It's becoming increasingly obvious that we need a long, objective look at John W. Campbell, Jr. But we're not likely to get one.
When he was alive, Campbell was mind-numbingly complex but greatly influential because he could be seen taking major actions which could be labelled simply. Between 1932 and 1938 he made himself the co-equal of E. E. Smith among fabulists of technological optimism. "Superscience fiction" realized its full potential at his hands, and created a body of readers who, some years later, would include writers who sincerely believed that SF was technological in basis.
At the very same time, he was incubating "Don A. Stuart," who, beginning with the short story,...
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