Paul Ernst

(1899 — 1985)

Paul Frederick Ernst began writing fiction in his early twenties. He is credited by pulp authority Don Hutchison as "a prolific manufacturer of potboilers-made-to-order." His stories appeared in a number of early SF and fantasy magazines, including Astounding, Strange Tales, and Amazing, and he was the author of the Doctor Satan series that ran in Weird Tales beginning in August, 1935. His most famous work was in writing all 24 of the original stories of The Avenger in the magazine of the same title between 1939 and 1942, under the house name of Kenneth Robeson. He also used the pseudonyms of Paul F. Stern and George Alden Edson. There is some evidence that he may actually have been born in either 1900 or 1902.

When work in the pulps began to dry up, Ernst "was able to make a painless transition into the more prestigious 'slick' magazines, where his word skill earned him higher financial rewards.” As of 1971, he was "still active as a writer," including writing the story "Blackout" for the July, 1971 issue of Good Housekeeping magazine.

His genre stories were reprinted in many anthologies, including: My Best Science Fiction Story (Margulies & Friend, 1949) [“The Thing in the Pond”], From Off This World (Margulies & Friend, 1949) [“The Microscopic Giants”], Thrilling Wonder Stories Annual, 1952 [“The Invincible Midge”], The Omnibus of Science Fiction (Conklin, 1952) [“Nothing Happens on the Moon”], Science Fiction Terror Tales (Conklin, 1955) [“The Microscopic Giants”], The Other Worlds (Stong, 1941) [“Escape”], The Best of Science Fiction (Conklin, 1946) [“The 32nd of May”], Tales of Science Fiction (Ball, 1964) [“Nothing Happens on the Moon”], Science Fiction, Science Fact, and You (Robert J. and Lila Lowenherz, 1996) [“Nothing Happens on the Moon”], and 100 Wild Little Weird Tales (Weinberg, et al, 1994) [“The Tree of Life” and “Escape”].

Genre critic Mike Ashley said of Ernst: “In the 1930s he numbered among the million-words-a-year contributors to the US pulps.”

For more, see http://www.sf-encyclopedia.com/entry/ernst_paul

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