Larry Eisenberg

Last updated
Larry Eisenberg
Larry Eisenberg 2016.jpg
2016 photo
Born(1919-12-21)December 21, 1919
New York City, New York, U.S.
DiedDecember 25, 2018(2018-12-25) (aged 99)
Lincoln, Massachusetts, U.S.
Occupationshort story author and writer of comic verse
Genre Science fiction
Notable work"What Happened to Auguste Clarot?"

Lawrence Eisenberg (December 21, 1919 [1]  – December 25, 2018) was an American biomedical engineer and science fiction writer. He is best known for his short story "What Happened to Auguste Clarot?", published in Harlan Ellison's anthology Dangerous Visions . Eisenberg's stories have also been printed in a number of leading science fiction magazines, including The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction , Galaxy Science Fiction , and Asimov's Science Fiction . His stories have been reprinted in anthologies such as Great Science Fiction of the 20th Century, The 10th Annual of the Year’s Best S-F, and Great Science Fiction By the World's Great Scientists. He is also known for the limericks he posted in the comments sections of various articles in The New York Times . [2]

Biomedical engineering Application of engineering principles and design concepts to medicine and biology for healthcare purposes

Biomedical Engineering (BME) or Medical Engineering is the application of engineering principles and design concepts to medicine and biology for healthcare purposes. This field seeks to close the gap between engineering and medicine, combining the design and problem solving skills of engineering with medical biological sciences to advance health care treatment, including diagnosis, monitoring, and therapy. Also included under the scope of a biomedical engineer is the management of current medical equipment within hospitals while adhering to relevant industry standards. This involves equipment recommendations, procurement, routine testing and preventative maintenance, through to decommissioning and disposal. This role is also known as a Biomedical Equipment Technician (BMET) or clinical engineering.

Science fiction genre of fiction

Science fiction is a genre of speculative fiction, typically dealing with imaginative concepts such as advanced science and technology, space exploration, time travel, and extraterrestrial life. Science fiction often explores the potential consequences of scientific and other innovations, and has been called a "literature of ideas".

Harlan Ellison American writer

Harlan Jay Ellison was an American writer, known for his prolific and influential work in New Wave speculative fiction, and for his outspoken, combative personality. Robert Bloch, the author of Psycho, described Ellison as "the only living organism I know whose natural habitat is hot water".

Contents

Life

Eisenberg was born in New York City in 1919 to Sidney Eisenberg, a furniture salesman, and Yetta Yellen, [3] and grew up in the Bronx during the Great Depression. Eisenberg graduated from James Monroe High School in the Bronx, then attended City College of New York before going to Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn, where he received his Ph.D. in Electronics. [4] After serving as a radar operator in the Air Force during World War II, [5] Eisenberg married Frances Brenner, a political scientist and social worker, in 1950; she died in 2017. They had one daughter and one son. [4] The couple had lived for many years on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, but by the time of Eisenberg's death he had been living in Somerville, Massachusetts. His death on December 25, 2018, was reported by The New York Times under the headline, "Larry Eisenberg, 99, Dead; His Limericks Were Very Well Read". His daughter, Beth Eisenberg, told the Times he died in a hospice in Lincoln, Massachusetts, of complications of acute myeloid leukemia. [6]

Great Depression 20th-century worldwide economic depression

The Great Depression was a severe worldwide economic depression that took place mostly during the 1930s, beginning in the United States. The timing of the Great Depression varied across nations; in most countries it started in 1929 and lasted until the late-1930s. It was the longest, deepest, and most widespread depression of the 20th century. In the 21st century, the Great Depression is commonly used as an example of how intensely the world's economy can decline.

James Monroe High School is a former comprehensive high school located at 1300 Boynton Avenue at East 172nd Street in the Soundview section of the Bronx, New York City.

City College of New York senior college of the City University of New York (CUNY) in New York City

The City College of the City University of New York is a public senior college of the City University of New York (CUNY) in New York City.

Eisenberg was for many years a biomedical engineer at Rockefeller University, [7] where he and Dr. Robert Schoenfeld were co-heads of the Electronics Laboratory, and taught there until 2000. [8] He designed the first transistorized radio-frequency coupled cardiac pacemaker circa 1960, in collaboration with Dr. Alexander Mauro. It is on display at Caspary Hall, Rockefeller University.

Rockefeller University Research institute in New York City

The Rockefeller University is a center for scientific research, primarily in the biological and medical sciences, that provides doctoral and postdoctoral education. Rockefeller is the oldest biomedical research institute in the United States. The 82-person faculty has 37 members of the National Academy of Sciences, 17 members of the National Academy of Medicine, seven Lasker Award recipients, and five Nobel laureates. As of 2017, a total of 36 Nobel laureates have been affiliated with Rockefeller University.

Artificial cardiac pacemaker medical device that uses electrical impulses to regulate the beating of the heart

A pacemaker is a medical device that generates electrical impulses delivered by electrodes to contract the heart muscles and regulate the electrical conduction system of the heart.

Writing

Eisenberg published his first short story, "Dr. Beltzov's Polyunsaturated Kasha Oil Diet", in Harper's Magazine in 1962. His first science fiction publication was later that year with his story "The Mynah Matter" in the August 1962 Fantastic Stories of Imagination , with Eisenberg debuting alongside Roger Zelazny. [9]

<i>Harpers Magazine</i> magazine

Harper's Magazine is a monthly magazine of literature, politics, culture, finance, and the arts. Launched in June 1850, it is the second-oldest continuously published monthly magazine in the U.S. .Harper's Magazine has won twenty-two National Magazine Awards.

<i>Fantastic</i> (magazine) magazine

Fantastic was an American digest-size fantasy and science fiction magazine, published from 1952 to 1980. It was founded by the publishing company Ziff Davis as a fantasy companion to Amazing Stories. Early sales were good, and the company quickly decided to switch Amazing from pulp format to digest, and to cease publication of their other science fiction pulp, Fantastic Adventures. Within a few years sales fell, and Howard Browne, the editor, was forced to switch the focus to science fiction rather than fantasy. Browne lost interest in the magazine as a result and the magazine generally ran poor-quality fiction in the mid-1950s, under Browne and his successor, Paul W. Fairman.

Roger Zelazny American speculative fiction writer

Roger Joseph Zelazny was an American poet and writer of fantasy and science fiction short stories and novels, best known for The Chronicles of Amber. He won the Nebula award three times and the Hugo award six times, including two Hugos for novels: the serialized novel ...And Call Me Conrad (1965), subsequently published under the title This Immortal (1966) and then the novel Lord of Light (1967).

Shortly after that, Eisenberg began publishing his stories in many of the leading science fiction magazines of the day, including The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, Galaxy Science Fiction , and If . Eisenberg's science fiction takes a humorous approach to storytelling. As Eisenberg has said, "I enjoy wedding humor with science fiction, particularly where some unsavory aspect of our society can be pricked." [3]

<i>Galaxy Science Fiction</i> American magazine

Galaxy Science Fiction was an American digest-size science fiction magazine, published from 1950 to 1980. It was founded by a French-Italian company, World Editions, which was looking to break into the American market. World Editions hired as editor H. L. Gold, who rapidly made Galaxy the leading science fiction (sf) magazine of its time, focusing on stories about social issues rather than technology.

<i>If</i> (magazine) magazine

If was an American science-fiction magazine launched in March 1952 by Quinn Publications, owned by James L. Quinn.

Many of Eisenberg's stories feature his character Professor Emmet Duckworth, a research scientist and two-time winner of the Nobel Prize. Duckworth's "bright ideas seem great at first but always end in disaster" [10] with one of the professor's many inventions being "an addictive aphrodisiac clocking in at 150,000 calories per ounce —along with a propensity to turn those taking it into walking bombs." [11] A number of the Duckworth stories were collected in Eisenberg's short story collection, The Best Laid Schemes, published in 1971 by MacMillan.

Nobel Prize set of annual international awards, primarily 5 established in 1895 by Alfred Nobel

The Nobel Prize is a set of annual international awards bestowed in several categories by Swedish and Norwegian institutions in recognition of academic, cultural, or scientific advances.

Eisenberg is best known for his short story "What Happened to Auguste Clarot?," which was published in the anthology Dangerous Visions edited by Harlan Ellison. His stories have also been reprinted in anthologies such as Great Science Fiction of the 20th Century, The 10th Annual of the Year’s Best SF, and Great Science Fiction By the World's Great Scientists.

He published two books of limericks (both with George Gordon) in 1965: Limericks for the Loo and Limericks for Lantzmen; and one collection of short stories, Best Laid Schemes. Latterly he gained a cult following for the limericks he posted in the comments sections of various New York Times articles [11] and was referred to as the "closest thing this paper has to a poet in residence". [12]

Eisenberg wrote the following limerick about his life

A nonagenarian, I,
A sometime writer of sci-fi,
Biomed engineer,
Gen’rally of good cheer,

With lim’ricks in ready supply. [13]

From a New York Times reader: "The Eisenberg Certainty Principle":

There once was a poet named Larry
Whose thoughts one could never quite parry
For when Larry had spoken
The mold it was broken
Though the topics invariably vary.

Bibliography

Short story collection

Limericks and other books

Selected short fiction

  • "Dr. Beltzov's Polyunsaturated Kasha Oil Diet", Harper's Magazine, 1962. [15]
  • "The Mynah Matter", Fantastic Stories , August 1962.
  • "The Fastest Draw", Amazing Stories , October 1963. Reprinted in Tin Stars, edited by Isaac Asimov, Martin H. Greenberg, Charles G. Waugh, NAL Signet, 1986.
  • "The Marvelous Marshal", The Best Laid Schemes by Larry Eisenberg, Macmillan, 1971.
  • "The Pirokin Effect", Amazing Stories, June 1964. Reprinted in The 10th Annual of the Year's Best S-F, edited by Judith Merril. [16]
  • "The Scent of Love", Fantastic Stories, August 1964.
  • "The Two Lives of Ben Coulter", The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, April 1967.
  • "Conqueror", If , October 1967.
  • "The Saga of DMM", The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, December 1967.
  • "What Happened to Auguste Clarot?" Dangerous Visions edited by Harlan Ellison, Doubleday, 1967.
  • "The Time of His Life", The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, April 1968. Reprinted in Alpha 1 edited by Robert Silverberg, 1970; Arbor House Treasury of Modern SF edited by Robert Silverberg, Martin H. Greenberg, Arbor House, 1980; Great Science Fiction of the 20th Century edited by Robert Silverberg, Martin H. Greenberg, Avenel Books, 1987.
  • "The Open Secrets", Galaxy Science Fiction , May 1969.
  • "Hold Your Fire!", Venture Science Fiction , May 1969.
  • "Project Amnion", Venture Science Fiction, August 1969.
  • "IQ Soup", Venture Science Fiction, November 1969.
  • "A Matter of Time and Place", The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, January 1970.
  • "The Cameleon", The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, March 1970. Reprinted in American Government Through Science Fiction edited by Joseph D. Olander, Martin H. Greenberg, and Patricia S. Warrick, McNally, 1974; Election Day 2084: Science Fiction Stories About the Future of Politics edited by Isaac Asimov and Martin H. Greenberg, Prometheus, 1984;
  • "The Quintopods", If, September/October 1970
  • "A Matter of Recordings", If, February 1970.
  • "Human Element", If, May/June 1970.
  • "The Fifth Planet", If, July/August 1970.
  • "The Orgy", Venture Science Fiction, August 1970.
  • "Duckworth and the Sound Probe", Galaxy Science Fiction, July/August 1971.
  • "Heart of the Giant", Worlds of Tomorrow, Spring 1971.
  • "The Buyer", Galaxy Science Fiction, May/June 1971.
  • "The Teacher", Galaxy Science Fiction, January 1971.
  • "The Grand Illusions", Galaxy Science Fiction, May/June 1972.
  • "The Executive Rat", Worlds of If Science Fiction, November/December 1972. Reprinted in Psy-Fi One: An Anthology of Psychology in Science Fiction edited by Kenneth B. Melvin, Stanley L. Brodsky, and Raymond D. Fowler, Jr., Random House, 1977.
  • "Sikh, Sikh, Sikh", Vertex: The Magazine of Science Fiction , December 1973.
  • "The Merchant", Worlds of If Science Fiction, September/October 1973. Reprinted in Flying Saucers edited by Isaac Asimov, Martin H. Greenberg, and Charles G. Waugh Fawcett Crest, Ballantine/Fawcett Crest, 1982/1987.
  • "Elephants Sometimes Forget", The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, September 1974.
  • "Televerite", Vertex: The Magazine of Science Fiction, April 1974.
  • "The Look Alike Revolution", The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, November 1974.
  • "The Money Machine", Vertex: The Magazine of Science Fiction, August 1974.
  • "Time and Duckworth", Galaxy Science Fiction, May 1974.
  • "The Baby", Galaxy Science Fiction, March 1974. Reprinted in Psy-Fi One: An Anthology of Psychology in Science Fiction edited by Kenneth B. Melvin, Stanley L. Brodsky, and Raymond D. Fowler, Jr., Random House, 1977.
  • "Dr. Snow Maiden", The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, August 1975. Reprinted in Great Science Fiction By the World's Great Scientists, edited by Isaac Asimov, Martin H. Greenberg, and Charles G. Waugh, Donald I. Fine, 1985. [17]
  • "The Spurious President", Vertex: The Magazine of Science Fiction, April 1975
  • "My Random Friend", The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, August 1977
  • "The Interface", The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, August 1978.
  • "Djinn & Duckworth", Isaac Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine, March 1979.
  • "Me and My Shadow", The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, February 1986.
  • "Live It Up, Inc.", The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, March 1988.

Related Research Articles

Larry Niven American writer

Laurence van Cott Niven is an American science fiction writer. His best-known work is Ringworld (1970), which received Hugo, Locus, Ditmar, and Nebula awards. The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America named him the 2015 recipient of the Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master Award. His work is primarily hard science fiction, using big science concepts and theoretical physics. It also often includes elements of detective fiction and adventure stories. His fantasy includes the series The Magic Goes Away, rational fantasy dealing with magic as a non-renewable resource.

<i>Dangerous Visions</i> science fiction short story anthology

Dangerous Visions is a science fiction short story anthology edited by American writer Harlan Ellison and illustrated by Leo and Diane Dillon. It was published in 1967.

Groff Conklin American science fiction editor

Edward Groff Conklin was an American science fiction anthologist. He edited 40 anthologies of science fiction, one of mystery stories, wrote books on home improvement and was a freelance writer on scientific subjects as well as a published poet. From 1950 to 1955, he was the book critic for Galaxy Science Fiction.

Gordon R. Dickson Canadian-American science fiction writer

Gordon Rupert Dickson was a Canadian-American science fiction writer. He was inducted into the Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame in 2000.

Gardner Dozois American science fiction editor

Gardner Raymond Dozois was an American science fiction author and editor. He was the founding editor of The Year's Best Science Fiction anthologies (1984–present) and was editor of Asimov's Science Fiction magazine (1984–2004), garnering multiple Hugo and Locus Awards for those works almost every year. He also won the Nebula Award for Best Short Story twice. He was inducted to the Science Fiction Hall of Fame on June 25, 2011.

Sam Moskowitz American science fiction fan

Sam Moskowitz was an American writer, critic, and historian of science fiction.

Anthony Boucher Editor, novelist, short story writer

Anthony Boucher was an American author, critic, and editor, who wrote several classic mystery novels, short stories, science fiction, and radio dramas. Between 1942 and 1947 he acted as reviewer of mostly mystery fiction for the San Francisco Chronicle. In addition to "Anthony Boucher", White also employed the pseudonym "H. H. Holmes", which was the pseudonym of a late-19th-century American serial killer; Boucher would also write light verse and sign it "Herman W. Mudgett".

<i>The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction</i> digest magazine

The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction is a U.S. fantasy and science fiction magazine first published in 1949 by Fantasy House, a subsidiary of Lawrence Spivak's Mercury Press. Editors Anthony Boucher and J. Francis McComas had approached Spivak in the mid-1940s about creating a fantasy companion to Spivak's existing mystery title, Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine. The first issue was titled The Magazine of Fantasy, but the decision was quickly made to include science fiction as well as fantasy, and the title was changed correspondingly with the second issue. F&SF was quite different in presentation from the existing science fiction magazines of the day, most of which were in pulp format: it had no interior illustrations, no letter column, and text in a single column format, which in the opinion of science fiction historian Mike Ashley "set F&SF apart, giving it the air and authority of a superior magazine".

<i>Interzone</i> (magazine) British fantasy and science fiction magazine

Interzone is a British fantasy and science fiction magazine. Published since 1982, Interzone is the eighth longest-running English language science fiction magazine in history, and the longest-running British SF magazine. Stories published in Interzone have been finalists for the Hugo Awards and have won a Nebula Award and numerous British Science Fiction Awards.

Edward Lewis Ferman was an American science fiction and fantasy editor and magazine publisher, known best as the editor of The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction (F&SF).

Gordon Van Gelder American speculative fiction editor

Gordon Van Gelder is an American science fiction editor. From 1997 until 2014, Van Gelder was editor and later publisher of The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, for which he has twice won the Hugo Award for Best Editor Short Form. He was also a managing editor of The New York Review of Science Fiction from 1988 to 1993, for which he was nominated for the Hugo Award a number of times. As of January 2015, Van Gelder has stepped down as editor of Fantasy & Science Fiction in favor of Charles Coleman Finlay, but remains publisher of the magazine.

John Joseph Adams American science fiction critic

John Joseph Adams is an American science fiction and fantasy editor, critic, and publisher.

Steve Berman is an American editor, novelist and short story writer. He writes in the field of queer speculative fiction.

Jonathan Strahan editor and publisher of science fiction

Jonathan Strahan is an editor and publisher of science fiction. His family moved to Perth, Western Australia in 1968, and he graduated from the University of Western Australia with a Bachelor of Arts in 1986.

David G. Hartwell American writer and editor

David Geddes Hartwell was an American critic, publisher, and editor of thousands of science fiction and fantasy novels. He was best known for work with Signet, Pocket, and Tor Books publishers. He was also noted as an award-winning editor of anthologies. The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction describes him as "perhaps the single most influential book editor of the past forty years in the American [science fiction] publishing world".

F. Gwynplaine MacIntyre British writer

FergusGwynplaine MacIntyre known as Froggy was a journalist, novelist, poet and illustrator, who lived in New York City and said he had lived in Scotland and Wales. MacIntyre's writings include the science-fiction novel The Woman Between the Worlds and his anthology of verse and humor pieces MacIntyre's Improbable Bestiary. As an uncredited “ghost” author, MacIntyre is known to have written or co-written several other books, including at least one novel in the Tom Swift IV series, The DNA Disaster, published as by "Victor Appleton" but with MacIntyre's name on the acknowledgments page.

Lancer Books was a publisher of paperback books founded by Irwin Stein and Walter Zacharius that operated from 1961 through 1973. While it published stories of a number of genres, it was noted most for its science fiction and fantasy, particularly its series of Robert E. Howard's Conan the Barbarian tales, the first publication of many in paperback format. It published the controversial novel Candy by Terry Southern and Mason Hoffenberg, and Ted Mark's ribald series The Man from O.R.G.Y. Lancer paperbacks had a distinctive appearance, many bearing mauve or green page edging.

Jason Sanford is an American science fiction author best known for his short story writing. His fiction has been published in Interzone, Asimov's Science Fiction, Analog Science Fiction and Fact, Year's Best SF 14, Orson Scott Card's InterGalactic Medicine Show and other magazines and anthologies. He also founded the literary magazine storySouth and runs their annual Million Writers Award for best online short stories.

Maurice Broaddus Arab American writer and poet

Maurice Broaddus is a fantasy and horror author best known for his short fiction and his Knights of Breton Court novel trilogy. He has published dozens of stories in magazines and book anthologies, including in Asimov's Science Fiction, Black Static, and Weird Tales. His steampunk novella Buffalo Soldier was released in 2017 by Tor.

References

  1. Reginald, Robert (1979). Science Fiction and Fantasy Literature - Volume 2. p. 888. ISBN   978-0941028783.
  2. The 6th Floor’s Poet in Residence by Tony Gervino, The New York Times, July 14, 2011.
  3. 1 2 Science Fiction and Fantasy Literature, Volume 2 edited by R. Reginald, Douglas Menville, Mary A. Burgess, Wildside Press LLC, 2010, page 888.
  4. 1 2 Twentieth-Century Science-Fiction Writers , edited by Curtis Smith, St. Martin's Press, 1981, page 171-2.
  5. "Meet Some of Our Top Commenters" by Bassey Etim, The New York Times, November 23, 2015.
  6. Slotnik, Daniel E. (2018-12-26). "Larry Eisenberg, 99, Dead; His Limericks Were Very Well Read". The New York Times . Retrieved 2018-12-26.
  7. Twentieth-Century Science-Fiction Writers by Curtis C. Smith, St. James Press, 1986, page 218
  8. Lawrence Eisenberg entry in American Men & Women of Science, R.R. Bowker, New York, 1998-1999.
  9. Transformations: The Story of the Science-fiction Magazines from 1950 to 1970 by Mike Ashley and Michael Ashley, Liverpool University Press, 2005, page 224.
  10. Gateways to Forever: The Story of the Science-fiction Magazines from 1970 to 1980 by Michael Ashley, Liverpool University Press, 2007, pages 49-50.
  11. 1 2 Sanford, Jason (23 November 2009). "Exclusive Interview:: Larry Eisenberg". SF Signal .
  12. "Happy Birthday, Larry Eisenberg" by Andrew Rosenthal, The New York Times, Dec. 21, 2012.
  13. "The 6th Floor’s Poet in Residence" by Tony Gervino, The New York Times, July 14, 2011.
  14. Limericks for the loo. Arlington Books. 1965.
  15. Eisenberg, Larry (June 1962). "Dr. Beltzov's Polyunsaturated Kasha Oil Diet". Harper's Magazine: 33–4.
  16. The 10th Annual of the Year’s Best S-F, edited by Judith Merril, Gnome Press, 1965, page 197.
  17. Great science fiction: stories by the world's great scientists by Isaac Asimov, Martin Harry Greenberg, and Charles Waugh. D.I. Fine (publisher), 1985, page 219.