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John W. Campbell
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    (June 8, 1910-July 11, 1971)
    Born in Newark, New Jersey
    Science fiction author and editor
    Best-known short story was 'Who Goes There?' (1938)
    Editor of the magazine 'Astounding Science Fiction' (1937-71)
    Namesake for the John W. Campbell Memorial Award for Best Science Fiction Novel and John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer
    Isaac Asimov said, 'Talking to him meant listening to a monologue.'
    He was a chain smoker whose response to the Surgeon General's warning was an editorial calling the link between cigarettes and cancer 'esoteric' and 'barely determinable.'
    He got into Dianetics and declared that L. Ron Hubbard would win the Nobel Peace Prize for it.
    In later years, he promoted pseudoscientific notions such as telepathy, ESP and the physics-defying Dean drive.
    His eccentric behavior and arbitrary editorial demands alienated many of his more illustrious contributors to the point that they eventually stopped sending him their stories.
    Alfred Bester said after meeting him, 'It reinforced my private opinion that a majority of the science-fiction crowd, despite their brilliance, were missing their marbles.'
    Asimov described him as 'the most powerful force in science fiction ever, and for the first ten years of his editorship he dominated the field completely.'
    He is considered a key figure in the 'Golden Age of Science Fiction.'
    He published the first stories of A.E. van Vogt, Theodore Sturgeon and Robert Heinlein.
    'Who Goes There?' inspired the classic sci-fi film 'The Thing' (1951) (and John Carpenter's 1982 remake, which stuck a lot closer to the original story).

Credit: C. Fishel

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