Edmond Hamilton

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Edmond Moore Hamilton (October 21, 1904 - February 1, 1977) was an American author of science fiction stories and novels during the mid-twentieth century.[1] Born in Youngstown, Ohio, he was raised there and in nearby New Castle, Pennsylvania. Something of a child prodigy, he graduated from high school and started college (Westminster College, New Wilmington, Pennsylvania) at the age of 14–but washed out at 17.

Contents

Writing career

Edmond is credited[citation needed] as the author of the first hardcover compilation of what would eventually come to be known as the science fiction genre, The Horror on The Asteroid and Other Tales of Planetary Horror (1936). The book compiles the following stories: "The Horror on the Asteroid", “The Accursed Galaxy", "The Man Who Saw Everything" ("The Man With the X-Ray Eyes"), "The Earth-Brain", "The Monster-God of Mamurth", and "The Man Who Evolved".

His career as a science fiction writer began with the publication of the short story "The Monster God of Mamurth", which appeared in the August 1926 issue of the classic magazine of alternative fiction, Weird Tales. Hamilton quickly became a central member of the remarkable group of Weird Tales writers assembled by editor Farnsworth Wright, that included H. P. Lovecraft and Robert E. Howard. Hamilton would publish 79 works of fiction in Weird Tales between 1926 and 1948, making him one of the most prolific of the magazine's contributors (only Seabury Quinn and August Derleth appeared more frequently). Hamilton became a friend and associate of several Weird Tales veterans, including E. Hoffmann Price and Otis Adelbert Kline; most notably, he struck up a 20-year friendship with close contemporary Jack Williamson, as Williamson records in his 1984 autobiography Wonder's Child. In the late 1930s Weird Tales printed several striking fantasy tales by Hamilton, most notably "He That Hath Wings" (July 1938), one of his most popular and frequently-reprinted pieces.

Through the late 1920s and early '30s Hamilton wrote for all of the SF pulp magazines then publishing, and contributed horror and thriller stories to various other magazines as well. He was very popular as an author of space opera, a sub-genre he created along with E.E. "Doc" Smith. His story "The Island of Unreason" (Wonder Stories, May 1933) won the first Jules Verne Prize as the best SF story of the year (this was the first SF prize awarded by the votes of fans, a precursor of the later Hugo Awards). In the later 1930s, in response to the economic strictures of the Great Depression, he also wrote detective and crime stories. Always prolific in stereotypical pulp-magazine fashion, Hamilton sometimes saw 4 or 5 of his stories appear in a single month in these years; the February 1937 issue of the pulp Popular Detective featured three Hamilton stories, one under his own name and two under pseudonyms. In the 1940s, Hamilton was the primary force behind the Captain Future franchise,[2] an SF pulp designed for juvenile readers that won him many fans, but diminished his reputation in later years when science fiction moved away from the space-opera-genre. Hamilton was always associated with an extravagant, romantic, high-adventure style of SF, perhaps best represented by his 1947 novel The Star Kings. As the SF field grew more sophisticated, his brand of extreme adventure seemed ever more quaint, corny, and dated.

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