(January 6, 1905 — February 29, 1978)
Eric Frank Russell was a British pro. Much of his work was first published in the United States, in Astounding and other pulp magazines. Russell also wrote horror fiction for Weird Tales. Several of his stories were published under the pseudonyms of Webster Craig, Brad Kent, Duncan H. Munroe, and Niall Wilde.
Russell was born in 1905 near Sandhurst in Berkshire, where his father was an instructor at the Royal Military Academy. Russell became a fan of science fiction in 1934. While living near Liverpool, he saw a letter in Amazing from Leslie J. Johnson, another reader from the same area. Russell contacted Johnson, who encouraged him to embark on a writing career. Together, the two men wrote an SF story, “Seeker of Tomorrow,” that was published in the July, 1937, issue of Astounding.
Russell's first novel was Sinister Barrier, cover story for the inaugural, May, 1939, issue of Unknown, Astounding's sister magazine. It is a Fortean tale, with the Vitons based on Charles Fort's famous speculation: “I think we're property.” His second novel, Dreadful Sanctuary (serialized in Astounding during 1948) is an early example of conspiracy fiction. He took up writing full-time in the late 1940s and was the British representative of the Fortean Society. His 1951 novelette "And Then There Were None" gave fandom the concept of the "ob" and the initialism "MYOB".
(2) A Australian Fan
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