Damon Knight

(1922 - Apr 15, 2002)

Hugo-winning SF writer, fan, critic, editor, and co-founder of two of the most durable fannish organizations ever: N3F and SFWA. (He later said that both were mistakes.) In his youth he published the fanzine Snide, he began selling his SF writing in 1941, and was a member of the Futurians which he described in detail in his memoir The Futurians. He published It with Larry Shaw.

For more about his early fannish career, see General Fan Organization and Futurian Houses, Vanguard, Nicknames, Quote-cards, and X Document.

He was the founding editor of the SFWA Bulletin. With James Blish and Judith Merril he also founded the Milford Science Fiction Writers’ Conference in 1956 (and directed it for its first twenty years), and in 1968 helped to found the Clarion SF Writers’ Workshop.

He may be most famous as one of the earliest — and most incisive — critics of SF with his columns collected in In Search of Wonder published by Advent.

He began his editing career in 1943 with Popular Publication, worked for a while for a literary agency, then returned to Popular Publications and assisted Ejler Jakobsson at Super Science Stories. He left Super Science Stories in 1950 to become editor of Worlds Beyond. He wrote for television, including Captain Video and His Video Rangers, and returned to professional editing with IF in 1958. He is credited with creating the original anthology with his influential Orbit series starting in 1966 and also began the Nebula Award Winners series from SFWA.

He has used the pseudonyms Donald Laverty (with James Blish), Ritter Conway, and Stuart Fleming.

He was GoH, Noreascon Two in 1980 and won the 1956 Best Book Reviewer Hugo and the 1951 Best Short Story Retro Hugo.

The 3rd issue of the fanzine Fanhistory, dated April 1956, was devoted to Knight and his work. "All in a Knight's Work" by James Blish appeared in Speculation 29 (1971). Knight was interviewed in the March, 1972 issue (#34) of the fanzine Luna Monthly, and in Eternity Science Fiction #4 (February, 1975). Over the years he has been featured in several isues of The National Fantasy Fan (he is credited with founding the National Fantasy Fan Federation, or N3F). The Knight Manuscript Collection is held at the George Arents Research Library, Manuscript Division, Syracuse University.

Other Awards, Honors and GoHships:

He was married three times (the second time to Helen Schlaz del Rey, a former wife of Lester del Rey) before he married author Kate Wilhelm in 1963.

For more on his career, see http://www.sf-encyclopedia.com/entry/knight_damon

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