Corrections 9/15/15: wow. Not only did I get the date on Weinbaum’s story wrong (it was published in 1936 and thus ineligible), but I got the title wrong – it ought to have been The Valley of Dreams. Sometimes enthusiasm runs ahead of the facts and this was one of those times. However, allow me to apologize by reiterating that everything published in 1940 may not be eligible for a Hugo and that individual stories will have to be checked by the nominators themselves.
In this installment, we take a look at the authors.
1939 through 1941 saw the science fiction business booming. Markets had nearly quadrupled and many new authors who had cut their teeth reading Weird Tales, Amazing Stories, Astounding Stories of Super Science and Wonder Stories were beginning to find their feet. Campbell was in stride, developing a host of new authors who were encouraged to meet his standards for scientific and technological accuracy and in building future worlds that made sense (thought experiments). The fans had taken control of the front office (the back office, the side office and the office no one talks about, as well) and created a conduit that moved many from fan activity to Pro-dom.
A new era was dawning, call it science fiction’s early adolescence. It would set the tone for a few decades to come.
Notable among the authors writing in 1940 are quite a few recognizable names:
Asimov, Bester, Blish, Bloch, Brackett, Cummings, de Camp, del Rey, Derleth, Eshbach, Farley, Fearn, Gallun, Hamilton, Heinlein, Hubbard, Kornbluth, Kuttner, Lieber, Lovecraft, Moore, Pohl, Russell, Simak, Smith, Sturgeon, Temple, van Vogt, Weinbaum, Wilcox, Williamson, Wollheim.
Notably missing from that list of notables are Clarke and Bradbury…
There are quite a few names from the previous couple of decades present as well: Bates, Binder, Bond, Breuer, Coblentz, Fyfe, Jameson, Kaletsky, Keller, Long, Lowndes, Manning, Olson, Phillips, Pratt, Quinn, Rocklynne, Shurtleff, Vincent, Williams.
Now here I’ll delve into a bit of partisanship and mention that this will be the last opportunity we have to recognize the contributions of certain individuals through the Hugo Awards. I’d not even go this far in making suggestions if I weren’t sure that the authors I’m going to mention are almost universally recognized as having made enormous contributions to the field:
Stanley G. Weinbaum’s The Lotus Eaters is not the man’s best work – but it is pretty good and is also the sequel to the story that single-handedly changed the face of science fiction – A Martian Odyssey. He’s not yet been inducted into SF’s Hall of Fame, has never received an award (though Startling Stories did reprint his novel The Black Flame in their “SF Hall of Fame” feature in 1939), can never become a SFWA Grand Master (rules) and yet his work can arguably be considered the direct progenitor of all modern science fiction. (Martian Odyssey is, btw, one of the most reprinted short stories in the history of the genre.)
Likewise, the final installment of The Grey Lensman may be a bit of thin ice on which to base a nomination, but not so thin are the contributions of one Edward E. ‘Doc’ Smith Ph.D., the author who, along with Edmond Hamilton and John Campbell moved SF out of the solar system and into the cosmos on the grandest of all scales. Smith’s Skylark of Space is recognized as being the first Space Opera, while his Lensman series represents a maturing of form and has gone on to influence such broadly popular works as The Green Lantern and it’s themes are found, in one form or another, in virtually every space opera that has since been written.
Then there’s Don Wilcox, whose The Voyage That Lasted 600 Years (reprinted in our 88th anniversary issue and readable here) represents the first generation ship story, told from a viewpoint unique among such tales. (And it doesn’t hurt that it originally appeared in Amazing Stories either.)
At first blush, a few other works stand out – van Vogt’s Slan, serialized in Astounding (how can we not nominate the novel that gives meaning to the expression Fans Are Slans!?) and Heinlein’s Requiem (THE story that exemplifies science fiction’s yearning for space).
As I personally work through the list of stories available (and turn to my collection of ‘zines and anthologies to re-read them) I’m sure I will find other authors and stories worthy of attention.
What follows is a complete list of every single author who published during 1940. They are listed in alphabetical order by last name. The number of works they published during the eligibility period and any pseudonyms they may have used are included as well.
Please note a few things: The number of entries for each author includes collaborations and counts each installment of a serial as a single entry. Both authors of collaborative efforts have individual entries and the collaboration counts as an entry for each author.
This information was gathered from the Internet Speculative Fiction Data Base (a fine and excellent resource!) and then re-formatted for our purposes here. Some items were checked with secondary sources. This data may not be entirely exhaustive for the year (it does not, for example, include any fiction published in the fanzines or semi-professional magazines of the day; A Clarke story from Amateur Science Stories, a UK fanzine, won the Retro Hugo for 1939), but it certainly includes the vast majority.
Some of these works are available in various anthologies such as Asimov’s Great SF Stories 2: 1940 and Decade: The 1940s edited by Aldiss and Harrison (both of which can be purchased via ABE.com and possibly other online used book sellers).
There are 207 individual authors, writing approximately 631 individual stories.
|Last Name||First Name||Number of Entries||Pseudonym(s)|
|Barnes||Arthur K.||5||Kelvin Kent|
Gordon A. Giles
|Bishop||Zealia||1||Z. B. Bishop|
|Bond||Nelson S.||21||George Danzell|
|Bousfield||H. T. W.||1|
|Breuer M.D.||Miles J.||1|
|Burks||Arthur J.||3||Kelvin Kent|
|de Camp||L. Sprague||8|
|del Rey||Lester||7||Philip St. John|
|Fearn||John Russell||25||Thornton Ayre
|Friend||Oscar J.||9||Frank Johnson|
|Gallun||Raymond Z.||13||Arthur Allport|
|Hamilton||Edmond||19||Robert O. Wentworth|
|Heinlein||Robert A.||8||Lyle Monroe|
|Hubbard||L. Ron||14||Kurt von Rachen
|James||D. L.||3||Daniel Lewis James|
|Keller M.D.||David H.||4|
|Kornbluth||C. M.||5||Gabriel Barclay
S. D. Gottesman
|Kummer Jr.||Frederic Arnold||15|
|Lovecraft||H. P.||2||Z. B. Bishop|
|Lowndes||Robert A. W.||1||Paul Dennis Lavond|
|Mihalakis||Ulysses George||1||Silaki Ali Hassan|
|O’Brien||David Wright||8||John York Cabot|
|Palmer||Raymond A.||3||A. R. Steber|
|Phillips||A. M.||1||Alexander M. Phillips|
|Pohl||Frederik||3||S. D. Gottesman|
|Reed||David V.||3||Peter Horn|
|Repp||Ed Earl||7||Bradner Buckner|
|Rothman||Milton A.||2||Lee Gregor|
|Smith Ph.D||Edward E.||1|
|van Vogt||A. E.||7|
|Williams||Robert Moore||14||Russell Storm|
|Williamson||Jack||9||Nils O. Sonderlund|
|Wollheim||Donald A.||4||Robert W. Lowndes|
|Unknown Author||1||Edwin Benson|
|Unknown Author||1||Will Garth|