George O. Smith
(April 9, 1911 – May 27, 1981)
George Oliver Smith was a frequent contributor to Astounding Science Fiction during the 1940s. His collaboration with the magazine's editor, John W. Campbell, continued uninterrupted even when Campbell's wife Doña left him in 1949 to marry Smith, and though Smith's writing style fell well behind the times.
Smith began dabbling in radio at an early age, and worked in the medium for most of his life. He began writing science fiction in the 1940s, principally for Astounding. His first published story was in the October, 1942, issue of Astounding: "QRM-Interplanetary," the first sf story to use geosynchronous orbit. After Smith moved to Philadelphia in 1946, he was an active participant in local fan gatherings and attended several Worldcons. Smith occasionally wrote under the pseudonym of Wesley Long.
He continued publishing science fiction novels and stories until the 1960s. He also wrote essays and book reviews, mainly for Space Science Fiction in the early 1950s. His writing greatly diminished in the 1960s, when he had a job that required most of his time, His novel, Pattern for Conquest, was given the Gernsback Award for 1956.
Smith once stated that he thought science had caught up with science fiction and "passed it in a cloud of dust."
Smith is remembered today principally for his Venus Equilateral series of stories about a communication station in outer space. These stories were collected in Venus Equilateral (1947), for which Smith also did the dust jacket.
Smith's first wife was Helen Kunzler (b. 1913), whom he married in 1936, and from whom he was divorced in 1948. According to Frederik Pohl, who said he heard it from Lester del Rey, Smith was found dead at his home in Rumson, New Jersey. He was 70 years of age.
- Entry in the Science Fiction Encyclopedia.
- Illustrated article in Paperback Parade #80 (January, 2012 issue).
Awards, Honors and GoHships:
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