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Lester del Rey
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    (June 2, 1915-May 10, 1993)
    Born in Saratoga, Minnesota
    American science fiction author and editor
    Real name: Leonard Knapp
    Some of his more than twenty-five novels published included; Marooned on Mars, (1952) Attack From Atlantis, (1953) The Mysterious Planet, (1953) Step to the Stars, (1954) Preferred Risk, (1955) Nerves, (1956) Day of the Giants, (1959) The Eleventh Commandment, (1962) The Sky is Falling, (1963) The Runaway Robot, (1965) Rocket From Infinity, (1966) Siege Perilous, (1966) Prisoners of Space, (1968) and Weeping Tarry Mary in 1978
    Short story collections included; ...And Some Were Human, (1948) The Sky is Falling and Badge of Infamy, (1966) Gods and Golems, (1973) and War and Space in 2009 and Robots and Magic in 2010 (both published posthumously)
    Also published the three volume series of short stories, The Early del Rey in 1975 & 1976
    Wrote the non-fiction works, Rockets Through Space in 1957 and The Mysterious Earth Series; The Mysterious Earth, The Mysterious Sea, and The Mysterious Sky between 1960 and 1964
    Installed as 11th SFWA Grand Master in 1990 by the Science Fiction Writers of America
    He was a pathological liar and quite frankly nuts; making up almost a half a dozen names for himself, (not including pen names) lying about losing his entire family in a car accident, and trying to pass himself off as some kind of South American playboy.
    He was married four times.
    The scientific basis of his writings was poor to non-existent.
    His work was very derivative.
    The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction says he was a, 'versatile but rather erratic writer who never fulfilled his potential' and one critic describes him as, 'a second string Golden Age science fiction stalwart.'
    Like many authors, his work showed an inverse relationship between quantity and quality.
    He was one of the most staggeringly successful editors in science fiction history and started Del Rey books (originally part of Ballantine publishing) to publish science fiction.
    He is responsible for publishing the novelization of the Star War: A New Hope starting a whole new trend in publishing science fiction.
    He really rocked that whole mustache and goatee thing.
    His fourth wife was a dwarf.
    His 1938 short story, Helen O'Loy is believed to be the first science fiction work to describe a human/robot romance.
    At one time in the early 50's, he was editing Fantasy Magazine, Rocket Stories, Space Science Fiction, and Science Fiction Adventure science fiction magazines simultaneously.
    His 1956 short story turned novel, Nerves about events leading up to a nuclear plant accident, the accident itself and the political machinations afterwards was remarkably prescient and preceded movie, The China Syndrome be almost two decades.
    He was the first science fiction author to achieve greatness as a novelist and a short story writer.
    He was science fiction's first great writer/author combination and his contribution to science fiction as both is incalculable.

Credit: tom_jeffords

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