Lester del Rey
Judy-Lynn and Lester del Rey at Minicon in Minneapolis, 1974
June 2, 1915
Saratoga, Minnesota, United States
|Died||May 10, 1993 77) (aged|
New York City, New York, United States
|Pen name||John Alvarez, Marion Henry, Philip James, Philip St. John, Charles Satterfield, Erik van Lhin|
|Genre||Fantasy, science fiction|
|Spouse||Helen Schlaz (second of four, m. 1945), Evelyn Harrison, Judy-Lynn Benjamin|
Lester del Rey (June 2, 1915 – May 10, 1993) was an American science fiction author and editor. He was the author of many books in the juvenile Winston Science Fiction series, and the editor at Del Rey Books, the fantasy and science fiction imprint of Ballantine Books, along with his fourth wife Judy-Lynn del Rey.
Winston Science Fiction was a series of 37 American juvenile science fiction books published by the John C. Winston Company of Philadelphia from 1952 to 1960 and by its successor Holt, Rinehart & Winston in 1960 and 1961. It included 35 novels by various writers, including many who became famous in the SF field, such as Poul Anderson, Arthur C. Clarke, Ben Bova, and Lester del Rey. There was also one anthology, The Year After Tomorrow, edited by del Rey and others. There was one non-fiction book Rockets through Space: The Story of Man's Preparations to Explore the Universe by del Rey which details the factual science and technology of rocket flight. Many of the dust jackets became science fiction classics; the artists included Hugo Award winners Ed Emshwiller and Virgil Finlay along with Hugo nominees such as Mel Hunter and Alex Schomburg.
Del Rey Books is a branch of Ballantine Books, which is owned by Random House and, in turn, by Penguin Random House. It is a separate imprint established in 1977 under the editorship of author Lester del Rey and his wife Judy-Lynn del Rey. It specializes in science fiction and fantasy books, and formerly manga under its Del Rey Manga imprint.
Ballantine Books is a major book publisher located in the United States, founded in 1952 by Ian Ballantine with his wife, Betty Ballantine. It was acquired by Random House in 1973, which in turn was acquired by Bertelsmann in 1998 and remains part of that company today. Ballantine's logo is a pair of mirrored letter Bs back to back. The firm's early editors were Stanley Kauffmann and Bernard Shir-Cliff.
Del Rey often told people his real name was Ramon Felipe Alvarez-del Rey (and sometimes even Ramon Felipe San Juan Mario Silvio Enrico Smith Heartcourt-Brace Sierra y Alvarez del Rey y de los Uerdes). He also claimed that his family was killed in a car accident in 1935. However, his sister has confirmed that his name was in fact Leonard Knapp, and the accident in 1935 killed his first wife but not his parents, brother, or sister.
Del Rey first started publishing stories in pulp magazines in the late 1930s, at the dawn of the so-called Golden Age of Science Fiction. He was associated with the most prestigious science fiction magazine of the era, Astounding Science Fiction , from the time its editor John W. Campbell published his first short story in the April 1938 issue: "The Faithful", already under the name Lester del Rey. The December 1938 issue featured his story "Helen O'Loy" which was selected for the prestigious anthology The Science Fiction Hall of Fame . By the end of 1939 he had also placed stories in Weird Tales (edited by Farnsworth Wright) and Unknown (Campbell), [ citation needed ]which featured more horror and more fantasy respectively. In the 1950s, del Rey was one of the main authors writing science fiction for adolescents (along with Robert A. Heinlein and Andre Norton). During this time some of his fiction was published under the name "Erik van Lhin".
The first Golden Age of Science Fiction, often recognized in the United States as the period from 1938 to 1946, was an era during which the science fiction genre gained wide public attention and many classic science fiction stories were published. In the history of science fiction, the Golden Age follows the "pulp era" of the 1920s and 1930s, and precedes New Wave science fiction of the 1960s and 1970s. The 1950s are a transitional period in this scheme; however, Robert Silverberg, who came of age in the 1950s, saw that decade as the true Golden Age.
John Wood Campbell Jr. was an American science fiction writer and editor. He was editor of Astounding Science Fiction from late 1937 until his death and was part of the Golden Age of Science Fiction. Campbell wrote super-science space opera under his own name and stories under his primary pseudonym, Don A. Stuart. Campbell also used the pen names Karl Van Kampen and Arthur McCann. His novella Who Goes There? was adapted as the films The Thing from Another World (1951), The Thing (1982), and The Thing (2011).
"Helen O'Loy" is a science fiction short story by American writer Lester del Rey, originally published in 1938 in Astounding Science Fiction.
During a period when del Rey's work was not selling well, he worked as a short order cook at the White Tower Restaurant in New York. After he married his second wife, Helen Schlaz, in 1945, he quit that job to write full-time. After meeting Scott Meredith at the 1947 World Science Fiction Convention, he began working as a first reader for the new Scott Meredith Literary Agency, where he also served as office manager.
Scott Meredith, born Arthur Scott Feldman was a prominent American literary agent, and founder of the Scott Meredith Literary Agency. His clients included famous and successful writers such as Richard S. Prather, Morris West, Norman Mailer, J.G. Ballard, Arthur C. Clarke, P.G. Wodehouse and Philip K. Dick.
He later became an editor for several pulp magazines and then for book publishers. During 1952 and 1953, del Rey edited several magazines: Space SF, Fantasy Fiction, Science Fiction Adventures (as Philip St. John), Rocket Stories (as Wade Kaempfert), and Fantasy Fiction (as Cameron Hall).Also during 1952, his first two novels were published in the Winston juvenile series, one with an Italian-language edition in the same year.
In 1957, del Rey and Damon Knight co-edited a small amateur magazine named Science Fiction Forum . During a debate about symbolism within the magazine, del Rey accepted Knight's challenge to write an analysis of the James Blish story "Common Time" that showed the story was about a man eating a ham sandwich.Del Rey was most successful editing with his fourth wife, Judy-Lynn del Rey, at Ballantine Books (as a Random House property, post-Ballantine) where they established the fantasy and science fiction imprint Del Rey Books in 1977.
Damon Francis Knight was an American science fiction author, editor and critic. He is the author of "To Serve Man", a 1950 short story adapted for The Twilight Zone. He was married to fellow writer Kate Wilhelm.
Science Fiction Forum was a critical journal of science fiction. It was created by Damon Knight and James Blish in 1957. Lester del Rey was also an editor.
James Benjamin Blish was an American science fiction and fantasy writer. He is best known for his Cities in Flight novels, and his series of Star Trek novelizations written with his wife, J. A. Lawrence. He is credited with creating the term gas giant to refer to large planetary bodies.
After science fiction gained respectability and began to be taught in classrooms, del Rey stated that academics interested in the genre should "get out of my Ghetto."Del Rey stated that "to develop science fiction had to remove itself from the usual critics who viewed it from the perspective of [the] mainstream, and who judged its worth largely on its mainstream values. As part of that mainstream, it would never have had the freedom to make the choices it did – many of them quite possibly wrong, but necessary for its development." For a number of years in the 1970s, Del Rey, himself, helmed the review column for Analog Science Fiction and Fact entitled The Reference Library.
Del Rey was a member of an all-male literary banqueting club, the Trap Door Spiders, which served as the basis of Isaac Asimov's fictional group of mystery solvers, the Black Widowers. Del Rey was the model for "Emmanuel Rubin".
"There is no writer in this field who is more steadfast in practicing the rule that fiction is first of all entertainment", Algis Budrys said in 1965. Reporting that the stories in a collection of del Rey's fiction could not be dated by reading them, Budrys stated that he had remained a successful writer because "del Rey has remained his own individual ... he writes for himself, and his readers". Budrys said that
The typical del Rey character is an individual who is trying to do the decent thing to the best of his ability. The typical del Rey story problem is that of a good and faithful being trying to understand a complex situation which prevents his immediately knowing the decent thing to do. When he writes a story whose problem becomes apparent only in the last paragraphs, this is frequently the nature of his "trick" ending — the mood is not shock but sorrow; the payoff is not in some irrevocable destruction of this personality but in the reader's realization that even a decent individual must pay the price of ignorance.
Normally, del Rey even then leaves an opening for the protagonist to grow and go on in, and even his worst losers retrieve something — call it dignity.
Del Rey was awarded the 1972 E. E. Smith Memorial Award for Imaginative Fiction (the "Skylark") by the New England Science Fiction Association for "contributing significantly to science fiction, both through work in the field and by exemplifying the personal qualities that made the late "Doc" Smith well-loved by those who knew him". He also won a special 1985 Balrog Award for his contributions to fantasy, voted by fans and organized by Locus Magazine . The Science Fiction Writers of America named him its 11th SFWA Grand Master in 1990, presented 1991.
Donald Allen Wollheim was an American science fiction editor, publisher, writer, and fan. As an author, he published under his own name as well as under pseudonyms, including David Grinnell.
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.
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.
Judy-Lynn del Rey née Benjamin was a science fiction editor.
The Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master Award is a lifetime honor presented annually by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) to no more than one living writer of fantasy or science fiction. It was inaugurated in 1975 when Robert Heinlein was made the first SFWA Grand Master and it was renamed in 2002 after the Association's founder, Damon Knight, who had died that year.
Tomorrow, the Stars is an anthology of speculative fiction short stories, presented as edited by American author Robert A. Heinlein and published in 1952.
First Flight: Maiden Voyages in Space and Time is an anthology of science fiction short stories edited by Damon Knight, first published in paperback by Lancer Books in August 1963. It is a compilation of the first published stories of ten authors in the genre. It was reprinted in November 1966 and reissued as Now Begins Tomorrow in November 1969 by the same publisher. An expansion of the work, retaining Knight's introduction and adding the initial stories of ten additional authors, was later prepared by Martin H. Greenberg and Joseph D. Olander and published as First Voyages by Avon Books in May 1981.
Fantastic Universe was a U.S. science fiction magazine which began publishing in the 1950s. It ran for 69 issues, from June 1953 to March 1960, under two different publishers. It was part of the explosion of science fiction magazine publishing in the 1950s in the United States, and was moderately successful, outlasting almost all of its competitors. The main editors were Leo Margulies (1954–1956) and Hans Stefan Santesson (1956–1960); under Santesson's tenure the quality declined somewhat, and the magazine became known for printing much UFO-related material. A collection of stories from the magazine, edited by Santesson, appeared in 1960 from Prentice-Hall, titled The Fantastic Universe Omnibus.
Nebula Winners Twelve is an anthology of science fiction short stories edited by Gordon R. Dickson. It was first published in hardcover by Harper & Row in February 1978, and reprinted in December of the same year. A paperback edition followed from Bantam Books in April 1979.
Science Fiction Quarterly was an American pulp science fiction magazine that was published from 1940 to 1943 and again from 1951 to 1958. Charles Hornig served as editor for the first two issues; Robert A. W. Lowndes edited the remainder. Science Fiction Quarterly was launched by publisher Louis Silberkleit during a boom in science fiction magazines at the end of the 1930s. Silberkleit launched two other science fiction titles at about the same time: all three ceased publication before the end of World War II, falling prey to slow sales and paper shortages. In 1950 and 1951, as the market improved, Silberkleit relaunched Future Fiction and Science Fiction Quarterly. By the time Science Fiction Quarterly ceased publication in 1958, it was the last surviving science fiction pulp.
The 1977 Annual World's Best SF is an anthology of science fiction short stories edited by Donald A. Wollheim and Arthur W. Saha, the sixth volume in a series of nineteen. It was first published in paperback by DAW Books in May 1977, followed by a hardcover edition issued in September of the same year by the same publisher as a selection of the Science Fiction Book Club. For the hardcover edition the original cover art of Jack Gaughan was replaced by a new cover painting by Richard V. Corben. The paperback edition was reissued by DAW in 1983 under the variant title Wollheim's World's Best SF: Series Six, this time with cover art by Bernal. A British hardcover edition was published by Dennis Dobson in November 1979 under the variant title The World's Best SF 4.
Future Science Fiction and Science Fiction Stories were two American science fiction magazines that were published under various names between 1939 and 1943 and again from 1950 to 1960. Both publications were edited by Charles Hornig for the first few issues; Robert W. Lowndes took over in late 1941 and remained editor until the end. The initial launch of the magazines came as part of a boom in science fiction pulp magazine publishing at the end of the 1930s. In 1941 the two magazines were combined into one, titled Future Fiction combined with Science Fiction, but in 1943 wartime paper shortages ended the magazine's run, as Louis Silberkleit, the publisher, decided to focus his resources on his mystery and western magazine titles. In 1950, with the market improving again, Silberkleit relaunched Future Fiction, still in the pulp format. In the mid-1950s he also relaunched Science Fiction, this time under the title Science Fiction Stories. Silberkleit kept both magazines on very slim budgets throughout the 1950s. In 1960 both titles ceased publication when their distributor suddenly dropped all of Silberkleit's titles.
Science Fiction Adventures was an American digest-size science fiction magazine, published from 1952 to 1954 by Science Fiction Publications. It was edited by Lester del Rey, under the pseudonym "Philip St. John", and was targeted at a younger audience than its companion magazine, Space Science Fiction. Contributors included Algis Budrys, Raymond Z. Gallun, Robert Sheckley, and del Rey himself, who published his novel Police Your Planet under the pseudonym "Erik van Lhin". Damon Knight contributed a book review column beginning with the fifth issue. Cyril M. Kornbluth's novel The Syndic was serialized in 1954. Artwork was provided by H.R. van Dongen, Kelly Freas, and Paul Orban, among others.
Robots and Changelings is the second collection of fantasy and science fiction stories by Lester del Rey, published by Ballantine Books in 1957.
Daryl Gregory is an American science fiction, fantasy and comic book author. Gregory is a 1988 alumnus of the Michigan State University Clarion science fiction workshop, and won the 2009 Crawford Award for his novel Pandemonium.
Out of This World Adventures was an American pulp magazine which published two issues, in July and December 1950. It included several pages of comics as well as science fiction stories. It was edited by Donald A. Wollheim and published by Avon. Sales were weak, and after two issues Avon decided to cancel it.
The SFWA Grand Masters, Volume 3 is an anthology of science fiction short works edited by Frederik Pohl. It was first published in hardcover by Tor Books in June 2001, and in trade paperback by the same publisher in April 2002. It has been translated into Italian.
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