James Blish

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(May 23, 1921 – July 30, 1975)

James Blish was an early actifan, but is primarily remembered today as a pro writer and critic. He wrote sf under his own name, and criticism under the pen name of William Atheling, Jr.

In the late ’30s and early ’40s, he edited a fanzine, The Planeteer, was a member of the Futurians (and was one of those to be thrown out in 1945 according to the "X Document"), and attended one of the earliest conventions, the Second Eastern States Science Fiction Convention. He was a member of VAPA, book reviewer for Fantasy Times, critic for Sky Hook, and a member of the Science Fiction Advancement Association. After World War II, he founded Vanguard Records with Robert Lowndes.

Blish was married to literary agent Virginia Kidd from 1947 to 1963, and later to Judy Lawrence.

He was Worldcon GoH at Pittcon in 1960. He won the 1959 Best Novel Hugo for the novel-length version of A Case of Conscience, the 1954 Best Novelette Retro Hugo for "Earthman Come Home" and the 1954 Best Novella Retro Hugo for "A Case of Conscience". He was also nominated for the 1956 Best Short Story Hugo, 1970 Best Novella Hugo, and the 1951 Best Novelette Retro Hugo. He is credited with coining the terms gas giant and anti-agathic.

His criticism was collected and published by Advent as

The short-lived James Blish Award for criticism was named after him, as is the William Atheling, Jr. Award. He was one of the founders of the Milford Conference and of the Science Fiction Foundation.

Blish was born in New Jersey, lived in Milford, Pennsylvania, until the mid-1960s. In 1968, he emigrated to England, and lived in Oxford until his death in 1975. He is buried in Holywell Cemetery, Oxford, near the grave of Kenneth Grahame.

Fanzines and Apazines:

Awards, Honors and GoHships:

Person 19211975
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