Bio: When he died at the age of 88 in Los Angeles in the year 2000 A.E. Van Vogt had published no new work of impact for more than fifty years...but his reputation in science fiction, based upon his landmark works of the l940's remained secure. Van Vogt, an emigrant Canadian (like Saul Bellow who was of the same generation), began as a writer of fiction for the confession magazines but at the age of 27 sold BlACK DESTROYER to ASTOUNDING SCIENCE FICTION for the 7/39 issue and became at once John W. Campbell's most prolific and - with the arguable exception of Robert A. Heinlein - most important and influential contributor. In fact, Van Vogt's reputation in the l940's eclipsed Heinlein's because Heinlein, in war service, did not publish between l942 and l946 whereas Van Vogt filled the magazine with his most notable work during that period. Novels Van Vogt published in the l940's in addition to SLAN included THE WEAPON SHOPS OF ISHER, VOYAGE OF THE SPACE BEAGLE, THE WEAPON SHOPS OF ISHER, THE WORLD OF NULL-A, THE PLAYERS OF NULL-A and THE WIZARD OF LINN. Van Vogt became by far the most prominent of many of Campbell's contributors to become involved with L. Ron Hubbard's Dianetics Institute (originally propounded in ASTOUNDING) and published no fiction for l5 years, although all of his 40's work was reprinted during that period. He returned to science fiction in l965 and was reasonably prolific for almost two decades but he never appeared in ASTOUNDING again nor was his new work prominent. Van Vogt was married to the science fiction writer Edna Mayne Hull who died in the l970's, he remarried shortly thereafter and was survived by his widow, Lydia. He died in Los Angeles in January 2000.
From the mind of Science Fiction Grand Master, A. E. van Vogt, comes five imaginative bizarre tales of the future. The Earth Killers--What if you were blamed for the destruction of the Earth? And what if you were the only one who had the key to what really happened? The Star-Saint--A superman of space is willing to save your colony, but at what cost? The Enchanted Village--As the only survivor of a doomed expedition to Mars, your only chance of survival is to live in a deserted Martian village ... more info>>
It came to Earth to find a genius mathematician ... the one human in the solar system capable of understanding the ultimate prime number. Time is running out. The time-lock on the Beast's millennia-old Martian cage is about to open, and mankind will never be able to deal with the threat! A classic from the Golden Age of science fiction, originally published in the August, 1940 issue of Astounding Science Fiction.
"Fans are Slans," became the catchphrase of early science fiction fandom in the wake of this novel. Like the Slans--telepathic mutants hiding out in a hostile population--science fiction fans considered themselves a haunted special minority, imbued with transcendent and visionary insight, sure to prevail in the fullness of time. Communes were called "Slan shacks" and fans occupied them. In the wake of the atomic bomb and theories of atomic mutation, the premise of SLAN seemed ever more credible.... more info>>
"On and on Couerl prowled!" reads the first sentence of Black Destroyer (in the book version which also begins with that sentence the exclamation point has been removed), one of the most famous openings in science fiction. Through the novel, Couerl is just the first of a series of malevolent space-cats who invade the eponymous Space Beagle and threaten not only its crew but human destiny.The novel's protagonist is Elliott Grosvenor, a social scientist whose specialty is the unfamiliar discipline... more info>>