Who Killed Science Fiction?
A one-shot by Earl Kemp first published in 1960 in SAPS and then as a fanzine which took the then-current fretting throughout the SF field that the prozines were dying and with them, SF. It won the 1961 Best Fanzine Hugo. Kemp asked (by mail) the following questions of 108 prominent people:
1) Do you feel that magazine science fiction is dead? 2) Do you feel that any single person, action, incident, etc., is responsible for the present situation? If not, what is responsible? 3) What can we do to correct it? 4) Should we look to the original paperback as a point of salvation? 5) What additional remarks, pertinent to the study, would you like to contribute?
He got 71 replies -- a remarkable number -- ranging from pro forma to substantial. He got answers from: Anonymous #1 (Robert A. Heinlein), Anonymous #2 (Philip José Farmer), Poul Anderson, Isaac Asimov, J. O. Bailey, C. L. Barrett, M. D., Landell Bartlett, Alfred Bester, James Blish, Robert Bloch, Hannes Bok, Anthony Boucher, Ray Bradbury, Walter I. Bradbury, Marion Zimmer Bradley, Robert E. Briney, A. J. Budrys, Elinor Busby, F. M. Busby, Gregg Calkins, John W. Campbell, Jr., E. J. Carnell, Mark Clifton, Theodore R. Cogswell, Sidney Coleman, Robert Coulson, Basil Davenport, Avram Davidson, L. Sprague de Camp, Gerry de la Ree, August Derleth, Charles de Vet, Howard DeVore, G. C. Edmondson, Edward Emshwiller, Philip José Farmer, Frank Kelly Freas, Hugo Gernsback, Horace L. Gold, Roger Phillips Graham, Martin Greenberg, Dean A. Grennell, James E. Gunn, Nancy Kemp, Damon Knight, Fritz Leiber, Willy Ley, Robert A. W. Lowndes, Dean McLaughlin, Edmund R. Meskys, P. Schuyler Miller, Robert P. Mills, Andre Norton, James H. O'Meara, Raymond A. Palmer, Rodney Palmer, George W. Price, Mack Reynolds, Eric Frank Russell, Ray Russell, Timothy Seldes, Larry T. Shaw, Robert Silverberg, E. E. Smith, Vincent Starrett, Jon Stopa, Stephen Takacs, Bob Tucker, Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., Wallace West, Jack Williamson, Donald A. Wollheim, and Ed Wood.
Website below includes the complete text plus commentary, plus additions twenty years later from: Marion Zimmer Bradley, L. Sprague de Camp, Howard DeVore, G. C. Edmondson, David Gerrold, Sherry M. Gottlieb, Lynn A. Hickman, Fritz Leiber, Richard A. Lupoff, Dean McLaughlin, James H. O'Meara, Alexei Panshin, Mack Reynolds, Darrell Schweitzer, Thomas N. Scortia, and Robert Silverberg.
- Who Killed Science Fiction? online at fanac.org
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