Nelson S. Bond

Nelson Slade Bond (November 23, 1908 – November 4, 2006) was an American author who wrote extensively for books, magazines, radio, television and the stage.

The 1998 recipient of the Nebula Author Emeritus award for lifetime achievement, Bond was a pioneer in early science fiction and fantasy. His published fiction is mainly short stories, most of which appeared in pulp magazines in the 1930s and 1940s. Many were published in Blue Book magazine. He is noted for his "Lancelot Biggs" series of stories and for his "Meg the Priestess" tales, which introduced one of the first powerful female characters in science fiction.

Nelson Slade Bond
Nelson S. Bond in 1979
Nelson S. Bond in 1979
BornNovember 23, 1908
Scranton, Pennsylvania, United States
DiedNovember 4, 2006 (aged 97)
Roanoke, Virginia, United States
Alma materMarshall University
GenreScience fiction, fantasy, western, crime, drama
Notable awardsNebula Author Emeritus (1998)
SpouseBetty Gough Folsom (1934-2006)
  • Lynn Bond
  • Christopher Bond

Books-aj.svg aj ashton 01.svg Literature portal
Planet stories 1940win
Bond's "Beyond Light" was the cover story in the Winter 1940 issue of Planet Stories
Amazing stories 194001
The first installment of Bond's "Sons of the Deluge" was cover-feature on the January 1940 issue of Amazing Stories

Early life

Bond's parents, Richard Slade Bond and Mary Bond, were from Nova Scotia, but moved to Scranton, Pennsylvania shortly before his birth in that city. The family later relocated to Philadelphia after World War I. In high school, Bond reviewed plays for The Philadelphia Inquirer. He worked for an insurance company during the Great Depression before enrolling in a college.[1] He attended Marshall College in Huntington, West Virginia from 1932 to 1934. While at Marshall, he contributed to the Huntington Herald Advertiser and edited the college newspaper, The Parthenon. He met his future wife, Betty Gough Folsom, while at Marshall, and they married in 1934.[2]

After graduating, Bond briefly worked for his father's public relations agency.[1] Shortly after joining, he was offered the position of public relations field director for the province of Nova Scotia. This involved meeting celebrities visiting the province and writing pieces about them that were placed in various periodicals.[1]

He started selling fiction when he realised he could make more money by writing, sending works to newspapers, pulp magazines and the more upmarket "slick" magazines.[1]

He started by writing sports stories but made his first significant sale with "Mr. Mergenthwerker's Lobblies", which was published in Scribner's Magazine in 1937.[3] His first science fiction story was "Down the Dimensions" in the April 1937 issue of Astounding.[4] He only wrote occasional non-fiction once he was established as an author of fiction. Bond wrote and sold more for Blue Book than the pulps, which was not only more prestigious but paid more for his work.[3]

He also published articles on philately and served on the Board of Governors / Board of Directors of the British North America Philatelic Society.[5]

Radio and television

Bond wrote for such radio programs as Dr. Christian, Hot Copy (1941–44) and The Sheriff (1944–51), a continuation of Death Valley Days. Bond also scripted for numerous television anthology programs, such as Lux Video Theatre, Studio One, General Motors Theatre and Tales of Tomorrow. "Mr. Mergenthwirker's Lobblies" was adapted to radio at least a half-dozen times and also ran as a 1938 radio series. After Bond scripted the story as a teleplay, it became the first full-length play presented on network television. It was televised three times - on Broadway Previews (1946), The Philco Television Playhouse (1949) and the Kraft Television Theatre (1953). For Locus Bond described his experiences in radio and TV:

I began writing for radio after they started adapting some of my stories. I thought, "Well, hell, I can do better than that," and I started adapting them myself. After a while, a couple of series opened up, and they asked me to become the writer. I wrote 52 weeks of Hot Copy and about 26 weeks of The Sheriff show, a comedy Western. Then television came along. I had just written Mr. Mergenthwirker's Lobblies as a radio series, and I adapted it for television. It became the first television play ever aired on a network. The network, however, consisted of Boston, New York and Washington. (This was 1946.) The presentation was so elaborate, there was a studio audience, and they printed a program for it. Unfortunately, no copy of the show exists, because they didn't have tape in those days. All they had was kinescope, flickering black and white movie stuff. That was probably the golden opportunity of my life that I threw out the window. After the play was done, the director said, "This is a brand-new medium. Why don't you come up here and get into it with us?" They couldn't pay me very much, and I said, "I'm making more than that in radio right now," so I turned it down... But I wrote about 15 or 20 television plays, some of them adaptations of my own things, others original. State of Mind was a fantasy about a man who got pissed off at modern civilization. He said, "I'm gonna secede from the Union." So he did. I thought it was a helluva good idea! (Still a cute play, but it's not produced anymore.) I adapted my second Mergenthwirker/Lobblies story as a television play, and then there was a third one.[6]

Other writing

Bond worked in public relations before and after his writing career, opening his own agency in 1959. He later became a noted antiquarian bookseller. Bond retired from writing in the late 1950s. After encouragement from fans and professionals, notably Harlan Ellison, he published a new story in 1995.

Bond had an extensive correspondence with James Branch Cabell and after Cabell's death was his literary executor for a while.

In 1998 the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America made Bond an Author Emeritus. In 2002 Bond donated his personal papers to the Marshall University library, which created a replica of his home office. Bond died of complications from heart problems on November 4, 2006.

Nelson and Betty Bond had two sons, Kit and Lynn. Betty Bond had her own career in Virginia television, interviewing local notables for her Betty Bond Show on Roanoke's WSLS-TV.[7] Bond died in Roanoke, Virginia.



  • Exiles of Time (Prime Press, 1949)
  • That Worlds May Live (Wildside, 2003)

Short story collections


  • The Postal Stationery of Canada (Herman Herst, 1953)
  • James Branch Cabell: A Complete Checklist (1974)


  1. ^ a b c d Holland, Steve (November 21, 2006). "Obituary: Nelson S Bond". The Guardian. Retrieved May 3, 2013.
  2. ^ Ruber, Peter. Pulp Rack: "Nelson S. Bond, Master Pulpster" (expansion of profile in Arkham's Masters of Horror anthology).
  3. ^ a b Indick, Ben P. (2002). "Publisher's Weekly Talks with Nelson Bond". Archived from the original on February 11, 2012. Retrieved May 3, 2013.
  4. ^ Webster, Bud. "Past Masters - Nelson Bond," Helix SF
  5. ^ British North America Philatelic Society
  6. ^ Locus Online: "Nelson S. Bond: Looking Way Back" (excerpted from Locus magazine, October 1998)
  7. ^ Allen, Mike. "Roanoke writer widely admired" Archived 2012-09-09 at, The Roanoke Times, November 6, 2006.

External links


Full text of the three poems
1908 in science fiction

The year 1908 was marked, in science fiction, by the following events.

Adventure Tales

Adventure Tales is an irregularly published magazine reprinting classic stories from pulp magazines of the early 20th century. It is edited by science fiction writer John Gregory Betancourt and published by Wildside Press. In 2011 it was published biannually. Each issue has a theme or a featured author related to pulp magazines. Its headquarters is in Rockville, Maryland.

Issue #1 (2006) featured prolific pulp writer Hugh B. Cave.

Contents: "Skulls," by H. Bedford Jones; "Under the Flame Trees," by H. de Vere Stacpoole; "Rats Ashore," by Charles C. Young; "The Evil Eye," by Vincent Starrett; "Watson!" by Captain A. E. Dingle; "Island Feud," by Hugh B. Cave; "The Man Who Couldn't Die," by Hugh B. Cave;

Issue #2 (2006) featured pulp writer Nelson Bond.

Includes work by Dorothy Quick, Achmed Abdullah, John D. Swain, Christopher B. Booth, Harold Lamb, Nelson Bond, and Arthur O. Friel.

Issue #3 (2006) featured pulp writer Murray Leinster.

Other contents includes: "Land Sharks and Others," by H. Bedford-Jones; "Light on a Subject," by Raymond S. Spears; "Channa's Tabu," by Harold Lamb; "Forbidden Fruit," by John D. Swain; "Kill That Headline," by Robert Leslie Bellem; "The Floating Island," by Philip M. Fisher; Africa," by George Allan England. A special book-paper edition included extra content: "Nerve" and "The Street of Magnificent Dreams," by Murray Leinster; "The Moon-Calves," by Raymond S. Spears; and "Pirates' Gold," by H. Bedford-Jones.

Issue #4 (2007) featured pulp writers associated with Weird Tales magazine.

Contents: "The Monkey God," by Seabury Quinn; "Double-Shuffle," by Edwin Baird; "Every Man a King," by E. Hoffmann Price; "Blind Man's Bluff," by Edwin Baird; "The Mad Detective," by John D. Swain; "Son of the White wolf," by Robert E. Howard; "Adventure," by Clark Ashton Smith (verse); "Astrophobos," by H.P. Lovecraft (verse); "Always Comes Evening," by Robert E. Howard (verse)

Issue #5 (2008) featured pulp writer Achmed Abdullah.

Contents: "Their Own Dear Land," by Achmed Abdullah; "The Pearls of Paruki," by J. Allan Dunn; "The Midmatch Tragedy," by Vincent Starrett; "The Remittance Woman," by Achmed Abdullah.

Issue #6 (2010) featured pulp writer H. Bedford-Jones.

Contents: "The Fugitive Statue," by Vincent Starrett; "Miracle," by John D. Swain; "Mustered Out," by H. Beford-Jones; "The Devil's Heirloom," by Anthony M. Rud; "The Tapir," by Arthur O. Friel; "Thubway Tham's Dog," by Johnston McCulley; "The Badman's Brand," by H. Bedford-Jones; "Lancelot Biggs Cooks a Pirate," by Nelson S. Bond; "Surprise in Sulphur Springs," by Bedford-Jones; "Payable to Bearer," by Talbot Mundy; plus a facsimile reprint of the first issue of AMRA, the fantasy fanzine.

Author Emeritus

Author Emeritus was an honorary title annually bestowed by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America upon a living writer. It was created in 1995 "as a way to recognize and appreciate senior writers in the genres of science fiction and fantasy who have made significant contributions to our field but who are no longer active or whose excellent work may no longer be as widely known as it once was." The Author Emeritus is invited to speak at the annual Nebula Awards banquet.The Author Emeritus was inaugurated in 1995 and conferred 14 times in 16 years to 2010 (at the 1994 to 2009 Nebula Awards banquets). Three years later, no more had been named and SFWA simply stated, "This year's Nebula Awards Weekend will not feature an Author Emeritus." By October 2013, early in the 20th year of the honor, SFWA had made unavailable general information about the Author Emeritus and a compiled list of honorees.

1995 Emil Petaja

1996 Wilson Tucker

1997 Judith Merril

1998 Nelson S. Bond

1999 William Tenn

2000 Daniel Keyes

2001 Robert Sheckley

2002 —

2003 Katherine MacLean

2004 Charles L. Harness—declined the banquet invitation due to being unable to travel and was honored by SFWA as an "Author of Distinction"

2005 —

2006 William F. Nolan

2007 D. G. Compton

2008 Ardath Mayhar

2009 M. J. Engh

2010 Neal Barrett, Jr.

Beachheads in Space

Beachheads in Space is an anthology of science fiction stories edited by American writer August Derleth. It was first published by Pellegrini & Cudahy in 1952. Many of the stories had originally appeared in the magazines Astounding Stories, Fantastic Adventures, Science Fiction Adventures, Amazing Stories, Startling Stories, Weird Tales, Planet Stories and Blue Book. Seven of the stories were reprinted again in Derleth's 1964 anthology From Other Worlds.

Exiles of Time

Exiles of Time is a science fiction novel by American writer Nelson S. Bond. It was first published in book form in 1949 by Prime Press in an edition of 2,112 copies, of which 112 were signed, numbered and slipcased. The novel first appeared in the magazine Blue Book in May 1940.

Far Boundaries

Far Boundaries is an anthology of science fiction stories edited by American writer and anthologist August Derleth. It was first published by Pellegrini & Cudahy in 1951. Many of the stories had originally appeared in the magazines Variety, Dublin Literary Magazine, Knight’s Quarterly Magazine, Scribner's, Astounding Stories, The Arkham Sampler, Planet Stories, Super Science Stories, Thrilling Wonder Stories, Startling Stories, The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, Blue Book and Galaxy.

November 6

November 6 is the 310th day of the year (311th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 55 days remaining until the end of the year.

Other Worlds Than Ours

Other Worlds Than Ours is a collection of science fiction short stories by Nelson Bond. It was released in 2005 by Arkham House in an edition of approximately 2,000 copies. It was the author's third book published by Arkham House following Nightmares and Daydreams (1968) and The Far Side of Nowhere (2002). The stories originally appeared in the magazines Astounding, Thrilling Wonder Stories, Planet Stories and Blue Book.

Science Fiction Carnival

Science Fiction Carnival is an anthology of humorous science fiction stories edited by American writers Fredric Brown and Mack Reynolds. It was published by Shasta Publishers in 1953 in an edition of 3,500 copies. Most of the stories originally appeared in the magazines Super Science Stories, Fantasy and Science Fiction, Astounding, Worlds Beyond, Slant, Imagination, Space Science Fiction, Thrilling Wonder Stories and Blue Book.

Strange Ports of Call

Strange Ports of Call is an anthology of science fiction stories edited by American writer August Derleth. It was first published by Pellegrini & Cudahy in 1948. The stories had originally appeared in the magazines Blue Book, Amazing Stories, Weird Tales, Science and Invention, Astounding Stories, Coronet, The New Review, The Black Cat, Thrilling Wonder Stories, Wonder Stories, Comet, The Saturday Evening Post, Collier's Weekly and Planet Stories.

The Far Side of Nowhere

The Far Side of Nowhere is a collection of fantasy and horror stories by author Nelson Bond. It was released in 2002 and was the author's second book published by Arkham House. It was published in an edition of approximately 2,500 copies. The stories originally appeared in Amazing Stories, Blue Book, Fantastic Adventures, Weird Tales and other magazines.

The Night America Trembled

"The Night America Trembled" is a top-rated television dramatization of the public reaction to the 1938 radio broadcast of "The War of the Worlds" that aired September 9, 1957, as an episode of the CBS series Studio One. Hosted by Edward R. Murrow, the live documentary play was written by Nelson S. Bond and uses excerpts of the radio script copywrighted by Howard E. Koch.

The Night Side

The Night Side is an anthology of fantasy and horror stories edited by American writer August Derleth and illustrated by Lee Brown Coye. It was first published by Rinehart & Company in 1946. The stories had originally appeared in the magazines Amazing Stories, Collier's Weekly, Weird Tales, Saturday Review, The London Mercury, Unknown, Astounding Stories, Esquire, The Briarcliff Quarterly, Cosmopolitan, Blue Book, Top-Notch and Fantastic Adventures or in the collections The Clock Strikes Twelve, The Children of the Pool, Fearful Pleasures, Nights of the Round Table and My Grimmest Nightmare.

The Outer Reaches

The Outer Reaches is an anthology of science fiction stories edited by August Derleth. It was first published by Pellegrini & Cudahy in 1951. The stories had originally appeared in the magazines Fantasy & Science Fiction, Astounding Stories, Blue Book, Maclean's, Worlds Beyond, Amazing Stories, Fantastic Adventures, Thrilling Wonder Stories and Galaxy Science Fiction or in the anthology Invasion from Mars.

According to Derleth, the stories were selected as "favorites" by the authors involved, who provide short explanations for their choices. P. Schuyler Miller, although noting the stories "aren't all deathless prose," characterized them as "examples of the editor's good taste in writers and the authors' good taste in the difficult job of screening their own writings."

The Thirty-First of February

The Thirty-First of February is a collection of fantasy stories by American writer Nelson Bond. It was released in 1949 by Gnome Press in an edition of 5,000 copies. Most of the stories had previously appeared in the magazines Blue Book, Unknown, Fantastic Adventures, Esquire and Amazing Stories.

Themis (hypothetical moon)

On April 28, 1905, William H. Pickering, who had seven years earlier discovered Phoebe, announced the discovery of a tenth satellite of Saturn, which he promptly named Themis. The photographic plates on which it supposedly appeared, thirteen in all, spanned a period between April 17 and July 8, 1904. However, no other astronomer has ever confirmed Pickering's claim.

Pickering attempted to compute an orbit, which showed a fairly high inclination (39.1° to the ecliptic), fairly large eccentricity (0.23) and a semi-major axis (1,457,000 kilometres (905,000 mi)) slightly less than that of Hyperion. The period was supposedly 20.85 days, with prograde motion.

Pickering estimated the diameter at 61 kilometres (38 mi), but since he also gave 68 kilometres (42 mi) as the diameter of Phoebe, he was clearly overestimating the albedo; using the modern figure for Phoebe gives Themis a diameter of 200 kilometres (120 mi).

Oddly, in April 1861, Hermann Goldschmidt had also believed that he had discovered a new satellite of Saturn between Titan and Hyperion, which he called Chiron. Chiron also does not exist (however, the name was used much later for the comet/asteroid 2060 Chiron).

Pickering was awarded the Lalande Prize of the French Academy of Sciences in 1906 for his "discovery of the ninth and tenth satellites of Saturn".

The actual tenth satellite of Saturn (in order of discovery) was Janus, which was discovered in 1966 and confirmed in 1980. Its orbit is far from the supposed orbit of Themis.

There is also an asteroid named 24 Themis.

World of Wonder (anthology)

World of Wonder is an anthology of science fiction and fantasy stories edited by Fletcher Pratt, published in hardcover by Twayne in 1951. No subsequent editions were issued.

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