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Encyclopedia > A. E. van Vogt

Alfred Elton van Vogt (April 26, 1912January 26, 2000) was a Canadian-born science fiction author who was one of the most prolific, yet complex, writers of the mid-twentieth century "Golden Age" of the genre. Many fans of that era would have named van Vogt, Robert A. Heinlein, and Isaac Asimov as the three greatest science fiction writers. April 26 is the 116th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (117th in leap years). ... 1912 (MCMXII) was a leap year starting on Monday in the Gregorian calendar (or a leap year starting on Tuesday in the 13-day-slower Julian calendar). ... January 26 is the 26th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... 2000 (MM) was a leap year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Note that this partial list contains some authors whose works of fantastic fiction would today be called science fiction, even if they predate, or did not work in that genre. ... The Golden Age of Science Fiction, often recognized as a period from the late 1930s or early 1940s through the 1950s, was an era during which the science fiction genre gained wide public attention and many classic science fiction stories were published. ... Robert Anson Heinlein (July 7, 1907 – May 8, 1988) was one of the most popular, influential, and controversial authors of hard science fiction. ... Dr. Isaac Asimov (January 1, 1920 – April 6, 1992, IPA: , originally Исаак Озимов but now transcribed into Russian as Айзек Азимов) was a Russian-born American author and professor of biochemistry, a highly successful and exceptionally prolific writer best known for his works of science fiction and for his popular science books. ...

Contents

Science Fiction's Golden Age

Born on a farm in Edenburg, a Mennonite community east of Gretna, Manitoba, Canada, van Vogt was one of the most popular and highly esteemed science fiction writers of the 1940s, during what is frequently referred to as the genre's Golden Age. After starting his writing career by writing for 'true confession' style pulp magazines like True Story, van Vogt decided to switch to writing something he enjoyed, science fiction. The Mennonites are a group of Christian Anabaptist denominations named after and influenced by the teachings and tradition of Menno Simons (1496-1561). ... Gretna is a small town of about 500 people in the Canadian province of Manitoba. ... Pulp magazines, often called simply the pulps, were inexpensive text fiction magazines widely published in the 1920s through the 1950s. ... Science fiction is a form of speculative fiction principally dealing with the impact of imagined science and technology, or both, upon society and persons as individuals. ...


Van Vogt's first published SF story, "Black Destroyer" (Astounding Science Fiction, July 1939), was inspired by The Origin of Species by Charles Darwin. The story depicted a fierce, carnivorous alien stalking the crew of an exploration spaceship. It was the cover story of this issue of Astounding, the issue often described as having ushered in the Golden Age of science fiction[1]. The story became an instant classic and eventually served as the inspiration for a number of science fiction movies. In 1950 it was combined with "War of Nerves" (1950), "Discord in Scarlet" (1939) and "M33 in Andromeda" (1943) to form the novel The Voyage of the Space Beagle (1950). Astounding Stories was a seminal science fiction magazine founded in 1930. ... British naturalist Charles Darwins book, The Origin of Species, is one of the pivotal works in scientific literature and arguably the pre-eminent work in biology. ... For other people of the same surname, and places and things named after Charles Darwin, see Darwin. ... A 1967 Soviet Union 16 kopeks stamp. ... Cover of The Voyage of the Space Beagle (Granada Publishing 1977) The Voyage of the Space Beagle (1950, Canada) is a classic novel of science fiction by A. E. van Vogt in the space opera subgenre. ...


In 1941 van Vogt decided to become a full time writer, quitting his job at the Canadian Department of National Defence. Extremely prolific for a few years, van Vogt wrote a large number of short stories. In the 1950s, many of them were retrospectively patched together into novels, or "fixups" as he called them, a term which entered the vocabulary of science fiction criticism. Sometimes this was successful (The War against the Rull) while other times the disparate stories thrown together made for a less coherent plot (Quest for the Future). The Department of National Defence, frequently referred to by its acronym DND, is the department within the government of Canada with responsibility for Canadas military, known as the Canadian Forces. ... This article is in need of attention. ... A fixup is a novel created from short stories which may or may not have been initially related. ...


One of van Vogt's best-known novels of this period is Slan, which was originally serialised in Astounding Science Fiction (September - December 1940). Using what became one of van Vogt's recurring themes, it told the story of a 9-year-old superman living in a world in which his kind are slain by Homo sapiens. First edition by Arkham House. ... Homo sapiens (Latin: wise man) is the scientific name for the human species. ...


Post-war philosophy

The April 1950 issue of Astounding Science Fiction, containing the first appearance of The Wizard of Linn; which eventually appeared in book form from Ace Books in 1962.
The April 1950 issue of Astounding Science Fiction, containing the first appearance of The Wizard of Linn; which eventually appeared in book form from Ace Books in 1962.

In 1944, van Vogt moved to Hollywood, California, where his writing took on new dimensions after World War II. Van Vogt was always interested in the idea of all-encompassing systems of knowledge (akin to modern meta-systems), the characters in his very first story used a system called 'Nexialism' to analyze the alien's behaviour, and he became interested in the General Semantics of Alfred Korzybski. He was also profoundly affected by revelations of totalitarian police states that emerged after World War II. He wrote a mainstream novel that was set in Communist China, The Violent Man (1962); he said that to research this book he had read 100 books about China. Image File history File links Linn. ... Image File history File links Linn. ... Ace Books is the oldest continuing publisher of science fiction & fantasy novels, founded in 1953 by magazine publisher A. A. Wyn. ... Greetings from Hollywood Hollywood is a district of the city of Los Angeles, California, U.S.A., that extends from Vermont Avenue on the east to just beyond Laurel Canyon Boulevard above Sunset and Crescent Heights Boulevards on the west; the north to south boundary east of La Brea Avenue... Combatants Allied powers: China France Great Britain Soviet Union United States and others Axis powers: Germany Italy Japan and others Commanders Chiang Kai-shek Charles de Gaulle Winston Churchill Joseph Stalin Franklin Roosevelt Adolf Hitler Benito Mussolini Hideki Tōjō Casualties Military dead: 17,000,000 Civilian dead: 33,000... Meta-systems have several definitions. ... General Semantics is a school of thought founded by Alfred Korzybski in about 1933 in response to his observations that most people had difficulty defining human and social discussions and problems and could almost never predictably resolve them into elements that were responsive to successful intervention or correction. ... Alfred Korzybski Alfred Korzybski was born on July 3, 1879 in Warsaw, Poland, and died on March 1, 1950 in Lakeville, Connecticut, USA. He is probably best-remembered for developing the theory of general semantics. ... The concept of Totalitarianism is a typology or ideal-type used by some political scientists to encapsulate the characteristics of a number of twentieth century regimes that mobilized entire populations in support of the state or an ideology. ... A police state is a political condition where the government maintains strict control over society, particularly through suspension of civil rights and often with the use of a force of secret police. ... Combatants Allied powers: China France Great Britain Soviet Union United States and others Axis powers: Germany Italy Japan and others Commanders Chiang Kai-shek Charles de Gaulle Winston Churchill Joseph Stalin Franklin Roosevelt Adolf Hitler Benito Mussolini Hideki Tōjō Casualties Military dead: 17,000,000 Civilian dead: 33,000...


He subsequently wrote three novels merging these overarching themes, The World of Null-A and The Pawns of Null-A in the late 1940s, and Null-A Three in the early 1980s. Null-A, or non-Aristotelian logic, refers to the capacity for, and practice of, using intuitive, inductive reasoning (compare fuzzy logic), rather than reflexive, or conditioned, deductive logic. First edition by Simon & Schuster. ... The Players of Null-A is a 1948 science fiction novel by A. E. van Vogt. ... Null-A Three is a 1985 science fiction novel by A. E. van Vogt. ... The term non-Aristotelian logic, sometimes shortened to null-A, is a term popularised by A. E. van Vogt and deriving from Alfred Korzybskis General Semantics. ... Intuition has many meanings across many cultures, including: quick and ready insight seemingly independent of previous experiences and empirical knowledge immediate apprehension or cognition knowledge or conviction gained by intuition the power or faculty of attaining to direct knowledge or cognition without evident rational thought and inference. ... Fuzzy logic is derived from fuzzy set theory dealing with reasoning that is approximate rather than precisely deduced from classical predicate logic. ...


Van Vogt systematized his writing method, using scenes of 800 words or so where a new complication was added or something resolved. Several of his stories hinge upon temporal conundrums, a favorite theme. He stated that he acquired many of his writing techniques from three books, "Narrative Technique" by Thomas Uzzell, and "The Only Two Ways to Write a Story" plus "Twenty Problems of the Short-Story Writer", both by John Gallishaw. [2] A conundrum is a puzzling question. ... John Gallishaw (St. ...


He said many of his ideas came from dreams, and indeed his stories at times had the incoherence of dreams, but at their best, as in the science fantasy novel The Book of Ptath, his works had all the vision and power a dream can impart. Throughout his writing life he arranged to be awakened every 90 minutes during his sleep period so he could write down his dreams.[citation needed]


In the 1950s, van Vogt briefly became involved in L. Ron Hubbard's projects. Van Vogt operated a storefront for Dianetics, the secular precursor to Hubbard's Scientology sect, in the Los Angeles area for a time, before winding up at odds with Hubbard and his methods. His writing more or less stopped for some years, a period in which he bitterly claimed to have been harassed and intimidated by Hubbard's followers. In this period he was limited to collecting old short stories to form notable fixups like: The Mixed Men (1952), The War Against the Rull (1959), The Beast (1963) and the two novels of the "Linn" cyle, which were inspired (like Asimov's Foundation series) by the fall of the Roman Empire. He resumed writing again in the 1960s, mainly through Frederik Pohl's invitation, while remaining in Hollywood with his second wife, Lydia Bereginsky, who cared for him through his declining years. In this later period, his novels were conceived and written as unitary works. On January 26, 2000, van Vogt died in Los Angeles, USA from Alzheimer's disease. To meet Wikipedias quality standards, the lead section of this article may need to be expanded. ... This article is about the theory and practice termed Dianetics. ... Scientology is a system of beliefs and practices created by American pulp fiction[1][2] and science fiction [3] author L. Ron Hubbard in 1952 as a self-help philosophy. ... A sect is generally a small religious or political group that has branched off from a larger established group. ... Flag Seal Nickname: City of Angels Location Location within Los Angeles County in the state of California Coordinates , Government State County California Los Angeles County Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa (D) Geographical characteristics Area     City 1,290. ... A fixup is a novel created from short stories which may or may not have been initially related. ... Dr. Isaac Asimov (January 1, 1920 – April 6, 1992, IPA: , originally Исаак Озимов but now transcribed into Russian as Айзек Азимов) was a Russian-born American author and professor of biochemistry, a highly successful and exceptionally prolific writer best known for his works of science fiction and for his popular science books. ... Hari Seldons holographic image, pictured on a paperback edition of Foundation, appears at various times in the First Foundations history, to guide it through the social and economic crises that befall it. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... Frederik Pohl (born November 26, 1919) is a noted American science fiction writer and editor, with a career spanning over sixty years. ... Flag Seal Nickname: City of Angels Location Location within Los Angeles County in the state of California Coordinates , Government State County California Los Angeles County Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa (D) Geographical characteristics Area     City 1,290. ...


Recognition

In 1946, van Vogt and his first wife, Edna Mayne Hull, were co-Guests of Honor at the fourth World Science Fiction Convention. Edna Mayne Hull (May 1, 1905, Brandon, Manitoba - January 20, 1975) was a science fiction writer who published under the name E. Mayne Hull. ... Worldcon, a. ...


In 1980, van Vogt received a "Casper Award" (precursor to the Canadian Aurora Awards) for Lifetime Achievement. In 1995 he was awarded the Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master Award. In 1996, van Vogt was recognized on two occasions: the World Science Fiction Convention presented him with a Special Award for six decades of golden age science fiction, and the Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame included him among its initial four inductees. The Aurora Awards (Prix Aurora) are given out annually for the best Canadian science-fiction and fantasy literary works from that year, and are awarded in both English and French. ... The Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master Award is an award given by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. ... Worldcon, a. ... Please wikify (format) this article or section as suggested in the Guide to layout and the Manual of Style. ...


Critical praise

Fellow science fiction author Philip K. Dick has said that van Vogt's stories spurred his interest in science fiction with their strange sense of the unexplained, that something more was going on than the protagonists realized. Philip Kindred Dick (December 16, 1928 – March 2, 1982) was an American writer, mostly known for his works of science fiction; additional to forty-four books currently in print, Dick wrote several short stories and minor works published in pulp magazines. ...


In a review of Transfinite: The Essential A.E. van Vogt, science fiction writer Paul Di Filippo said: Paul Di Filippo is a science fiction writer born October 29, 1954 in Providence, Rhode Island. ...

Van Vogt knew precisely what he was doing in all areas of his fiction writing. There's hardly a wasted word in his stories... His plots are marvels of interlocking pieces, often ending in real surprises and shocks, genuine paradigm shifts, which are among the hardest conceptions to depict. And the intellectual material of his fictions, the conceits and tossed-off observations on culture and human and alien behavior, reflect a probing mind...Each tale contains a new angle, a unique slant, that makes it stand out.
(DiFilippo, Paul, (2003) Off The Shelf, Retrieved 9 January 2003).

January 9 is the 9th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... 2003 (MMIII) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ...

Criticism

Writer and critic Damon Knight wrote in 1945 that "van Vogt is not a giant as often maintained. He's only a pygmy using a giant typewriter". Damon Knight (September 19, 1922 – April 15, 2002) was a science fiction author, editor, and critic. ...


Most science fiction/space opera authors in van Vogt's day did not strive to be absolutely flawless scientifically, preferring storytelling over accuracy. Despite this, van Vogt has been singled out by some critics for it. Examples:

  • In Cosmic Encounter, one result of the crash of an alien spaceship is the generation of a temperature of minus 50,000 degrees, well below absolute zero.
  • The title of his story collection M33 in Andromeda is incorrect: M33 is in Triangulum; M31, the Andromeda Galaxy, is in Andromeda.
  • The popular short story Vault of the Beast hinges on the concept of the largest prime number; it was demonstrated as far back as Ancient Greece that the series of primes is infinite and thus that there is no largest prime number.

Absolute zero is the lowest possible temperature where nothing could be colder, and no heat energy remains in a substance. ... Triangulum is a small northern constellation whose three brightest stars, of third and fourth magnitude, form an elongated triangle. ... M31 in a small telescope The Andromeda Galaxy (IPA: , also known as Messier 31, M31, or NGC 224; older texts often called it the Andromeda Nebula) is a spiral galaxy approximately 2. ... Andromeda (IPA: ) is a constellation named for the princess Andromeda (which is Greek for Ruler over men), a character in Greek mythology. ... In mathematics, a prime number (or a prime) is a natural number that has exactly two (distinct) natural number divisors, which are 1 and the prime number itself. ... The Temple to Athena, the Parthenon Ancient Greece is a period in Greek history that lasted for around three thousand years. ...

Bibliography

Novels

  • Slan (1946)
  • The Weapon Makers (1947)
  • The Book of Ptath (1947)
  • The World of Null-A (1948)
  • The House That Stood Still (1950)
  • Masters of Time (1950)
  • The Voyage of the Space Beagle (1950)
  • The Weapon Shops of Isher (1951)
  • Mission to the Stars (1952)
  • The Universe Maker (1953)
  • Planets for Sale (1954) (with Edna Mayne Hull)
  • The Players of Null-A (1956) also published as The Pawns of Null-A
  • The Mind Cage (1957)
  • Empire of the Atom (1957)
  • Siege of the Unseen (1959)
  • The War against the Rull (1959)
  • Earth's Last Fortress (1960)
  • The Wizard of Linn (1962)
  • The Violent Man (1962)
  • The Beast (1963)
  • The Twisted Men (1964)
  • Rogue Ship (1965)
  • The Winged Man (1966)
  • Moonbeast (1969)
  • The Silkie (1969)
  • Children of Tomorrow (1970)
  • Quest for the Future (1970)
  • The Battle of Forever (1971)
  • More Than Superhuman (1971)
  • The Darkness on Diamondia (1972)
  • Future Glitter (1973)
  • The Man with a Thousand Names (1974)
  • The Secret Galactics (1974); also published as Earth Factor X
  • Supermind (1974)
  • The Anarchistic Colossus (1977)
  • The Enchanted Village (1979) (chapbook)
  • Renaissance ( 1979)
  • Cosmic Encounter (1980)
  • Computerworld (1983)
  • Computer Eye (1983)
  • Null-A Three (1985)
  • To Conquer Kiber (1987)

First edition by Arkham House. ... First edition by Simon & Schuster. ... The House That Stood Still is a novel by American author A.E. Van Vogt. ... Cover of The Voyage of the Space Beagle (Granada Publishing 1977) The Voyage of the Space Beagle (1950, Canada) is a classic novel of science fiction by A. E. van Vogt in the space opera subgenre. ... The Weapon Shops of Isher is a 1951 novel by A. E. Van Vogt created from short stories about the Weapon Shops civilisation which originally appeared in Astounding Science-Fiction Magazine. ... Edna Mayne Hull (May 1, 1905, Brandon, Manitoba - January 20, 1975) was a science fiction writer who published under the name E. Mayne Hull. ... The Players of Null-A is a 1956 science fiction novel by A. E. van Vogt assembled from a two-part serial in Astounding Stories in December of 1948 and January of 1949 (this leads to the mistaken idea that the book was published in 1948 due to the copyright... Children of Tomrrow is a 1970 novel by American author A.E. Van Vogt. ... Null-A Three is a 1985 science fiction novel by A. E. van Vogt. ...

Collections

  • M33 in Andromeda (1943)
  • Out of the Unknown (1948) (with Edna Mayne Hull)
  • Away and Beyond (1952)
  • Destination: Universe! (1952)
  • The Far-Out Worlds of A. E. van Vogt (1956)
  • Monsters (1965)
  • The Van Vogt Omnibus (omnibus - 1967)
  • The Sea Thing and Other Stories (1970)
  • The Proxy Intelligence and Other Mind Benders (1971)
  • The Van Vogt Omnibus 2 (omnibus - 1971)
  • The Book of Van Vogt (1972)
  • Far Out Worlds of Van Vogt (1973)
  • The Three Eyes of Evil Including Earth's Last Fortress (1973)
  • The Best of A. E. van Vogt (1974)
  • The Gryb (1976) (with Edna Mayne Hull)
  • Pendulum (1978)
  • The Best of A. E. van Vogt 1949-1968 (1979)
  • Lost: Fifty Suns (1979)
  • The Best of A E van Vogt 1940-1948 (1979)
  • Futures Past: The Best Short Fiction of A.E. Van Vogt (1999)
  • Essential A.E. van Vogt (2002)

Edna Mayne Hull (May 1, 1905, Brandon, Manitoba - January 20, 1975) was a science fiction writer who published under the name E. Mayne Hull. ... Edna Mayne Hull (May 1, 1905, Brandon, Manitoba - January 20, 1975) was a science fiction writer who published under the name E. Mayne Hull. ...

Short Story

The Weaponshop


Non-fiction

  • The Hypnotism Handbook (1956) (with Charles Edward Cooke)
  • The Money Personality (1975)
  • Reflections of A. E. Van Vogt: The Autobiography of a Science Fiction Giant (1979)
  • A Report on the Violent Male (1992)

References

  1. ^ For example, the Nicholls ( [1993] in Clute, John & Nicholls, Peter: The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction. New York: St. Martin's Press, Inc., 199. ISBN 0-312-09618-6. ) 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. Lester del Rey (del Rey, Lester (1979). The World of Science Fiction and Fantasy: The History of a Subculture. New York: Ballantine Books, 94. ISBN 0-345-25452-X. ) comments that "July was the turning point".
  2. ^ Alexei Panshin, The Abyss of Wonder, Man Beyond Man, The Early Stories of A. E. van Vogt, http://www.enter.net/~torve/articles/vanvogt/vanvogt1.html

John [Frederick] Clute is a Canadian born author and critic who lives in Britain. ... Peter Nicholls may refer to: Peter Nicholls (writer) - critic and co-editor of The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction Peter Nicholls (musician) - lead singer with the bands IQ and Niadems Ghost, also an album cover artist Different spelling Peter Nichols - author of A Day in the Death of Joe Egg... Headquartered in the legendary Flatiron Building in New York City, St. ... Lester del Rey (Ramon Felipe Alvarez-del Rey) (June 2, 1915 - May 10, 1993) was an American science fiction author and editor. ... Alexei Adam Panshin (born August 14, 1940) is an American author and critic of science fiction (SF). ...

External links

  • Earthlink.net - 'Icshi: the A.E. van Vogt information site'
  • LocusMag.com - 'A.E. van Vogt, 1912 - 2000: Golden Age SF writer A.E. van Vogt died Wednesday, January 26 of complications of pneumonia'
  • MMedia.is - 'Weird Worlds of A. E. van Vogt: 1912-2000'
  • NicollsBooks.com - 'Al's van Vogt pages', Alan Nicoll
  • SciFan.com - 'Writers: A. E. van Vogt (1912 - 2000, Canada)' (bibliography)
  • SciFi.com - 'Transfinite: The Essential A.E. van Vogt: Vast conceptions, startling actions and average people rendered into tomorrow's supermen', Paul Di Filippo
  • SmartGroups.com - 'vanvogt' (van Vogt discussion group)
  • Fansite
  • list of works
  • Interview with A.E. Van Vogt conducted by Robert Weinberg
  • Man Beyond Man: The Early Stories of A.E. van Vogt by noted SF author and critic Alexei Panshin
  • A. E. van Vogt at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database
  • Ottawa Citizen News 'Martian Library news story'

 
 

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