named after the phenomena in Bester's 1958 story "The Men Who Murdered Mohammed").
  • Firefly  – Many of the names of off-camera and minor characters are drawn from the ranks of science fiction writers; under the character name "Bester," actor Dax Griffin played the original mechanic of the ship Serenity. [38]

Notable short stories


The Science Fiction Writers of America made Bester its 9th SFWA Grand Master in 1988 [3] (announced before his 1987 death) and the Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame inducted him in 2001, its sixth class of two deceased and two living writers. [4]

Beside winning the inaugural Hugo Award, he was one of the runners-up for several annual literary awards. [39]

Hugo Award:

Hugo nominations:

In the Best Novel categories, The Computer Connection was a finalist for both the Hugo and Nebula Awards and third place for the Locus Award. [39]





Other short fiction

See also


    Related Research Articles

    Cyberpunk is a subgenre of science fiction in a futuristic setting that tends to focus on a "combination of lowlife and high tech" featuring advanced technological and scientific achievements, such as artificial intelligence and cybernetics, juxtaposed with a degree of breakdown or radical change in the social order.

    Frederik Pohl American science fiction writer and editor

    Frederik George Pohl Jr. was an American science-fiction writer, editor, and fan, with a career spanning more than 75 years—from his first published work, the 1937 poem "Elegy to a Dead Satellite: Luna", to the 2011 novel All the Lives He Led and articles and essays published in 2012.

    Hugo Gernsback Luxembourgian American inventor, writer, editor, and publisher

    Hugo Gernsback was a Luxembourgish-American inventor, writer, editor, and magazine publisher, best known for publications including the first science fiction magazine. His contributions to the genre as publisher–although not as a writer–were so significant that, along with the novelists H. G. Wells and Jules Verne, he is sometimes called "The Father of Science Fiction". In his honour, annual awards presented at the World Science Fiction Convention are named the "Hugos".

    Hal Clement American author

    Harry Clement Stubbs, better known by the pen name Hal Clement, was an American science fiction writer and a leader of the hard science fiction subgenre. He also painted astronomically oriented artworks under the name George Richard.

    Vernor Vinge American mathematician, computer scientist, and science fiction writer

    Vernor Steffen Vinge is an American science fiction author and retired professor. He taught mathematics and computer science at San Diego State University. He is the originator of the technological singularity concept and perhaps the first to present a fictional "cyberspace". He has won the Hugo Award for his novels and novellas A Fire Upon the Deep (1992), A Deepness in the Sky (1999), Rainbows End (2006), Fast Times at Fairmont High (2002), and The Cookie Monster (2004).

    Walter Jon Williams American fiction writer

    Walter Jon Williams is an American writer, primarily of science fiction. Previously he wrote nautical adventure fiction under the name Jon Williams, a series of historical novels set during the age of sail, Privateers and Gentlemen (1981–1984).

    Robert Silverberg American speculative fiction writer and editor

    Robert Silverberg is an American author and editor, best known for writing science fiction. He is a multiple winner of both Hugo and Nebula Awards, a member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame, and a Grand Master of SF. He has attended every Hugo Awards ceremony since the inaugural event in 1953.

    James E. Gunn (writer) American science fiction author

    James Edwin Gunn is an American science fiction writer, editor, scholar, and anthologist. His work as an editor of anthologies includes the six-volume Road to Science Fiction series. He won the Hugo Award for "Best Related Work" in 1983 and he has won or been nominated for several other awards for his non-fiction works in the field of science fiction studies. The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America made him its 24th Grand Master in 2007 and he was inducted by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame in 2015. His novel The Immortals was adapted into a 1969-71 TV series starring Christopher George.

    H. L. Gold American writer

    Horace Leonard "H. L." Gold was an American science fiction writer and editor. Born in Canada, Gold moved to the United States at the age of two. He was most noted for bringing an innovative and fresh approach to science fiction while he was the editor of Galaxy Science Fiction, and also wrote briefly for DC Comics.

    James Patrick Kelly American science fiction writer

    James Patrick Kelly is an American science fiction author.

    "Jeffty Is Five" is a fantasy short story by American author Harlan Ellison. It was first published in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction in 1977, then was included in DAW's The 1978 Annual World's Best SF in 1978 and Ellison's short story collection Shatterday two years later. According to Ellison, it was partially inspired by a fragment of conversation that he mis-heard at a party at the home of actor Walter Koenig: "How is Jeff?" "Jeff is fine. He's always fine," which he perceived as "Jeff is five, he's always five." Additionally, Ellison based the character of Jeffty on Joshua Andrew Koenig, Walter's son. He declared:

    ... I had been awed and delighted by Josh Koenig, and I instantly thought of just such a child who was arrested in time at the age of five. Jeffty, in no small measure, is Josh: the sweetness of Josh, the intelligence of Josh, the questioning nature of Josh.

    The science fiction writer Robert A. Heinlein (1907–1988) was productive during a writing career that spanned the last 49 years of his life; the Robert A. Heinlein bibliography includes 32 novels, 59 short stories and 16 collections published during his life. Four films, two TV series, several episodes of a radio series, and a board game derive more or less directly from his work. He wrote a screenplay for one of the films. Heinlein edited an anthology of other writers' SF short stories.

    <i>Virtual Unrealities</i> book by Alfred Bester

    Virtual Unrealities is a collection of science fiction short stories by American writer Alfred Bester with an introduction by Robert Silverberg.

    Henry Slesar American author, playwright, and copywriter

    Henry Slesar was an American author, playwright, and copywriter. He is famous for his use of irony and twist endings. After reading Slesar's "M Is for the Many" in Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine, Alfred Hitchcock bought it for adaptation and they began many successful collaborations. Slesar wrote hundreds of scripts for television series and soap operas, leading TV Guide to call him "the writer with the largest audience in America."

    "Time Is the Traitor" is a science fiction short story by American writer Alfred Bester, originally published in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction in September, 1953. It is included in the Bester collections The Dark Side of the Earth (1964), Star Light, Star Bright (1976) and Virtual Unrealities (1997) and has been extensively anthologized.

    <i>Flowers for Algernon</i> Science fiction short story and novel by Daniel Keyes

    Flowers for Algernon is the title of a science fiction short story and a novel by American writer Daniel Keyes. The short story, written in 1958 and first published in the April 1959 issue of The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, won the Hugo Award for Best Short Story in 1960. The novel was published in 1966 and was joint winner of that year's Nebula Award for Best Novel.

    Clifford D. Simak American writer, journalist

    Clifford Donald Simak was an American science fiction writer. He won three Hugo Awards and one Nebula Award. The Science Fiction Writers of America made him its third SFWA Grand Master, and the Horror Writers Association made him one of three inaugural winners of the Bram Stoker Award for Lifetime Achievement.

    This is a complete bibliography by American science fiction author Larry Niven.

    "The Pi Man" is a science fiction short story by American writer Alfred Bester. It was first published in Fantasy and Science Fiction, in 1959. Bester subsequently revised it extensively for his 1976 collection Star Light, Star Bright, changing the characters' names, "develop(ing) minor scenes", modifying the typographical "word pictures", and deleting several "stale references to beatnik culture".


    1. Alfred Bester, "United States Social Security Death Index". "United States Social Security Death Index," index, FamilySearch, Alfred Bester, September 1987. Retrieved 2013-03-12.
    2. Harrison, Harry (1996). "Introduction". The Demolished Man. New York: Vintage Books. p. vii. ISBN   978-0-679-76781-7.
    3. 1 2 "Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master" Archived 2011-07-01 at the Wayback Machine . Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA). Retrieved 2013-03-22.
    4. 1 2 "Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame" Archived May 21, 2013, at the Wayback Machine . Mid American Science Fiction and Fantasy Conventions, Inc. Retrieved 2013-03-22. This was the official website of the hall of fame to 2004.
    5. Bester, p. 220.
    6. Bester, p. 221.
    7. The New York Times . February 25, 1934. "Captain Alfred Bester of New York gained two epee victories for the Red and Blue."
    8. 1 2 "Rolly Bester". The New York Times . January 18, 1984.
    9. Robb, Brian (May 15, 2014). A Brief History of Superheroes: From Superman to the Avengers, the Evolution of Comic Book Legends. Little, Brown Book Group. p. 114. ISBN   9781472110701.
    10. "Alfred Bester dies, sci-fi writer," Sunday Intelligencer/Montgomery Count Record, October 4, 1987.
    11. 1 2 Alfred Bester at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database (ISFDB). Retrieved 2013-04-11. Select a title to see its linked publication history and general information. Select a particular edition (title) for more data at that level, such as a front cover image or linked contents.
    12. Bester, pp. 223–24.
    13. Bester, p. 224.
    14. Bester, p. 225.
    15. Green Lantern #223. April 1988. pp. letters page.
    16. Schwartz, Julius (2000). Man of Two Worlds: My Life in Science Fiction and Comics. New York: Harper Collins. pp. 67–68. ISBN   978-0-380-810512.
    17. "Free Audio SF - CBS Radio Mystery Theater". Hard SF. Archived from the original on 2011-06-29. Retrieved 2011-02-10.
    18. "Alfred Bester". Library of America. Archived from the original on 2012-09-22. Retrieved 2012-10-05.
    19. 1976 interview at MidAmericon
    20. Biller, Diana (December 25, 2015). "The Essential Cyberpunk Reading List". io9. Retrieved January 26, 2016. This 1956 novel, originally serialized in four parts in Galaxy magazine, predates the cyberpunk movement by more than twenty years, but nonetheless serves as one of its more important ancestors. With its bleak future, cybernetic body modification and evil megacorporations, The Stars My Destination set up a number of themes that became central to later cyberpunk works.
    21. Hiltzik, Michael (January 1, 2016). "A New Year's list: Five great sci-fi novels to make you forget 'Star Wars'". The Los Angeles Times . Retrieved January 26, 2016. Bester is a science fiction master unappreciated by the general reader but known as an important influence on Stephen King and the "cyberpunk" movement; The Stars My Destination frequently turns up on aficionados' lists of the greatest science fiction works of all time.
    22. Berthoud, Ella and Susan Elderkin (2013). The Novel Cure. Edinburgh: Canongate. p. W.
    23. Cavallaro, Dani (2000). Cyberpunk & Cyberculture: Science Fiction and the Work of William Gibson. London: Athlone Press. p. 9. ISBN   978-0-485-00412-0.
    24. BBC Radio 4 (14 September 1991). "The Shape of Things to Come". BBC. Retrieved January 26, 2016.
    25. BBC Radio 4 (16 August 1993). "Tiger! Tiger!". BBC. Retrieved January 26, 2016.
    26. Anders, Charlie Jane (Aug 10, 2012). "100 Wonderful and Terrible Movies That Never Existed". io9 . Retrieved 2012-10-05.
    27. Wendell, Carolyn (2006). Alfred Bester. Wildside Press. p. 46.
    28. The Hugo Awards. "1960 Hugo Awards". World Science Fiction Society. Archived from the original on May 7, 2011. Retrieved June 17, 2014.
    29. Pilato, Herbie J. (2012). Twitch Upon a Star: The Bewitched Life and Career of Elizabeth Montgomery. Lanham, Maryland: Taylor Trade Publishing. p. 132. ISBN   978-1-58979-749-9. Produced by Everett Freeman, "Mr. Lucifer" was written by Alfred Bester and directed by Alan Crosland, Jr...
    30. Lee, R. E. "The Series: Alcoa Premiere; The Episode: Mr. Lucifer". Bob's Bewitching Daughter: Elizabeth Montgomery. Archived from the original on August 20, 2016. Retrieved June 17, 2014. Satan invades Madison Avenue: Mr. Lucifer, the Prince of Darkness himself, determines to corrupt a clean-cut young couple with the help of his beautiful secretary, Iris, a former moon goddess, now transformed into a demon.
    31. "Watch Alcoa Premiere Season 2 Episode 5 S2E5 Mr. Lucifer". OVGuide . Retrieved June 17, 2014.
    32. The Hugo Awards. "1975 Hugo Awards". World Science Fiction Society. Archived from the original on February 11, 2012. Retrieved June 17, 2014.
    33. The Hugo Awards. "1976 Hugo Awards". World Science Fiction Society. Archived from the original on May 7, 2011. Retrieved June 17, 2014.
    34. Wendell, Carolyn (March 1988). "The Late, Great Alfie B., 1913-87". Science Fiction Studies . 15 pt. 1 (44). ISSN   0091-7729 . Retrieved 2012-10-05.
    35. McQuown, Judith H. (November 1987). "Remembering Alfred Bester". Locus: The Magazine of the Science Fiction & Fantasy Field . Oakland, California: Locus Science Fiction Foundation. 20, No. 11 (#322): 63.
    36. Science Fiction Writers of America. "Nebula Award Winners: 1965 – 2011". Science Fiction Writers of America . Retrieved June 17, 2014.
    37. Alfred Bester by Jad Smith, published December 1, 2016 by University of Illinois Press
    38. Sturgis, Amy H. (2011). ""Just Get Us a Little Further"". In Dean A. Kowalski; S. Evan Kreider. The Philosophy of Joss Whedon. Lexington, Kentucky: University Press of Kentucky. p. 24.
    39. 1 2 "Bester, Alfred" Archived 2012-10-16 at the Wayback Machine . The Locus Index to SF Awards: Index of Literary Nominees. Locus Publications. Retrieved 2013-03-22.


    Bester, Alfred (1976). "My Affair with Science Fiction". Star Light, Star Bright: The Great Short Fiction of Alfred Bester. II. New York: Berkley. pp. 220ff.