Groff Conklin

Edward Groff Conklin (September 6, 1904 – July 19, 1968) was an American science fiction anthologist. He edited 40 anthologies of science fiction, one of mystery stories (co-edited with physician Noah Fabricant), 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.

Born in Glen Ridge, New Jersey, Conklin was educated at Dartmouth College and Harvard University, and graduated from Columbia University in 1927.[1] He drifted through a series of jobs in the 1930s and 1940s, working for several government agencies during WWII. He was a book editor for Robert M. McBride & Co. and did public relations work for the Federal Home Loan Bank, the Office of Strategic Services, the Department of Commerce, the National Cancer Institute and the American Diabetes Association. He was also a former scientific researcher for the N.W. Ayer & Son advertising agency.

Groff Conklin
Groff Conklin.

Short fiction

It was as an editor of fiction that Conklin found his niche, beginning as early as 1930. At the age of 26, while employed as an assistant manager at New York's Doubleday Bookstore, he arranged for the hardcover publication of a story from The Smart Set Magazine (November 1913), reprinting "A Flood" by the Irish writer George Moore in a limited edition of 185 signed copies. Four years later, Conklin and Burton Rascoe published The Smart Set Anthology (1934, reissued as The Bachelor's Companion in 1944), the first collection of stories from that literary magazine.

Conklin's interest in short fiction continued with the 1936 publication of The New Republic Anthology: 1915-1935, edited with Bruce Bliven. The following year, he married Lucy Tempkin on October 1. During the next decade, he wrote books about subways, rental libraries and home construction, in addition to poetry and numerous magazine articles.

Science fiction

Conklin did not grow up as a reader of science fiction, but came to it later in life. In his Galaxy Five-Star Shelf column of December, 1954, he states, "...I actually did not become an earnest devotee of the form until 1944, about a year before the Atomic Age actually opened....The first item I remember reading that could be classified as science fiction was H. G. Wells' Men Like Gods, back in 1924 when I was a college sophomore. It had a tremendous effect on me...." A roommate from 1930 provided him with "bound volumes of tear-sheets of early weirds, fantastics and 'scientifictions' from the old Argosy, All-Story and others...." He sent a proposal for his first science fiction anthology to Crown Publishers in 1944, and the book was issued in 1946, several months ahead of the other great sf anthology of that year, Adventures in Time and Space edited by Raymond J. Healy and J. Francis McComas.

After his first science fiction anthology, The Best of Science Fiction (1946), weighing in at 785 pages, he followed with A Treasury of Science Fiction (1948). Readers soon began to seek out books with his strikingly unusual and exotic name on the cover—The Science Fiction Galaxy (1950), The Big Book of Science Fiction (1950) and Possible Worlds of Science Fiction (1951). The prominent display of Conklin's huge hardcover anthologies in the "New Titles" section of libraries led numerous American readers to discover science fiction during the genre's early 1950s boom. In the Grip of Terror (Permabooks, 1951) was an offbeat collection of horror tales, and he collaborated with Lucy Conklin on The Supernatural Reader in 1953, a year before her death. Four years later, he married Florence Alexander Wohlken.

His book review column, "Galaxy's Five-Star Shelf", was a key feature in Galaxy Science Fiction from its premiere issue (October 1950) until October 1955. During that period, he also edited Grosset & Dunlap's Science Fiction Classics series, which he conceived as an inexpensive alternative to hard-to-find small-press editions of such titles as Robert A. Heinlein's Beyond This Horizon and Isaac Asimov's I, Robot, although the first title in the series (Henry Kuttner's Fury) was that story's first book publication.

The Weather-Conditioned House (1958) is not science fiction but a practical discussion of methods involved in weather-conditioning a house. The book was authoritative enough that it was reissued with an update in 1982.

In the last three years of his life, Conklin was the staff science editor for The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language. He lived in New York at 150 West 96th Street. At the age of 63, he died of emphysema in his summer home at Pawling, New York.[1]

A major survey of Conklin's contribution to science fiction is contained in Bud Webster's 41 Above the Rest: An Index and Checklist for the Anthologies of Groff Conklin. Webster's study prompted this comment from Barry Malzberg:

Groff Conklin was the most important science fiction anthologist through the years of the genre's true second generation, that point at which its previously magazine-bound masterpieces were being systematically located, aligned and placed into permanent format. His contribution over the period of two decades was irreplaceable and all of our postwar history exists in the penumbra of his work. Bud Webster has in this index granted an act of scholarship and homage of equal irreplaceability.

Bibliography

Non-fiction

  • How to Run a Rental Library (1934)
  • All About Subways (1938)
  • All About Houses (1939)
  • Good News About Diabetes (1954) with Lucy Conklin
  • Insulate and Air Condition Your Home (1955) with Arthur Watkins
  • The Weather Conditioned House (1958)
  • Diabetics Unknown (1961)
  • The Dangerous Cold: Its Cures and Complications (1965) with Noah D. Fabricant

Anthologies edited

Single-author collections edited

  • 28 Science Fiction Stories by H. G. Wells (1952)
  • A Way Home by Theodore Sturgeon (1955)
  • Thunder and Roses (collection)|Thunder and Roses by Theodore Sturgeon (1957)
  • Ten Great Mysteries by Edgar Allan Poe (1960)

References

  1. ^ a b c "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2008-07-25. Retrieved 2017-05-21.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)

Sources

  • R. Reginald. Science Fiction and Fantasy Literature: A Checklist; Volume 2: Contemporary Science Fiction Authors II (p. 860). Detroit, Michigan: Gale Research Company, 1979. ISBN 0-8103-1051-1

External links

13 Above the Night (anthology)

13 Above the Night is an anthology of science fiction short stories edited by American anthologist Groff Conklin. It was first published in paperback by Dell Books in October 1965; it was reprinted in November 1969.The book collects thirteen novelettes and short stories by various science fiction authors, together with an introduction by the editor. The stories were previously published from 1951-1963 in various science fiction magazines.

13 Great Stories of Science Fiction

13 Great Stories of Science Fiction is an anthology of science fiction short stories edited by Groff Conklin. It was first published in paperback by Fawcett Gold Medal in May 1960 and reprinted by Fawcett Gold Medal in September 1962, 1964, December 1969, and July 1979. The first hardcover edition was published by White Lion in 1972. The first British edition was issued by Coronet in 1967 and reprinted in 1972 and 1973.The book collects thirteen novelettes and short stories by various science fiction authors, together with an introduction by the editor. The stories were previously published from 1946-1957 in various science fiction and other magazines.

17 X Infinity

17 X Infinity is an anthology of science fiction short stories edited by Groff Conklin. It was first published in paperback by Dell in August 1963 and reprinted in April 1969. The first British edition was issued by Mayflower-Dell in 1964 and reprinted in 1965.The book collects seventeen novelettes and short stories, plus one poem, by various authors, together with an introduction by the editor. The stories were previously published from 1909-1962 in various science fiction and other magazines.

4 for the Future

4 for the Future is an anthology of science fiction novelettes edited by Groff Conklin. It was first published in paperback by Pyramid Books in August 1959; it was reprinted in June 1962. The first British edition, also in paperback, was issued by Consul Books in 1961. The book should not be confused with the similarly titled 1969 Harry Harrison-edited anthology Four for the Future.

The book collects four novelettes by various science fiction authors. The stories were previously published from 1944-1956 in various science fiction magazines.

6 Great Short Novels of Science Fiction

6 Great Short Novels of Science Fiction is an anthology of science fiction short stories edited by Groff Conklin. It was first published in paperback by Dell Books in 1954. The book should not be confused with his similarly titled later anthology, Six Great Short Science Fiction Novels.

The book collects six novellas and novelettes by various science fiction authors, together with an introduction by the editor. The stories were previously published from 1940-1952 in various science fiction and other magazines.

Another Part of the Galaxy

Another Part of the Galaxy is an anthology of science fiction short stories edited by Groff Conklin. It was first published in paperback by Fawcett Gold Medal in 1966.The book collects six novelettes and short stories by various science fiction authors, together with a general introduction and brief introductions to each story by the editor. The stories were previously published from 1953-1959 in various science fiction and other magazines.

Big Book of Science Fiction

Big Book of Science Fiction is an anthology of science fiction short stories edited by Groff Conklin. It was first published in hardcover by Crown Publishers in August 1950. A later edition was issued by Bonanza Books/Crown Publishers in 1978 under the alternate title The Classic Books of Science Fiction. An abridged paperback edition containing ten of its 32 stories was published by Berkley Books in April 1957, and reprinted in June 1957 and September 1964; the reprints bore the variant title The Big Book of Science Fiction.The book collects thirty-two novellas, novelettes and short stories by various science fiction authors, together with an introduction by the editor. The stories were previously published from 1889-1950 in various science fiction and other magazines.

Br-r-r-!

Br-r-r-! is an anthology of horror short stories edited by Groff Conklin. It was first published in paperback by Avon in 1959.The book collects ten novelettes and short stories by various authors, together with an introduction by the editor. The stories were previously published from 1915-1957 in various magazines.

Crossroads in Time

Crossroads in Time is an anthology of science fiction short stories edited by Groff Conklin. It was first published in paperback by Permabooks in November 1953. It has also been translated into Spanish.The book collects eighteen novellas, novelettes and short stories by various science fiction authors, together with an introduction by the editor. The stories were previously published from 1936-1953 in various science fiction and other magazines.

Dimension 4

Dimension 4 is an anthology of science fiction short stories edited by Groff Conklin. It was first published in paperback by Pyramid Books in February 1964.The book collects four novelettes by various science fiction authors. The stories were previously published from 1942-1958 in the science fiction magazines Astounding Science Fiction and Nebula Science Fiction.

Giants Unleashed

Giants Unleashed is an anthology of science fiction short stories edited by Groff Conklin. It was first published in hardcover by Grosset & Dunlap in 1965. A paperback edition followed from the publisher's Tempo Books imprint in April 1966, and was reprinted (under the alternate title Minds Unleashed in October 1970.The book collects twelve novelettes and short stories by various science fiction authors, together with an introduction by the editor. The stories were previously published from 1939-1958 in various science fiction and other magazines.

Operation Future

Operation Future is an anthology of science fiction short stories edited by Groff Conklin. It was first published in paperback by Permabooks in July 1955 and reprinted in September 1956.The book collects nineteen novellas, novelettes and short stories by various science fiction authors, together with an introduction by the editor. The stories were previously published from 1939-1954 in various science fiction and other magazines.

Science-Fiction Adventures in Dimension

Science-Fiction Adventures in Dimension is an anthology of science fiction stories edited by Groff Conklin, first published by Vanguard Press in hardcover in 1953. An abridged edition was issued by Grayson & Grayson in the UK, and an abridged paperback edition, with a different selection of stories from the original, was issued by Berkley Books; both abridgments carried unhyphenated titles.

Science Fiction Thinking Machines

Science Fiction Thinking Machines: Robots, Androids, Computers is an anthology of science fiction short stories edited by American anthologist Groff Conklin. It was first published in hardcover by Vanguard Press in May 1954. An abridged paperback edition titled Selections from Science Fiction Thinking Machines was published by Bantam Books in August 1955 and reprinted in September 1964.The book collects twenty-two novelettes and short stories by various science fiction authors, together with an introduction and bibliography by the editor. The stories were previously published from 1899-1954 in various science fiction and other magazines.

Seven Come Infinity

Seven Come Infinity is an anthology of science fiction short stories edited by Groff Conklin. It was first published in paperback by Fawcett Gold Medal in 1966. The first British edition was published by Coronet in 1967.The book collects seven novellas, novelettes and short stories by various science fiction authors, together with a preface by the editor. The stories were previously published from 1950 to 1960 in various science fiction and other magazines.

Six Great Short Science Fiction Novels

Six Great Short Science Fiction Novels is an anthology of science fiction short stories edited by Groff Conklin. It was first published in paperback by Dell in November 1960. The book should not be confused with his similarly titled earlier anthology, 6 Great Short Novels of Science Fiction.

The book collects six novellas and novelettes by various science fiction authors, together with an introduction by the editor. The stories were previously published from 1954-1960 in various science fiction and other magazines.

The Best of Science Fiction

The Best of Science Fiction, published in 1946, is an anthlogy of science fiction anthologies edited by American critic and editor Groff Conklin.

The Science Fiction Galaxy

The Science Fiction Galaxy is an anthology of science fiction short stories edited by Groff Conklin. It was first published in hardcover by Permabooks in 1950.The book collects twelve novelettes and short stories by various authors, together with an introduction by the editor. The stories were previously published from 1909-1949 in various science fiction and other magazines.

Twisted (anthology)

Twisted is an anthology of horror short stories edited by Groff Conklin. It was first published in paperback by Belmont Books in May 1962 and reprinted in 1967. British paperback editions were issued by Horwitz in 1963 and Four Square Books in 1965. It has also been translated into Spanish.The book collects fifteen novelettes and short stories by various authors, together with an introduction by the editor. The stories were previously published from 1843-1961 in various magazines.

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