Campbell, John W(ood), Jr. LESTER del REY - Essay


(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

Back in the very early days of science fiction, everyone knew it was impossible to make a living in the field. There were only two SF magazines being published…. Furthermore, no science fiction books were being published; so once a story appeared in a magazine, there would be no further income from it.

Writing science fiction was a hobby, not a career, and nobody questioned that obvious fact—nobody but John W. Campbell! Against all logic, he not only determined to make science fiction his life's work, but he succeeded. It took three careers to achieve his goal, during which he became almost single-handedly the creator of modern science fiction. And eventually, others with less genius or...

(The entire section is 1288 words.)