Murray Leinster (June 16, 1896 – June 8, 1975) was a nom de plume of William Fitzgerald Jenkins, an American writer of science fiction and alternate history literature. He wrote and published more than 1,500 short stories and articles, 14 movie scripts, and hundreds of radio scripts and television plays.
|Born||William Fitzgerald Jenkins|
June 16, 1896
Norfolk, Virginia, United States
|Died||June 8, 1975 (aged 78)|
Gloucester, Virginia, United States
|Pen name||Murray Leinster, William Fitzgerald, Louisa Carter Lee, Will F. Jenkins, Fitzgerald Jenkins|
|Occupation||Novelist, short story writer|
|Genre||Fantasy, science fiction, horror fiction, mystery fiction, Western fiction, pulp fiction|
Leinster was born in Norfolk, Virginia, the son of George B. Jenkins and Mary L. Jenkins. His father was an accountant. Although both parents were born in Virginia, the family lived in Manhattan in 1910, according to the 1910 Federal Census.
He began his career as a freelance writer before World War I; he was two months short of his 20th birthday when his first story, "The Foreigner", appeared in the May 1916 issue of H. L. Mencken's literary magazine The Smart Set. Over the next three years, Leinster published ten more stories in the magazine. During World War I, Leinster served with the Committee of Public Information and the United States Army (1917–1918). During and after the war, he began appearing in pulp magazines like Argosy, Snappy Stories, and Breezy Stories. He continued to appear regularly in Argosy into the 1950s. When the pulp magazines began to diversify into particular genres in the 1920s, Leinster followed suit, selling jungle stories to Danger Trails, westerns to West and Cowboy Stories, detective stories to Black Mask and Mystery Stories, horror stories to Weird Tales, and even romance stories to Love Story Magazine under the pen name Louisa Carter Lee.
Leinster's first science fiction story, "The Runaway Skyscraper", appeared in the February 22, 1919 issue of Argosy, and was reprinted in the June 1926 issue of Hugo Gernsback's first science fiction magazine, Amazing Stories. In the 1930s, he published several science fiction stories and serials in Amazing and Astounding Stories (the first issue of Astounding included his story "Tanks"). He continued to appear frequently in other genre pulps such as Detective Fiction Weekly and Smashing Western, as well as Collier's Weekly beginning in 1936 and Esquire starting in 1939.
Leinster was an early writer of parallel universe stories. Four years before Jack Williamson's The Legion of Time came out, Leinster published his "Sidewise in Time" in the June 1934 issue of Astounding. Leinster's vision of extraordinary oscillations in time ('sidewise in time') had a long-term impact on other authors, for example Isaac Asimov's "Living Space", "The Red Queen's Race", and The End of Eternity.
Leinster's 1945 novella "First Contact" is also credited as one of the first (if not the first) instances of a universal translator in science fiction. In 2000, Leinster's heirs sued Paramount Pictures over the film Star Trek: First Contact, claiming that it infringed their trademark in the term. However, the suit was dismissed.
Leinster was one of the few science fiction writers from the 1930s to survive in the John W. Campbell era of higher writing standards, publishing over three dozen stories in Astounding and Analog under Campbell's editorship. The last story by Leinster in Analog was "Quarantine World" in the November 1966 issue, thirty-six years after his appearance in the premier January 1930 issue.
Murray Leinster's 1946 short story "A Logic Named Joe" contains one of the first descriptions of a computer (called a "logic") in fiction. In the story, Leinster was decades ahead of his time in imagining the Internet. He envisioned logics in every home, linked through a distributed system of servers (called "tanks"), to provide communications, entertainment, data access, and commerce; one character says that "logics are civilization."
During World War II, he served in the United States Office of War Information. After the war, when both his name and the pulps had achieved a wider acceptance, he would use either "William Fitzgerald", "Fitzgerald Jenkins" or "Will F. Jenkins" as names on stories when "Leinster" had already sold a piece to a particular issue.
Leinster was so prolific a writer that Groff Conklin, when reviewing Operation: Outer Space in March 1955, noted that it was his fourth novel of 1954 and that another would be reviewed in the next month. Leinster continued publishing in the 1950s and 1960s, appearing in Galaxy Magazine and The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, as well as The Saturday Evening Post. He won a Hugo Award for his 1956 story "Exploration Team".
Leinster's career also included tie-in fiction based on several science fiction TV series: an episodic 1960 novel, Men into Space, was derived from the series' basic concepts, but Leinster had little knowledge of the series' actual content, and none of the book episodes bear any relationship to the filmed episodes. Men Into Space was followed, seven years later, by two original novels based on The Time Tunnel (1967), and three based on Land of the Giants (1968–69).
In 1921, he married Mary Mandola, who was born in New York to Italian parents. They had four daughters.
Sword of Kings, John Long, 1933.
as Louisa Carter Lee
The 21st World Science Fiction Convention, also known as Discon I, was held August 31–September 2, 1963, at the Statler-Hilton Hotel in Washington, D.C., United States.
Following the convention, Advent:Publishers published The Proceedings: Discon, edited by Richard Eney. The book includes transcripts of lectures and panels given during the course of the convention and includes numerous photographs as well.
The chairman was George Scithers. The guest of honor was Murray Leinster. The toastmaster was Isaac Asimov. Total attendance was approximately 600.A Logic Named Joe
"A Logic Named Joe" is a science fiction short story by Murray Leinster that was first published in the March 1946 issue of Astounding Science Fiction. (The story appeared under Leinster's real name, Will F. Jenkins. That issue of Astounding also included a story under the Leinster pseudonym called "Adapter".) The story is particularly noteworthy as a prediction of massively networked personal computers and their drawbacks, written at a time when computing was in its infancy.Colonial Survey
Colonial Survey is a 1957 collection of science fiction short stories by Murray Leinster. It was first published by Gnome Press in 1957 in an edition of 5,000 copies. The collection was reprinted by Avon Books in 1957 under the title The Planet Explorer. The stories all originally appeared in the magazine Astounding.Exploration Team
"Exploration Team" is a science fiction novelette by American writer Murray Leinster, originally published in the March 1956 issue of Astounding Science Fiction. It won the Hugo Award for Best Novelette in 1956.Writing in 1998, Gardner Dozois described "Exploration Team" as "taut, suspenseful and scary". He went on to note that it is "practically the model of how to write an intricate and intelligent adventure set on an alien world"."Exploration Team" is one of the works in Leinster's "Colonial Survey" series. It is also one of the four novelettes that were re-written and included in Leinster's fix-up novel Colonial Survey, where it appears as a chapter titled "Combat Team".First Contact (novelette)
"First Contact" is a 1945 science fiction novelette by American writer Murray Leinster, credited as one of the first (if not the first) instances of a universal translator in science fiction. It won a retro Hugo Award for Best Novelette in 1996.
Two technologically equal species are making first contact in deep space. Both desire the technology and trade the other can provide, but neither can risk the fate of the home planet based on unfounded trust.
It was among the stories selected in 1970 by the Science Fiction Writers of America as one of the best science fiction short stories published before the creation of the Nebula Awards. As such, it was published in The Science Fiction Hall of Fame Volume One, 1929-1964.Land of the Giants
Land of the Giants is an hour-long American science fiction television program lasting two seasons beginning on September 22, 1968, and ending on March 22, 1970. The show was created and produced by Irwin Allen. Land of the Giants was the fourth of Allen's science fiction TV series. The show was aired on ABC and released by 20th Century Fox Television. The series was filmed entirely in color and ran for 51 episodes. The show starred Gary Conway and special guest star Kurt Kasznar.
Five novels based on the television series, including three written by acclaimed science fiction author Murray Leinster, were published in 1968 and 1969.Murder Madness
Murder Madness is a science fiction novel by American writer Murray Leinster. It was first published in book form in 1931 by Brewer and Warren. It was Leinster's first book. The novel was originally serialized in four parts in the magazine Astounding SF beginning in May 1930.Murder Will Out (1930 film)
Murder Will Out is a 1930 American Pre-Code mystery film with songs produced and released by First National Pictures and directed by Clarence G. Badger. The movie stars Jack Mulhall, Lila Lee and features Noah Beery and Malcolm McGregor. The film was based on the short story The Purple Hieroglyph by Murray Leinster writing as Will F. Jenkins, which was published in Snappy Stories on March 1, 1920.Out of This World (Leinster book)
Out of This World is a collection of three related science fiction stories by Murray Leinster, published by Avalon Books in 1958. The stories, all featuring "hillbilly polymath" Bud Gregory, originally appeared in Thrilling Wonder Stories over a four-month span in 1947, and are sometimes characterized as a novel. A fourth story in the Gregory sequence, "The Seven Temporary Moons", was published in TWS in 1948, but has never been collected. All the stories originally carried the "William Fitzgerald" byline (a derivative of Leinster's birthname, Will F. Jenkins).Proxima Centauri (short story)
"Proxima Centauri" is a science fiction short story by American writer Murray Leinster, originally published in the March 1935 issue of Astounding Stories. Unusually for the time, the story adhered to the laws of physics as they were known, showing a starship that was limited by the speed of light, and which took several years to travel between the stars. In his comments on the story in Before the Golden Age, Isaac Asimov thought that "Proxima Centauri" must have influenced Robert A. Heinlein's later story "Universe" and stated that it influenced his own Pebble in the Sky.Sidewise in Time
"Sidewise in Time" is a science fiction short story by American writer Murray Leinster that was first published in the June 1934 issue of Astounding Stories. "Sidewise in Time" served as the title story for Leinster's second story collection in 1950.
The Sidewise Award for Alternate History, established in 1995 to recognize the best alternate history stories and novels of the year, was named in honor of "Sidewise in Time."Sidewise in Time (collection)
Sidewise in Time is a 1950 collection of science fiction short stories by Murray Leinster. It was first published by Shasta Publishers in 1950 in an edition of 5,000 copies. The stories all originally appeared in the magazines Astounding and Thrilling Wonder Stories.Space Platform
Space Platform is a young adult science fiction novel by author Murray Leinster. It was published in 1953 by Shasta Publishers in an edition of 5,000 copies. It is the first novel in the author's Joe Kenmore series.Space Tug (novel)
Space Tug is a young adult science fiction novel by author Murray Leinster. It was published in 1953 by Shasta Publishers in an edition of 5,000 copies. It is the second novel in the author's Joe Kenmore series. Groff Conklin gave it a mixed review in Galaxy, noting that it held "plenty of excitement though not much maturity." Boucher and McComas preferred it to the series's initial volume, but still found it "quite a notch below ... Leinster's adult work." P. Schuyler Miller reported the novel was marked by "the fastest kind of action" and "the feeling of technical authenticity."The Forgotten Planet
The Forgotten Planet is a science fiction novel by American writer Murray Leinster. It was released in 1954 by Gnome Press in an edition of 5,000 copies. The novel is a fix-up from three short stories, "The Mad Planet" and "The Red Dust", both of which had originally appeared in the magazine Argosy in 1920 and 1921, and "Nightmare Planet", which had been published in Science Fiction Plus in 1953.The Pirates of Zan
The Pirates of Zan is a science fiction novel by Murray Leinster, originally serialized in Astounding Science Fiction in 1959 as "The Pirates of Ersatz". It was nominated for the 1960 Hugo Award for Best Novel. It first appeared in book form in 1959 as one component of an Ace Double, bound with Leinster's The Mutant Weapon; this edition was reissued in 1971. A German translation was issued in hardcover in 1962, an Italian translation appeared in 1968, and a Dutch translation was published in 1972. Bart Books published a stand-alone American paperback edition in 1989. and Baen Books included Pirates in a Leinster omnibus, A Logic Named Joe, in 2005.The Runaway Skyscraper
"The Runaway Skyscraper" is a science fiction short story by American writer Murray Leinster, first appeared in the February 22, 1919 issue of Argosy magazine. Although Leinster had been appearing regularly in The Smart Set and pulp magazines such as Argosy and Short Stories for three years, "The Runaway Skyscraper" was his first published science fiction story (or more accurately, scientific romance, since Hugo Gernsback had yet to coin the phrase "science fiction"). Gernsback would reprint the story in the third issue of his science fiction pulp magazine Amazing Stories in June 1926.The Terrornauts
The Terrornauts is a 1967 science fiction film produced by Amicus Productions. It went out on a double feature with They Came from Beyond Space. This double bill has been called "the two worst films the company ever produced". The film is based on The Wailing Asteroid by Murray Leinster, adapted for screen by John Brunner.Waterspider
"Waterspider" is a science fiction short story by American writer Philip K. Dick, first published in the January 1964 edition of If magazine.Dick's story "Waterspider" features Poul Anderson as one of the main characters. The author refers to himself and his stories "The Variable Man" and "The Defenders", and mentions several other science fiction writers of the period, including Murray Leinster, A. E. van Vogt, Margaret St. Clair, Jack Vance, and Isaac Asimov.