Mark Clifton

Mark Clifton (1906–1963) was an American science fiction writer, the co-winner of the second Hugo Award for best novel. He began publishing in May 1952 with the widely anthologized story "What Have I Done?".

Mark Clifton
Occupationwriter, personnel manager
GenreScience fiction
Notable worksWhen They Come From Space, They'd Rather Be Right, "Star Bright"
Notable awardsHugo Award, Cordwainer Smith Rediscovery Award


About half of his work falls into two series: the "Bossy" series, about a computer with artificial intelligence, was written either alone or in collaboration with Alex Apostolides or Frank Riley; and the "Ralph Kennedy" series, which is more comical, and was written mostly solo, including the novel When They Come From Space, although there was one collaboration with Apostolides. Clifton gained his greatest success with his novel They'd Rather Be Right (also known as The Forever Machine), co-written with Riley, which was serialized in Astounding during 1954, and which was awarded the Hugo Award.

"Star Bright"

Clifton's other most popular short story is "Star Bright," the first of three appearances in Horace Gold's Galaxy (July 1952), about a super-intelligent toddler with psi abilities. From Clifton's correspondence we know that Gold "editorially savaged" the story, which appeared in severely truncated or altered form. The story has been compared favorably to Kuttner and Moore's "Mimsy Were the Borogoves," which was published in Astounding magazine nine years earlier.

Personal life

Clifton worked for many years as a personnel manager and interviewed "over 200,000" people according to a personal letter he wrote to Judith Merril, quoted in The Science Fiction of Mark Clifton. This experience formed much of Clifton's attitude about the delusions people have of themselves, but also the greatness of which they are capable.


Barry N. Malzberg wrote in The Science Fiction of Mark Clifton that "Clifton was an innovator in the early 1950s and such an impressive innovator that his approach has become standard among science fiction writers. He used the common themes of science fiction -- alien invasion, expanding technology, revolution against political theocracy, and space colonization -- but unlike any writer before him, he imposed upon these standard themes the full range of sophisticated psychological insight."

Clifton's fame ebbed quickly, and he received the 2010 Cordwainer Smith Rediscovery Award for unjust obscurity.[1]



  1. ^ "2010 Cordwainer Smith Rediscovery Award announcement". Science Fiction Awards Watch. Retrieved 2010-07-12.

Further reading

  • The Science Fiction of Mark Clifton, Southern Illinois University Press, ed. Barry N. Malzberg and Martin H. Greenberg.

External links

13th World Science Fiction Convention

The 13th World Science Fiction Convention, also known as Clevention, was held on September 2–5, 1955, at the Manger Hotel in Cleveland, Ohio, United States.

The chairmen were Nick and Noreen Falasca. The guests of honor were Isaac Asimov (pro) and Sam Moskowitz (mystery GoH). Total attendance was approximately 380.

This was the first convention at which the Hugo Awards were established as an annual feature; the first awards had been given out two years before, at Philcon II in 1953.

1957 in literature

This article presents lists of literary events and publications in 1957.

2007 Cherwell District Council election

The 2007 Cherwell District Council election took place on 3 May 2007 to elect members of Cherwell District Council in Oxfordshire, England. One third of the council was up for election and the Conservative party stayed in overall control of the council.In all 16 seats were contested with one independent candidate, David Chapman, standing in Ambrosden and Chesterton ward after resigning from the Conservative party in protest at plans to build 1,585 houses near Bicester. The results saw the Conservatives strengthen their control of the council going from 39 to 42 seats. They gained three seats from Labour in Banbury Ruscote, Kidlington South and Yarnton, Gosford and Water Eaton wards. Consequently, Labour only managed to hold on to one of their seats in Bicester West. The Conservatives also gained one seat from the Liberal Democrats in The Astons and Heyfords, but lost Bicester South back to them by one vote. The results meant that Labour and the Liberal Democrats only had 4 seats each in opposition on the council.After the election, the composition of the council was

Conservative 42

Labour 4

Liberal Democrat 4

Beyond This Horizon

Beyond This Horizon is a science fiction novel by American writer Robert A. Heinlein. It was originally published as a two-part serial in Astounding Science Fiction (April, May 1942, under the pseudonym Anson MacDonald) and then as a single volume by Fantasy Press in 1948. It was awarded a Retro Hugo award for best novel in 2018.

Clifton (surname)

Clifton is a surname. Notable people with the surname include:

Clifton (1817 cricketer), English cricketer

Allie Clifton (born 1988), American journalist

Bernie Clifton, (born 1936), British comedian

Bill Clifton (born 1931), American musician

Brian Clifton (footballer) (born 1934), English footballer who played for Southampton and Grimsby Town

Chad Clifton (born 1976), offensive lineman for the Green Bay Packers football team

Chas S. Clifton (born 1951), American academic

Chester Victor Clifton, Jr. (1913–1991), Major General in the United States Army

Clifford Clifton (1626-1670), English landowner and politician

Elmer Clifton (1890-1949), American writer and actor

Flea Clifton (1909-1997), American baseball player

Gervase Clifton, 1st Baron Clifton (1579-1618), of Barrington Court, Somerset

Sir Gervase Clifton, 1st Baronet, (1587-1666), of Nottinghamshire

Sir Gervase Clifton, 2nd Baronet, (1612-1675), of Nottinghamshire

Harry Clifton (born 1952), Irish poet

Helen Clifton (1948-2011), wife of the 18th General of the Salvation Army

Jane Clifton (born 1949), Australian actor

Jim Clifton, American businessman

Joanne Clifton (born 1983), English dancer

John Clifton (disambiguation)

Joseph C. Clifton (1905-1967), American naval officer

Kevin Clifton (born 1982), English dancer

Kyle Clifton (born 1962), American footballer

Mark Clifton (1906–1963), American author and businessman

Nathaniel Clifton (1922-1990), American athlete

Pat Clifton, of fictional children's television series Postman Pat

Pete Clifton (born 1962), head of BBC News Interactive

Peter Clifton (born 1945), Australian director and producer

Phil Clifton, British television and radio presenter

Richard R. Clifton, American judge

Scott Clifton (born 1987), American musician and actor

Shaw Clifton (born 1945), 18th General of the Salvation Army

Steve Clifton (born 1987), Australian rules football player

Tony Clifton, fictional character created by Andy Kaufman

John Talbot Clifton (1868-1928), English traveller and landowner

Violet Clifton (1883-1961), English traveller

Sir William Clifton, 3rd Baronet, (1663-1686), of Nottinghamshire

Cordwainer Smith Rediscovery Award

Cordwainer Smith Rediscovery Award honors underread science fiction and fantasy authors with the intention of drawing renewed attention to the winners. The award was initiated in 2001 by the Cordwainer Smith Foundation.

Double Star

Double Star is a science fiction novel by American writer Robert A. Heinlein, first serialized in Astounding Science Fiction (February, March, April 1956) and published in hardcover the same year. It received the 1956 Hugo Award for Best Novel (his first).

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.

Frank Riley (author)

Frank Riley (1915–1996) was the pseudonym of Frank Rhylick, an American science fiction author best known for co-writing (with Mark Clifton) the novel They'd Rather Be Right, which won a Hugo Award for Best Novel during 1955. He was a syndicated travel columnist and editor for the Los Angeles Times, and editor of the Los Angeles Magazine. He also wrote advertisements for See's Candies, screenplays, short fiction such as the "Father Anton Dymek" mysteries and was a host of a radio program in the Los Angeles area.

From Frank Riley's obituary in the Los Angeles Times, April 30, 1996:

As travel editor of Los Angeles magazine and an award-winning contributor to several other publications, Riley traveled the world and frequently wrote with his wife of nearly 60 years, Elfriede. In 1976, the couple walked and biked the 800 miles of the 1776 De Anza expedition from Mexico to San Francisco and wrote the resulting book, "De Anza's Trail Today."

Born in Hibbing, Minnesota, Riley grew up in Wausau, Wis., and attended college in Ripon, Wis. He began his career as a reporter for the New York Daily News, eventually covering the White House.

He served in the Merchant Marine during World War II and after the war moved his family to Manhattan Beach.

In addition to his wife, Riley is survived by a son, Peter; daughter, Anne; sister, Dorothy, and four grandsons.

Hugo Award for Best Novel

The Hugo Award for Best Novel is one of the Hugo Awards given each year for science fiction or fantasy stories published or translated into English during the previous calendar year. The novel award is available for works of fiction of 40,000 words or more; awards are also given out in the short story, novelette, and novella categories. The Hugo Awards have been described as "a fine showcase for speculative fiction" and "the best known literary award for science fiction writing".The Hugo Award for Best Novel has been awarded annually by the World Science Fiction Society since 1953, except in 1954 and 1957. In addition to the regular Hugo awards, beginning in 1996 Retrospective Hugo Awards, or "Retro Hugos", have been available to be awarded for 50, 75, or 100 years prior. Retro Hugos may only be awarded for years in which a World Science Fiction Convention, or Worldcon, was hosted, but no awards were originally given. To date, Retro Hugo awards have been given for novels for 1939, 1941, 1943, 1946, 1951, and 1954.Hugo Award nominees and winners are chosen by supporting or attending members of the annual Worldcon, and the presentation evening constitutes its central event. The selection process is defined in the World Science Fiction Society Constitution as instant-runoff voting with six nominees, except in the case of a tie. The novels on the ballot are the six most-nominated by members that year, with no limit on the number of stories that can be nominated. The 1953, 1955, and 1958 awards did not include any recognition of runner-up novels, but since 1959 all final candidates have been recorded. Initial nominations are made by members in January through March, while voting on the ballot of six nominations is performed roughly in April through July, subject to change depending on when that year's Worldcon is held. Prior to 2017, the final ballot was five works; it was changed that year to six, with each initial nominator limited to five nominations. Worldcons are generally held in August or early September, and are held in a different city around the world each year.During the 70 nomination years, 145 authors have had works nominated; 48 of these have won, including co-authors, ties, and Retro Hugos. One translator has been noted along with the author whose works he translated. Robert A. Heinlein has received the most Hugos for Best Novel as well as the most nominations, with six wins (including two Retro Hugos) and twelve nominations. Lois McMaster Bujold has received four Hugos on ten nominations; the only other authors to win more than twice are Isaac Asimov (including one Retro Hugo), N. K. Jemisin, Connie Willis, and Vernor Vinge, who have each won three times. Nine other authors have won the award twice. The next-most nominations by a winning author are held by Robert J. Sawyer and Larry Niven, who have been nominated nine and eight times, respectively, and each have only won once, while Robert Silverberg has the greatest number of nominations without winning at nine. Three authors have won the award in consecutive years: Orson Scott Card (1986, 1987), Lois McMaster Bujold (1991, 1992), and N. K. Jemisin (2016, 2017, and 2018).

Mirror Dance

Mirror Dance is a Hugo- and Locus-award-winning science fiction novel by Lois McMaster Bujold. Part of the Vorkosigan Saga, it was first published by Baen Books in March 1994, and is included in the 2002 omnibus Miles Errant.

Paladin of Souls

Paladin of Souls is a 2003 fantasy novel by Lois McMaster Bujold. It is a sequel to The Curse of Chalion, set some three years later.

Portals of Tomorrow

Portals of Tomorrow is an anthology of science fiction stories edited by American writer August Derleth, intended as the first in a series of "year's best" volumes. It was first published by Rinehart & Company in 1954. The stories had originally appeared in the magazines Fantasy and Science Fiction, Future, Esquire, Fantastic Universe, Galaxy Science Fiction, Blue Book, Startling Stories, Orbit, Astounding Stories and Beyond Fantasy Fiction.

Sci Fiction

Sci Fiction was an online magazine which ran from 2000 to 2005. At one time, it was the leading online science fiction magazine. Published by Syfy and edited by Ellen Datlow, the work won multiple awards before it was discontinued.

The Mathematical Magpie

The Mathematical Magpie is an anthology published in 1962, compiled by Clifton Fadiman as a companion volume to his Fantasia Mathematica (1958). The volume contains stories, cartoons, essays, rhymes, music, anecdotes, aphorisms, and other oddments. Authors include Arthur C. Clarke, Isaac Asimov, Mark Twain, Lewis Carroll, and many other renowned figures. A revised edition was issued in 1981 and again in 1997. Although out of print, it is recommended for undergraduate mathematics libraries by the Mathematical Association of America as part of their Basic Library List.

The Sword in the Stone (novel)

The Sword in the Stone is a novel by British writer T. H. White, published in 1938, initially as a stand-alone work but now the first part of a tetralogy, The Once and Future King. A fantasy of the boyhood of King Arthur, it is a sui generis work which combines elements of legend, history, fantasy and comedy. Walt Disney Productions adapted the story to an animated film, and the BBC adapted it to radio.

The Vor Game

The Vor Game is a science fiction novel by Lois McMaster Bujold, first published in September 1990. It won the 1991 Hugo Award for Best Novel. The Vor Game is a part of the Vorkosigan Saga, and is the sixth full-length novel in publication order, and is the sixth story, including novellas, in the internal chronology of the series. It was included in the 1997 omnibus Young Miles.

The World That Couldn't Be

The World That Couldn't Be is an anthology of science fiction short-stories selected by Galaxy Science Fiction editor, H. L. Gold.

They'd Rather Be Right

They'd Rather Be Right (also known as The Forever Machine) is a science fiction novel by American writers Mark Clifton and Frank Riley.

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