John W. Campbell

John Wood Campbell Jr. (June 8, 1910 – July 11, 1971) was an American science fiction writer and editor. He was editor of Astounding Science Fiction (later called Analog Science Fiction and Fact) 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.[1] His novella "Who Goes There?" was adapted as the films The Thing from Another World (1951), The Thing (1982), and The Thing (2011).

Campbell began writing science fiction at age 18 while attending MIT. He published six short stories, one novel, and six letters in the science fiction magazine Amazing Stories from 1930 to 1931. This work established Campbell's reputation as a writer of space adventure. When in 1934 he began to write stories with a different tone, he wrote as Don A. Stuart. From 1930 until the later part of that decade, Campbell was prolific and successful under both names, though he stopped writing fiction shortly after he became editor of Astounding in 1937.

It is as editor of Astounding Science Fiction (later called Analog Science Fiction and Fact) from late 1937 until his death for which Campbell is primarily remembered today. As well, in 1939, Campbell started the fantasy magazine Unknown, although it was canceled after only four years. Referring to his time spent as an editor, The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction wrote: "More than any other individual, he helped to shape modern sf."[2] Isaac Asimov called Campbell "the most powerful force in science fiction ever" and said the "first ten years of his editorship he dominated the field completely."[3] In his capacity as an editor, Campbell published some of the very earliest work, and helped shape the careers, of virtually every important sf author to debut between 1938 and 1946, including Robert A. Heinlein, Theodore Sturgeon, Isaac Asimov, and Arthur C. Clarke.

An increasingly strong interest in pseudoscience later alienated Campbell from many of the writers whose careers he had nurtured; Heinlein, Sturgeon, Asimov, and Clarke rarely worked with him after about 1950.[4][5] As well, beginning in the 1960s, Campbell's controversial essays supporting segregation, and other remarks and writings surrounding slavery and race, served to distance him from many in the science fiction community.[6][7] Nevertheless, Campbell remained an important figure in science fiction publishing up until his death. Campbell and Astounding shared one of the inaugural Hugo Awards with H. L. Gold and Galaxy at the 1953 World Science Fiction Convention. Subsequently, Campbell and Astounding (later renamed Analog) won the Hugo Award for Best Professional Magazine seven times.

Shortly after his death in 1971, the University of Kansas science fiction program established the annual John W. Campbell Memorial Award for Best Science Fiction Novel and also renamed after him its annual Campbell Conference. The World Science Fiction Society established the annual John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer. The Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame inducted Campbell in 1996, in its inaugural class of two deceased and two living persons.

John W. Campbell
Campbell in 1965.
Campbell in 1965.
BornJohn Wood Campbell Jr.
June 8, 1910
Newark, New Jersey, United States
DiedJuly 11, 1971 (aged 61)
Mountainside, New Jersey, United States
Pen nameDon A. Stuart
OccupationMagazine editor, writer
Alma materMIT (no degree)
Duke University (BS, physics, 1932)
GenreScience fiction

Firma Campbell


John Campbell was born in Newark, New Jersey[8] in 1910. His father was an electrical engineer. His mother, Dorothy (née Strahern) had an identical twin who visited them often and who disliked John. John was unable to tell them apart and says he was frequently rebuffed by the person he took to be his mother.[9] Campbell attended the Blair Academy, a boarding school in rural Warren County, New Jersey, but did not graduate because of lack of credits for French and trigonometry.[10] He also attended, without graduating, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where he was befriended by the mathematician Norbert Wiener (who coined the term cybernetics) – but he failed German and MIT dismissed him. After one year at Duke University, he graduated with a Bachelor of Science in physics in 1932.[11][2]

Campbell began writing science fiction at age 18 while attending MIT and sold his first stories quickly. From January 1930 to June 1931, Amazing Stories published six of his short stories, one novel, and six letters.[12] Campbell was editor of Astounding Science Fiction (later called Analog Science Fiction and Fact) from late 1937 until his death. He stopped writing fiction after he became editor of Astounding. Between December 11, 1957, and June 13, 1958, he hosted a weekly science fiction radio program called Exploring Tomorrow. The scripts were written by authors such as Gordon R. Dickson and Robert Silverberg.[13]

Campbell and Dona Stewart married in 1931. They divorced in 1949 and he married Margaret (Peg) Winter in 1950. He spent most of his life in New Jersey and died of heart failure at his home in Mountainside, New Jersey.[14][15][16] He was an atheist.[17]

Writing career

Amazing stories 193001
Campbell's first published story, "When the Atoms Failed", was cover-featured in the January 1930 issue of Amazing Stories
John W Campbell 193102
Campbell as depicted in the January 1932 issue of Wonder Stories
Amazing stories 193610
The first installment of Campbell's serial "Uncertainty" took the cover of the October 1936 issue of Amazing Stories

Editor T. O'Conor Sloane lost Campbell's first manuscript that he accepted for Amazing Stories, entitled "Invaders of the Infinite".[2] "When the Atoms Failed" appeared in January 1930, followed by five more during 1930. Three were part of a space opera series featuring the characters Arcot, Morey, and Wade. A complete novel in the series, Islands of Space, was the cover story in the Spring 1931 Quarterly.[12] During 1934–35 a serial novel, The Mightiest Machine, ran in Astounding Stories, edited by F. Orlin Tremaine, and several stories featuring lead characters Penton and Blake appeared from late 1936 in Thrilling Wonder Stories, edited by Mort Weisinger.[12]

The early work for Amazing established Campbell's reputation as a writer of space adventure. When in 1934 he began to publish stories with a different tone he wrote as Don A. Stuart, a pseudonym derived from his wife's maiden name.[9]

From 1930 until the later part of that decade, Campbell was prolific and successful under both names. Three significant stories published under the pseudonym are "Twilight" (Astounding, November 1934), "Night" (Astounding, October 1935), and "Who Goes There?" (Astounding, August 1938). "Who Goes There?", about a group of Antarctic researchers who discover a crashed alien vessel, formerly inhabited by a malevolent shape-changing occupant, was published in Astounding almost a year after Campbell became its editor and it was his last significant piece of fiction, at age 28. It was filmed as The Thing from Another World (1951), The Thing (1982), and again as The Thing (2011).

Campbell held the amateur radio call sign W2ZGU, and wrote many articles on electronics and radio for a wide range of magazines.

Editing career

Tremaine hired Campbell to succeed him[18] as the editor of Astounding from its October 1937 issue.[12][19][20] Campbell was not given full authority for Astounding until May 1938,[21] but had been responsible for buying stories somewhat earlier.[Note 1][19][20][23] He began to make changes almost immediately, instigating a "mutant" label for unusual stories, and in March 1938 changing the title from Astounding Stories to Astounding Science-Fiction.

Lester del Rey's first story, in March 1938, was an early find for Campbell, and in 1939, he published such an extraordinary group of new writers for the first time that the period is generally regarded as the beginning of the "Golden Age of Science Fiction", and the July 1939 issue in particular.[Note 2] The July issue contained A. E. van Vogt's first story, "Black Destroyer", and Asimov's early story "Trends"; August brought Robert A. Heinlein's first story, "Life-Line", and the next month Theodore Sturgeon's first story appeared.

Also in 1939, Campbell started the fantasy magazine Unknown (later Unknown Worlds).[25] Although Unknown was canceled after only four years, a victim of wartime paper shortages, the magazine's editorial direction was significant in the evolution of modern fantasy.[26]

Astounding November 1949
The November 1949 issue.


The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction wrote: "More than any other individual, he helped to shape modern sf,"[2] and Darrell Schweitzer credits him with having "decreed that SF writers should pull themselves up out of the pulp mire and start writing intelligently, for adults."[27] After 1950, new magazines such as Galaxy Science Fiction and The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction moved in different directions and developed talented new writers who were not directly influenced by him. Campbell often suggested story ideas to writers (including "Write me a creature that thinks as well as a man, or better than a man, but not like a man"), and sometimes asked for stories to match cover paintings he had already bought.

Campbell had a strong formative influence on Asimov and eventually became a friend.[28] Asimov said of Campbell's influence on the field:

"By his own example and by his instruction and by his undeviating and persisting insistence, he forced first Astounding and then all science fiction into his mold. He abandoned the earlier orientation of the field. He demolished the stock characters who had filled it; eradicated the penny dreadful plots; extirpated the Sunday-supplement science. In a phrase, he blotted out the purple of pulp. Instead, he demanded that science-fiction writers understand science and understand people, a hard requirement that many of the established writers of the 1930s could not meet. Campbell did not compromise because of that: those who could not meet his requirements could not sell to him, and the carnage was as great as it had been in Hollywood a decade before, while silent movies had given way to the talkies."[29]

One example of the type of speculative but plausible science fiction that Campbell demanded from his writers is "Deadline", a short story by Cleve Cartmill that appeared during the wartime year of 1944, a year before the detonation of the first atomic bomb. As Ben Bova, Campbell's successor as editor at Analog, wrote, it "described the basic facts of how to build an atomic bomb. Cartmill and Campbell worked together on the story, drawing their scientific information from papers published in the technical journals before the war. To them, the mechanics of constructing a uranium-fission bomb seemed perfectly obvious." The FBI descended on Campbell's office after the story appeared in print and demanded that the issue be removed from the newsstands. Campbell convinced them that by removing the magazine "the FBI would be advertising to everyone that such a project existed and was aimed at developing nuclear weapons" and the demand was dropped.[30]

Campbell was also responsible for the grim and controversial ending of Tom Godwin's short story "The Cold Equations". Writer Joe Green recounted that Campbell had

"three times sent 'Cold Equations' back to Godwin, before he got the version he wanted ... Godwin kept coming up with ingenious ways to save the girl! Since the strength of this deservedly classic story lies in the fact that the life of one young woman must be sacrificed to save the lives of many, it simply would not have the same impact if she had lived."[31]

Between December 11, 1957, and June 13, 1958, Campbell hosted a weekly science fiction radio program called Exploring Tomorrow.


Slavery and racism

Green wrote that Campbell "enjoyed taking the 'devil's advocate' position in almost any area, willing to defend even viewpoints with which he disagreed if that led to a livelier debate." As an example, he wrote, Campbell

"pointed out that the much-maligned 'peculiar institution' of slavery in the American South had in fact provided the blacks brought there with a higher standard of living than they had in Africa ... I suspected, from comments by Asimov, among others – and some Analog editorials I had read – that John held some racist views, at least in regard to blacks."

Finally, however, Green agreed with Campbell that "rapidly increasing mechanization after 1850 would have soon rendered slavery obsolete anyhow. It would have been better for the USA to endure it a few more years than suffer the truly horrendous costs of the Civil War."[32] In a June 1961 editorial called "Civil War Centennial," Campbell argued that slavery had been a dominant form of human relationships for most of history and that the present was unusual in that anti-slavery cultures dominated the planet. He wrote,

"It's my bet that the South would have been integrated by 1910. The job would have been done – and done right – half a century sooner, with vastly less human misery, and with almost no bloodshed ... The only way slavery has ever been ended, anywhere, is by introducing industry ... If a man is a skilled and competent machinist – if the lathes work well under his hands – the industrial management will be forced, to remain in business, to accept that fact, whether the man be black, white, purple, or polka-dotted."[33]

According to Michael Moorcock, Campbell suggested that some people preferred slavery.

"He also, when faced with the Watts riots of the mid-sixties, seriously proposed and went on to proposing that there were 'natural' slaves who were unhappy if freed. I sat on a panel with him in 1965, as he pointed out that the worker bee when unable to work dies of misery, that the moujiks when freed went to their masters and begged to be enslaved again, that the ideals of the anti-slavers who fought in the Civil War were merely expressions of self-interest and that the blacks were 'against' emancipation, which was fundamentally why they were indulging in 'leaderless' riots in the suburbs of Los Angeles."[7]

On February 10, 1967, Campbell rejected Samuel R. Delany's Nova a month before it was ultimately published, with a note and phone call to his agent explaining that he didn't feel his readership "would be able to relate to a black main character". There reputedly exists a letter from him to horror writer Dean Koontz in which Campbell argues that a technologically advanced black civilization would be a social and a biological impossibility.[34]

In 1963, Campbell published an essay supporting segregated schools and arguing that "the Negro race" had failed to "produce[] super-high-geniuses".[35] In 1965, he continued his defense of segregation and related practices, critiquing "the arrogant defiance of law by many of the Negro 'Civil Rights' groups".[36]

Medicine and health

Campbell was a critic of government regulation of health and safety, excoriating numerous public health initiatives and regulations.

Campbell was a heavy smoker throughout his life and was seldom seen without his customary cigarette holder. In the Analog of September 1964, nine months after the Surgeon General's first major warning about the dangers of cigarette smoking had been issued (January 11, 1964) Campbell ran an editorial, "A Counterblaste to Tobacco" that took its title from the anti-smoking book of the same name by King James I of England.[37] In it, he stated that the connection to lung cancer was "esoteric" and referred to "a barely determinable possible correlation between cigarette smoking and cancer." He said that tobacco's calming effects led to more effective thinking.[38]

However, in a one-page piece about automobile safety in the Analog dated May 1967, Campbell wrote of "people suddenly becoming conscious of the fact that cars kill more people than cigarettes do, even if the antitobacco alarmists were completely right..."[39]

His critiques of government regulation of health risks were not limited to tobacco. In 1963, Campbell published an angry editorial about Frances Oldham Kelsey who, while at the FDA, refused to permit thalidomide from being sold in the United States.[40]

In a number of other essays, Campbell supported crank medicine, arguing that government regulation was more harmful than beneficial[41] and that regulating quackery prevented many possible beneficial medicines.(krebiozen).[42][43]

Pseudoscience, parapsychology, and fringe politics

In the 1930s Campbell became interested in Joseph Rhine's theories about ESP (Rhine had already founded Parapsychology Laboratory at Duke University when Campbell was a student there),[44] and over the following years his growing interest in parapsychology would be reflected in the stories he published when he encouraged the writers to include these topics in their tales,[45] leading to the publication of numerous works about telepathy and other psionic abilities.

His increasing beliefs in pseudoscience would eventually start to isolate and alienate him from some of his own writers. He wrote favorably about such things as the "Dean drive", a device that supposedly produced thrust in violation of Newton's third law, and the "Hieronymus machine", which could supposedly amplify psi powers.[46][Note 3][Note 4]

In 1949, Campbell also became interested in Dianetics. He wrote of L. Ron Hubbard's initial article in Astounding that "[i]t is, I assure you in full and absolute sincerity, one of the most important articles ever published."[46]

Asimov wrote: "A number of writers wrote pseudoscientific stuff to ensure sales to Campbell, but the best writers retreated, I among them. ..."[4] Elsewhere Asimov went on to further explain,

"Campbell championed far-out ideas ... He pained very many of the men he had trained (including me) in doing so, but felt it was his duty to stir up the minds of his readers and force curiosity right out to the border lines. He began a series of editorials ... in which he championed a social point of view that could sometimes be described as far right (he expressed sympathy for George Wallace in the 1968 national election, for instance). There was bitter opposition to this from many (including me – I could hardly ever read a Campbell editorial and keep my temper)."[6]

Assessment by peers

Damon Knight described Campbell as a "portly, bristled-haired blond man with a challenging stare."[48] "Six-foot-one, with hawklike features, he presented a formidable appearance," said Sam Moskowitz.[49] "He was a tall, large man with light hair, a beaky nose, a wide face with thin lips, and with a cigarette in a holder forever clamped between his teeth," wrote Asimov.[50]

Algis Budrys wrote that "John W. Campbell was the greatest editor SF has seen or is likely to see, and is in fact one of the major editors in all English-language literature in the middle years of the twentieth century. All about you is the heritage of what he built".[51]

Asimov said that Campbell was "talkative, opinionated, quicksilver-minded, overbearing. Talking to him meant listening to a monologue ..."[50] Knight agreed: "Campbell's lecture-room manner was so unpleasant to me that I was unwilling to face it. Campbell talked a good deal more than he listened, and he liked to say outrageous things."[52]

British novelist and critic Kingsley Amis dismissed Campbell brusquely: "I might just add as a sociological note that the editor of Astounding, himself a deviant figure of marked ferocity, seems to think he has invented a psi machine."[53]

Several SF novelists have criticized Campbell as prejudiced - Samuel R. Delany for Campbell's rejection of a novel due to the black main character,[54] and Joe Haldeman in the dedication of Forever Peace, for rejecting a novel due to a female soldier protagonist.

British SF novelist Michael Moorcock, as part of his Starship Stormtroopers editorial, said Campbell's Stories and its writers were "wild-eyed paternalists to a man, fierce anti-socialists" with "[stories] full of crew-cut wisecracking, cigar-chewing, competent guys (like Campbell's image of himself)", who had success because their "work reflected the deep-seated conservatism of the majority of their readers, who saw a Bolshevik menace in every union meeting". He viewed Campbell as turning the magazine into a vessel for right-wing politics, "by the early 1950s ... a crypto-fascist deeply philistine magazine pretending to intellectualism and offering idealistic kids an 'alternative' that was, of course, no alternative at all".[7]

SF writer Alfred Bester, an editor of Holiday Magazine and a sophisticated Manhattanite, recounted at some length his "one demented meeting" with Campbell, a man he imagined from afar to be "a combination of Bertrand Russell and Ernest Rutherford." The first thing Campbell said to him was that Freud was dead, destroyed by the new discovery of Dianetics, which, he predicted, would win L. Ron Hubbard the Nobel Peace Prize. Campbell ordered the bemused Bester to "think back. Clear yourself. Remember! You can remember when your mother tried to abort you with a button hook. You've never stopped hating her for it." Bester commented: "It reinforced my private opinion that a majority of the science-fiction crowd, despite their brilliance, were missing their marbles."[55]

Campbell died in 1971 at the age of 61 in Mountainside, New Jersey.[56] At the time of his sudden death after 34 years at the helm of Analog, Campbell's quirky personality and eccentric editorial demands had alienated a number of his most illustrious writers to the point that they no longer submitted works to him. After 1950, Theodore Sturgeon only published one story in Astounding but dozens in other magazines.[5]

Asimov remained grateful for Campbell's early friendship and support. He dedicated The Early Asimov (1972) to him, and concluded it by stating that "There is no way at all to express how much he meant to me and how much he did for me except, perhaps, to write this book evoking, once more, those days of a quarter century ago".[57] His final word on Campbell, however, was that "in the last twenty years of his life, he was only a diminishing shadow of what he had once been."[4] Even Heinlein, perhaps Campbell's most important discovery and a "fast friend,"[58] eventually tired of him.[59][60]

Poul Anderson wrote that Campbell "had saved and regenerated science fiction", which had become "the product of hack pulpsters" when he took over Astounding. "By his editorial policies and the help and encouragement he gave his writers (always behind the scenes), he raised both the literary and the intellectual standard anew. Whatever progress has been made stems from that renaissance".[61]

Awards and honors

Shortly after Campbell's death, the University of Kansas science fiction program – now the Center for the Study of Science Fiction – established the annual John W. Campbell Memorial Award for Best Science Fiction Novel and also renamed after him its annual Campbell Conference. The World Science Fiction Society established the annual John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer. All three memorials became effective in 1973.

The Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame inducted Campbell in 1996, in its inaugural class of two deceased and two living persons.[62]

Campbell and Astounding shared one of the inaugural Hugo Awards with H. L. Gold and Galaxy at the 1953 World Science Fiction Convention. Subsequently, he won the Hugo Award for Best Professional Magazine seven times to 1965.[63] In 2018 he won a retrospective Hugo Award for Best Editor, Short Form (1943).[64]

The Martian impact crater Campbell was named after him.[65]


This shortened bibliography lists each title once. Some titles that are duplicated are different versions, whereas other publications of Campbell's with different titles are simply selections from or retitlings of other works, and have hence been omitted. The main bibliographic sources are footnoted from this paragraph and provided much of the information in the following sections.[2][20][66][67][68]


Short story collections and omnibus editions

Edited books

  • From Unknown Worlds (1948)
  • The Astounding Science Fiction Anthology (1952)
  • Prologue to Analog (1962)
  • Analog I (1963)
  • Analog II (1964)
  • Analog 3 (1965)
  • Analog 4 (1966)
  • Analog 5 (1967)
  • Analog 6 (1968)
  • Analog 7 (1969)
  • Analog 8 (1971)


  • Editorial Number Three: "Letter From the Editor", in A Requiem for Astounding (1964)
  • Collected Editorials from Analog (1966)
  • The John W. Campbell Letters, Volume 1 (1986)
  • The John W. Campbell Letters with Isaac Asimov & A.E. van Vogt, Volume II (1993)

Memorial works

Memorial works (Festschrift) include:

  • Harry Harrison, ed. (1973). Astounding: John W. Campbell Memorial Anthology. New York: Random House. ISBN 0-394-48167-4.

Further reading

Marowski, Daniel G. and Stine, Jean C. “John W(ood) Campbell, Jr. (1910-1971).” Contemporary Literary Criticism. Vol. 32, 1985: 71-82 Literature Criticism Online. Web. 2 Nov. 2011.


  1. ^ An editorial notice in the April 1938 issue made it clear Campbell was responsible for stories appearing as early as February. The editorial note was not signed, but it refers to stories bought for the last three issues,[22] one of which (Lester del Rey's "The Faithful") is known to have been bought by Campbell.[19]
  2. ^ For example, The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction says "The beginning of Campbell's particular Golden Age of SF can be pinpointed as the summer of 1939," and goes on to begin the discussion with the July 1939 issue.[2] Lester del Rey comments that "July was the turning point."[24]
  3. ^ Science-fiction writer and critic Damon Knight commented in his book In Search of Wonder: "In the pantheon of magazine science fiction there is no more complex and puzzling figure than that of John Campbell, and certainly none odder." Knight also wrote a four-stanza ditty about some of Campbell's new interests. The first stanza reads:
    Oh, the Dean Machine, the Dean Machine,
    You put it right in a submarine,
    And it flies so high that it cannot be seen –
    The wonderful, wonderful Dean Machine!
  4. ^ In 1957, novelist and critic James Blish tallied: "From the professional writer's point of view, the primary interest in Astounding Science Fiction continues to center on the editor's preoccupation with extrasensory powers and perceptions ('psi') as a springboard for stories ... 113 pages of the total editorial content of the January and February 1957 issues of this magazine are devoted to psi, and 172 to non-psi material ... By including the first part of a serial that later becomes a novel about psi the total for these first two issues of 1957 is 145 pages of psi text, and 140 pages of non-psi."[47]


  1. ^ Clute & Nicholls (1995), pp. 187–188.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Edwards (1993), p. 199.
  3. ^ Asimov (1994), p. 73.
  4. ^ a b c Asimov (1994), p. 74.
  5. ^ a b Latham, Rob (2009). "Fiction, 1950-1963". In Bould, Mark; Butler, Andrew M.; Roberts, Adam; Vint, Sherryl. The Routledge Companion to Science Fiction. Routledge. pp. 80–89. ISBN 978-1-135-22836-1.
  6. ^ a b Asimov (1973), p. xii.
  7. ^ a b c Michael Moorcock. "Starship Stormtroopers". Archived from the original on 2002-12-24.
  8. ^ Ash, Brian (1976). Who's Who in Science Fiction. London: Elm Tree Books. p. 63. ISBN 0-241-89383-6.
  9. ^ a b Amazing Stories. August 1963. p. 101.
  10. ^ Alec Nevala-Lee (2018). Astounding: John W. Campbell, Isaac Asimov, Robert A. Heinlein, L. Ron Hubbard, and the Golden Age of Science Fiction. New York: Dey Street Books / HarperCollins. ISBN 9780062571946., chapter 1.
  11. ^ Analog Science Fiction/Science Fact. October 1971. p. 4.
  12. ^ a b c d John W. Campbell at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database (ISFDB). Retrieved 2013-04-13. 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.
  13. ^ Bould, Mark; Vint, Sherryl (2011-02-28). The Routledge Concise History of Science Fiction. Routledge. ISBN 9781136820403.
  14. ^ Asimov (1973), p. ix.
  15. ^ "John W. Campbell". NNDB. Soylent Communications.
  16. ^ Staff. "John W. Campbell of Analog, Science Magazine, Dead at 61", The New York Times, July 13, 1971. Accessed November 26, 2018. "Mountainside, N.J., July 12—John. W. Campbell, editor of Analog, a leading science fiction and fact magazine, who was also a writer and anthologist, died, yesterday of a heart ailment at his home, 1457 Orchard Road."
  17. ^ Paul Malmont (2011). The Astounding, the Amazing, and the Unknown: A Novel. Simon and Schuster. p. 34. ISBN 978-1-4391-6893-6. For, even though John W. Campbell was an avowed atheist, when the most powerful ed at Street & Smith lost his temper, he put the fear of God into others.
  18. ^ "The Science-Fiction Association Report". NOVAE TERRAE #19. Vol. 2 no. 7. December 1937. p. 18. Retrieved July 31, 2014 – via
  19. ^ a b c del Rey, Lester (1976). The Early del Rey. New York: Ballantine Books. pp. 4–7, 18. ISBN 0-345-25063-X.
  20. ^ a b c Tuck, Donald H. (1974). The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction and Fantasy: Volume 1. Chicago: Advent: Publishers, Inc. p. 87. ISBN 0-911682-20-1.
  21. ^ del Rey, Lester (1979). The World of Science Fiction and Fantasy: The History of a Subculture. New York: Ballantine Books. p. 91. ISBN 0-345-25452-X.
  22. ^ Astounding Science-Fiction. April 1938. p. 125.
  23. ^ "Statement of ownership". Astounding Science-Fiction. November 1937. p. 159. The statement listed Tremaine as the editor as of October 1, 1937.
  24. ^ del Rey, Lester (1979). The World of Science Fiction and Fantasy: The History of a Subculture. New York: Ballantine Books. p. 94. ISBN 0-345-25452-X.
  25. ^ Phil Stephensen-Payne. "Street & Smith's Unknown". Galactic Central. Galactic Central Publications. Retrieved 2018-03-25. "Unknown". Retrieved 2009-07-01.
  26. ^ Joshi, S T (December 2006). Icons of horror and the supernatural. Greenwood Press. p. 600. ISBN 978-0-313-33780-2. Retrieved 2009-07-01.
  27. ^ "Books, by Darrell Schweitzer: SERIOUS FICTION", in Aboriginal Science Fiction March/April 1989
  28. ^ Gunn, James (1982). Isaac Asimov: The Foundations of Science Fiction. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 12–13, 20. ISBN 0-19-503059-1.
  29. ^ Asimov (1973), pp. ix–x.
  30. ^ Ben Bova (1975), pp. 66–67.
  31. ^ Joe Green (2006), p. 13.
  32. ^ Joe Green (2006), p. 15.
  33. ^ "Editorial". Analog Science Fiction/Science Fact. June 1961. p. 5.
  34. ^ Samuel R. Delany (August 1998). "Racism and Science Fiction". The New York Review of Science Fiction. No. 120.
  35. ^ Campbell, "Segregation" (1963.
  36. ^ Campbell, "Breakthrough in Psychology!" (1965).
  37. ^ "Editorial". Analog Science Fiction/Science Fact. June 1961. p. 8.
  38. ^ "Editorial". Analog Science Fiction/Science Fact. September 1964. p. 8.
  39. ^ "Unsafe at High Speed". Analog Science Fiction/Science Fact. May 1967. p. 80.
  40. ^ Campbell (January 1963). "The Lesson of Thalidomide". Analog Science Fiction/Science Fact. Retrieved 4 April 2018 – via Science Fiction Project - Free Culture.
  41. ^ Campbell, "The Value of Panic" (1956).
  42. ^ Campbell, "Fully Identified..." (1964)
  43. ^ Campbell, "Louis Pasteur, Medical Quack" (1964)
  44. ^ "Full text of 'Who Goes There?'". Archived from the original on 2016-03-20. Retrieved 2018-03-26. 'I guess you and I, Doc, weren't so sensitive – if you want to believe in telepathy.' 'I have to,' Copper sighted. 'Dr. Rhine of Duke University has shown that it exist, shown that some are much more sensitive than others.'
  45. ^ Larry McCaffery (July 1991). "An Interview with Jack Williamson". Science Fiction Studies. 18, Part 2. ISSN 0091-7729. He had gotten interested in the work that Joseph Rhine was conducting in psi phenomena at Duke University. I had written With Folded Hands without consultation with Campbell at all. He liked it and accepted it for publication, but he suggested that I look into Rhine.
  46. ^ a b Astounding Science Fiction. April 1950. p. 132.
  47. ^ James Blish (1970), pp. 86–87.
  48. ^ Aldiss & Harrison (1975), p. 114.
  49. ^ Moskowitz (1967).
  50. ^ a b Asimov (1994), p. 72.
  51. ^ Algis Budrys (2013). Benchmarks Revisited. Volume 2 1983–1986. Ansible Editions. p. 241. Retrieved 2018-03-26.
  52. ^ Aldiss & Harrison (1975), p. 133.
  53. ^ Amis (1960), p. 84.
  54. ^ "Racism and Science Fiction". Retrieved 2018-05-31.
  55. ^ Aldiss & Harrison (1975), p. 57.
  56. ^ Solstein, Eric; Moosnick, Gregory (May 23, 2002). "Appendix F: Obituary from The New York Times (July 13, 1971)". John W. Campbell's Golden Age of Science Fiction: Text Supplement to the DVD (PDF). Digital Media Zone. pp. 98–100. Retrieved 2010-05-28.
  57. ^ Asimov, Isaac (1972). The Early Asimov or, Eleven Years of Trying. Doubleday. p. 564.
  58. ^ Virginia Heinlein (1989), p. 8.
  59. ^ Virginia Heinlein (1989), p. 36 "When Podkayne was offered to him, he wrote Robert, asking what he knew about raising young girls in a few thousand carefully chosen words. The friendship dwindled, and was eventually completely gone."
  60. ^ Virginia Heinlein (1989), p. 152 In 1963, Heinlein wrote his agent to say that a rejection from another magazine was "pleasanter than offering copy to John Campbell, having it bounced (he bounced both of my last two Hugo Award winners) – and then have to wade through ten pages of his arrogant insults, explaining to me why my story is no good."
  61. ^ Poul Anderson (1997). "John Campbell". All One Universe: A Collection of Fiction and Nonfiction. Tom Doherty Associates. ISBN 978-0-312-87065-2.
  62. ^ "Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame". Archived from the original on 2013-05-21. Retrieved 2013-03-23. This was the official website of the hall of fame until 2004.
  63. ^ "The Locus Index to SF Awards (Campbell, John W., Jr.)". Locus Publications. Archived from the original on 2013-03-24. Retrieved 2013-04-13.
  64. ^ 1943 Retro-Hugo winners at the official website
  65. ^ Sagan, Carl (1978-05-28). "Growing up with Science Fiction". The New York Times. p. SM7. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2018-12-12.
  66. ^ Currey, L.W. (1979). Science Fiction and Fantasy Authors: A Bibliography of First Printings of Their Fiction. Boston: G.K. Hall & Co. p. 97. ISBN 0-8161-8242-6.
  67. ^ William G. Contento (2003). "Index to Science Fiction Anthologies and Collections, Combined Edition". Archived from the original on 2007-09-08.
  68. ^ Reginald, R. (1979). Science Fiction and Fantasy Literature: Volume 1: Indexes to the Literature. Detroit: Gale Research Company. pp. 88–89. ISBN 0-810-31051-1.

Further reading

  • John W Campbell; William F Nolan (2009). Who Goes There? The Novella That Formed The Basis Of "The Thing". Rocket Ride Books. ISBN 978-0-9823322-0-7.
  • John Hamilton (2007). The Golden Age and Beyond: The World of Science Fiction. ABDO Publishing Company. pp. 8–11. ISBN 978-1-59679-989-9.
  • Alva Rogers (1964). A Requiem for Astounding. Editorial comments by Harry Bates, F. Orlin Tremaine, and John W. Campbell. Chicago: Advent:Publishers.

External links


Biography and criticism

Bibliography and works

Andy Weir

Andrew Taylor Weir (born June 16, 1972) is an American novelist whose debut novel, The Martian, was later adapted into a film of the same name directed by Ridley Scott in 2015. He also worked as a computer programmer for much of his life. He received the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer in 2016.

Campbell (Martian crater)

Campbell Crater is an impact crater in the Eridania quadrangle of Mars, located at 54.7°S latitude and 194.6°W longitude. It is 129.0 km in diameter and was named after John W. Campbell and William Wallace Campbell, and the name was approved in 1973 by the International Astronomical Union (IAU) Working Group for Planetary System Nomenclature (WGPSN).Nearby prominent named craters include Rossby to the north, Very to the northeast, Liu Hsin (Liu Xin) to the east, Mendel almost to the south and Huggins to the northwest.

Dust devil tracks have been seen in Campbell Crater. Many areas on Mars experience the passage of giant dust devils. These dust devils leave tracks on the surface of Mars because they disturb a thin coating of fine bright dust that covers most of the Martian surface. When a dust devil goes by it blows away the coating and exposes the underlying dark surface. Within a few weeks, the dark track assumes its former bright color.

Cory Doctorow

Cory Efram Doctorow (; born July 17, 1971) is a Canadian-British blogger, journalist, and science fiction author who serves as co-editor of the blog Boing Boing. He is an activist in favour of liberalising copyright laws and a proponent of the Creative Commons organization, using some of their licenses for his books. Some common themes of his work include digital rights management, file sharing, and post-scarcity economics.

Elizabeth Bear

Sarah Bear Elizabeth Wishnevsky (born September 22, 1971) is an American author who works primarily in speculative fiction genres, writing under the name Elizabeth Bear. She won the 2005 John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer, the 2008 Hugo Award for Best Short Story for "Tideline", and the 2009 Hugo Award for Best Novelette for "Shoggoths in Bloom". She is one of only five writers who have gone on to win multiple Hugo Awards for fiction after winning the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer (the others being C. J. Cherryh, Orson Scott Card, Spider Robinson, and Ted Chiang).

Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said

Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said is a 1974 science fiction novel by American writer Philip K. Dick. The story follows a genetically enhanced pop singer and television star who wakes up in a world where he has never existed. The novel is set in a futuristic dystopia, where the United States has become a police state in the aftermath of a Second Civil War. It was nominated for a Nebula Award in 1974 and a Hugo Award in 1975, and was awarded the John W. Campbell Memorial Award for Best Science Fiction Novel in 1975.

Forever Peace

Forever Peace is a 1997 science fiction novel by Joe Haldeman. It won the Nebula Award, Hugo Award and John W. Campbell Memorial Award in 1998.

Gateway (novel)

Gateway is a 1977 science fiction novel by American writer Frederik Pohl. It is the opening novel in the Heechee saga, with four sequels that followed (five books overall). Gateway won the 1978 Hugo Award for Best Novel, the 1978 Locus Award for Best Novel, the 1977 Nebula Award for Best Novel, and the 1978 John W. Campbell Memorial Award for Best Science Fiction Novel. The novel was adapted into a computer game in 1992.

Jo Walton

Jo Walton (born December 1, 1964) is a Welsh-Canadian fantasy and science fiction writer and poet. She won the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer in 2002 and the World Fantasy award for her novel Tooth and Claw in 2004. Her novel Ha'penny was a co-winner of the 2008 Prometheus Award. Her novel Lifelode won the 2010 Mythopoeic Award. Her novel Among Others won the 2011 Nebula Award for Best Novel, and the 2012 Hugo Award for Best Novel, and is one of only seven novels to have been nominated for the Hugo Award, Nebula Award, and World Fantasy Award.

John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer

The John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer is an award given annually to the best new writer whose first professional work of science fiction or fantasy was published within the two previous calendar years. The prize is named in honor of science fiction editor and writer John W. Campbell, whose science fiction writing and role as editor of Analog Science Fiction and Fact made him one of the most influential editors in the early history of science fiction. The award is sponsored by Dell Magazines, which publishes Analog. The nomination and selection process is administered by the World Science Fiction Society (WSFS) represented by the current Worldcon committee, and the award is presented at the Hugo Award ceremony at the Worldcon, although it is not itself a Hugo Award. All nominees receive a pin, while the winner receives a plaque. Beginning in 2005, the award has also included a tiara; created at the behest of 2004 winner Jay Lake and 2005 winner Elizabeth Bear, the tiara is passed from each year's winner to the next.Members of the current and previous Worldcon are eligible to nominate new writers for the Campbell Award under the same procedures as the Hugo Awards. Initial nominations are made by members in January through March, at which point a shortlist is made of the five most-nominated writers, with additional nominees possible in the case of ties. Voting on the ballot of five nominations is performed roughly in April through July, subject to change depending on when that year's Worldcon is held. Writers become eligible once they have a work published anywhere in the world which was sold for more than a nominal amount. While final decisions on eligibility are decided by the WSFS, the given criteria for an author to be eligible are specifically defined as someone who has had a written work in a publication which had more than 10,000 readers and which paid the writer at least 3 cents per word and a total of at least 50 US dollars.Works by winners and nominees of the Campbell Award were collected in the New Voices series of anthologies, edited by George R. R. Martin, which had five volumes covering the awards from 1973 through 1977 and which were published between 1977 and 1984. Campbell nominees and winners, such as Michael A. Burstein, who was nominated in 1996 and won in 1997, have commented that the largest effect of winning or being nominated for a Campbell is not on sales but instead that it gives credibility with established authors and publishers. Criticism has been raised about the Campbell that due to the eligibility requirements it honors writers who become well-known quickly, rather than necessarily the best or most influential authors from a historical perspective.Over the 46 years the award has been active, 195 writers have been nominated. Of these, 47 authors have won, including one tie. There have been 51 writers who were nominated twice, 17 of whom won the award in their second nomination.

John W. Campbell Memorial Award for Best Science Fiction Novel

The John W. Campbell Memorial Award for Best Science Fiction Novel, or Campbell Memorial Award, is an annual award presented by the Center for the Study of Science Fiction at the University of Kansas to the author of the best science fiction novel published in English in the preceding calendar year. It is the novel counterpart of the Theodore Sturgeon Award for best short story, awarded by the same organization. The award is named in honor of John W. Campbell (1910–71), whose science fiction writing and role as editor of Analog Science Fiction and Fact made him one of the most influential editors in the early history of science fiction. The award was established in 1973 by writers and critics Harry Harrison and Brian Aldiss "as a way of continuing his efforts to encourage writers to produce their best possible work." Locus magazine has listed it as one of the "major awards" of written science fiction.The winning novel is selected by a panel of science fiction experts, intended to be "small enough to discuss among its members all of the nominated novels". Among members of the panel have been Gregory Benford, Paul A. Carter, James Gunn, Elizabeth Anne Hull, Christopher McKitterick, Farah Mendlesohn, Pamela Sargent, and Tom Shippey. In 2008 Mendlesohn was replaced with Paul Kincaid, in 2009 Carter left the panel while Paul Di Filippo and Sheila Finch joined, and Lisa Yaszek replaced Di Filippo in 2016. Nominations are submitted by publishers and jurors, and are collated by the panel into a list of finalists to be voted on. The minimum eligible length that a work may be is not formally defined by the center. The winner is selected by May of each year, and is presented at the Campbell Conference awards banquet in June at the University of Kansas in Lawrence as part of the centerpiece of the conference along with the Sturgeon Award. The award has been given at the conference since 1979; prior to then it was awarded at various locations around the world, starting at the Illinois Institute of Technology in 1973. Winners are always invited to attend the ceremony. The Center for the Study of Science Fiction maintains a trophy which records all of the winners on engraved plaques affixed to the sides, and since 2004 winners have received a smaller personalized trophy as well.During the 46 years the award has been active, 176 authors have had works nominated; 46 of these authors have won. In two years, 1976 and 1994, the panel selected none of the nominees as a winner, while in 1974, 2002, 2009, and 2012 the panel selected two winners rather than one. Frederik Pohl and Joan Slonczewski have each won twice, the only authors to do so, out of four and two nominations, respectively. Kim Stanley Robinson and Paul J. McAuley have won once out of seven nominations, and Jack McDevitt, Adam Roberts, and Robert J. Sawyer have won once out of five nominations, while Nancy Kress, Bruce Sterling, and Robert Charles Wilson have won once out of four nominations. Greg Bear has the most nominations without winning at nine, followed by Sheri S. Tepper at six, James K. Morrow at five, and William Gibson, Ken MacLeod, and Charles Stross at four.

Lev Grossman

Lev Grossman (born June 26, 1969 in Concord, Massachusetts) is an American novelist and journalist, most notable as the author of the Magicians trilogy: The Magicians (2009), The Magician King (2011), and The Magician's Land (2014). He was the book critic and lead technology writer at Time magazine from 2002 through 2016.

Mary Robinette Kowal

Mary Robinette Kowal (born February 8, 1969 as Mary Robinette Harrison) is an American author and puppeteer.

Naomi Novik

Naomi Novik (born 30 April 1973) is an American writer. She wrote the Temeraire fantasy/alternate history series of nine novels. Her first book, His Majesty's Dragon, won the 2007 Compton Crook Award for best first novel in the science fiction and fantasy category. She was nominated for a Hugo Award for Best Novel in 2007 and 2016, and won the Nebula Award for Best Novel in 2016 for Uprooted.

Seanan McGuire

Seanan McGuire (pronounced SHAWN-in) (born January 5, 1978, in Martinez, California) is an American author and filker. In 2010, she was awarded the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer by the 2010 World Science Fiction Convention. Her novella "Every Heart A Doorway" received the 2016 Nebula Award for Best Novella, the 2017 Hugo Award for Best Novella, and the 2017 Locus Award for Best Novella.Writing under the pseudonym Mira Grant, she published the political thriller/zombie series Newsflesh, comprising the books Feed (2010), Deadline (2011), Blackout (2012, nominated for a 2013 Hugo Award for Best Novel), and Feedback (2016). Additionally, in 2017, The Wine in Dreams was published as part of the novella collection Star Wars: Canto Bight, a tie-in to the 2017 film Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

In 2013, McGuire received a record five Hugo nominations in total, two for works as Grant and the other three under her own name.

Spider Robinson

Spider Robinson (born November 24, 1948) is an American-born Canadian science fiction author.

Ted Chiang

Ted Chiang (born 1967) is an American science fiction writer. His Chinese name is Chiang Feng-nan (姜峯楠).

His work has won four Nebula awards, four Hugo awards, the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer, and four Locus awards. His short story "Story of Your Life" was the basis of the film Arrival (2016).

The Postman

The Postman is a post-apocalyptic dystopia science fiction novel by David Brin. In it, a drifter stumbles across a letter carrier uniform of the United States Postal Service and, with empty promises of aid from the "Restored United States of America", gives hope to an Oregon threatened by warlords.

The first two parts were published separately as "The Postman" (1982) and "Cyclops" (1984). Both were nominated for a Hugo Award for Best Novella. The completed novel won the John W. Campbell Memorial Award for Best Science Fiction Novel and the Locus Award for Best Science Fiction Novel, both for 1986. It was also nominated for the Hugo Award for Best Novel and Nebula Award for Best Novel for 1986. In 1997, a film adaptation starring Kevin Costner and Will Patton was adapted from the novel.

The Time Ships

The Time Ships is a 1995 science fiction novel by Stephen Baxter. A sequel to The Time Machine by H. G. Wells, it was officially authorised by the Wells estate to mark the centenary of the original's publication. The Time Ships won critical acclaim. It won the John W. Campbell Memorial Award and the Philip K. Dick Award in 1996, as well as the British Science Fiction Association Award in 1995. It was also nominated for the Hugo, Clarke, and Locus Awards in 1996.

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