Lester del Rey

(June 2, 1915 – May 10, 1993)

Del Rey was a professional science fiction writer and editor. Del Rey is especially famous for juvenile novels, like those that comprise the Winston Juveniles, and for Del Rey Books, the fantasy and science fiction imprint of Ballantine Books, edited by del Rey and his wife Judy-Lynn del Rey.

His first stories were in the pulp magazines in the late 1930s. But he first came to prominence with his stories in Astounding Science Fiction in its golden age. After the war (after Robert A. Heinlein and Andre Norton) he was one of the major writers of sf for the YA market under his own name and his pseudonyms Erik van Lhin and Philip St. John. (He also used the pennames Wade Kaempfert and Cameron Hall.)

During 1952-53, he edited Space SF, Fantasy Fiction, Science Fiction Adventures, Rocket Stories and Fantasy Fiction His greatest success came as an editor at Ballantine Books with his final wife, Judy-Lynn del Rey where they founded Del Rey Books, in 1977.

In 1957, del Rey and Damon Knight co-edited a fanzine named Science Fiction Forum. In response to a debate about symbolism within the magazine, he accepted Knight's challenge to write an analysis of James Blish's story "Common Time" that showed the story was about a man eating a ham sandwich.

Del Rey refused to accept a posthumous Hugo award for Best Editor at Torcon 2 on behalf of Judy-Lynn after her death that year.

Other Awards, Honors and GoHships:

According to Wikipedia: Del Rey often told people that his real name was Ramon Felipe Alvarez-del Rey (or sometimes even Ramon Felipe San Juan Mario Silvio Enrico Smith Heartcourt-Brace Sierra y Alvarez del Rey y de los Uerdes). He also claimed that his family was killed in a car accident during 1935. However, his sister has confirmed that his name was really Leonard Knapp and that while the accident in 1935 killed his first wife, his parents, brother, and sister were not killed in the accident.

The two volumes of del Rey's writings published by NESFA Press include a note of thanks with a listing of 16 known pennames as well as del Rey's birth name.

See also http://www.sf-encyclopedia.com/entry/del_rey_lester

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