Members Online: 453

Alfred Elton Van Vogt's Biography (Books)

Alfred Elton van Vogt (April 26, 1912 - January 26, 2000) was a Canadian-born science fiction author regarded as one of the most popular, influential, and complex science fiction writers of the mid-twentieth century: the Golden Age of the genre.

Van Vogt's first SF publication was inspired by The Voyage of the Beagle by Charles Darwin. "The Black Destroyer" was published by John W. Campbell in Astounding Science Fiction, July 1939, the centennial year of Darwin's journal. It featured a fierce, carnivorous alien, the coeurl, stalking the crew of an exploration spaceship. The second Space Beagle story appeared in December, "Discord in Scarlet". Each was the cover story and was accompanied by interior illustrations, created by Frank Kramer and Paul Orban.

In 1941, van Vogt decided to become a full-time writer, quitting his job at the Canadian Department of National Defence. Extremely prolific for a few years, van Vogt wrote a large number of short stories. In the 1950s, many of them were retrospectively patched together into novels, or "fixups" as he called them, a term that entered the vocabulary of science-fiction criticism.

In 1950, van Vogt was briefly appointed as head of L. Ron Hubbard's Dianetics operation in California. Dianetics was the secular precursor to Hubbard's Church of Scientology. The operation went broke nine months later, but never went bankrupt, due to van Vogt's arrangements with creditors. Van Vogt and his wife opened their own Dianetics centre, partly financed by his writings, until he "signed off" around 1961. At the time of his interview with Charles Platt, van Vogt was still president of the Californian Association of Dianetic Auditors.

The works of van Vogt were translated into French by the surrealist Boris Vian (The World of Null-A as Le Monde des A in 1958), and van Vogt's works were "viewed as great literature of the surrealist school". In addition, 'Slan' was published in French, translated by Jean Rosenthal, under the title A la poursuite des Slans, as part of the paperback series 'Editions J'ai Lu: Romans-Texte Integral' in 1973, this edition also listing the following works by van Vogt as having been published in French as part of this series: Le Monde des A, La faune de l'espace, Les joueurs du A, L'empire de l'atome, Le sorcier de Linn, Les armureries d'Isher, Les fabricants d'armes, and Le livre de Ptath.

Partial Alfred Elton van Vogt Bibliography:


Nonfiction:

- The Hypnotism Handbook (1956, Griffin Publishing Company, with Charles Edward Cooke)
- The Money Personality (1972, Parker Publishing Company Inc., West Nyack, NY, ISBN 978-0-13-600676-3)
- Reflections of A. E. Van Vogt: The Autobiography of a Science Fiction Giant (1979, Fictioneer Books Ltd., Lakemont, GA)
- A Report on the Violent Male (1992, Paupers' Press, UK, ISBN 978-0-946650-40-8)

Fiction:


- Slan (1946)
- The Weapon Makers (1947) (serial 1943, revised 1952) (also published as One Against Eternity (1964))
- The Book of Ptath (1947) (in Unknown Worlds, 1947) (later as Two Hundred Million A.D. [1964] and Ptath [1976])
- The World of Null-A (1948) (revised from 1945 serial, and again 1970)
- The House That Stood Still (1950), also published as The Mating Cry and The Undercover Aliens. The sexual interludes added by Van Vogt to The Mating Cry for its Galaxy Beacon edition have been retained in many later editions.
- The Voyage of the Space Beagle (1950)
- The Weapon Shops of Isher (1951)
- The Mixed Men (1952), also published as Mission to the Stars
- The Universe Maker (1953) (revised from 1950 story, 'The Shadow Men')
- Planets for Sale (1954), with Edna Mayne Hull
- The Pawns of Null-A (1956), also published as The Players of Null-A
- The Mind Cage (1957)
- Empire of the Atom (1957)
- Siege of the Unseen (1959)
- The War against the Rull (1959)
- Earth's Last Fortress (1960), first stand-alone publication, previously titled Recruiting Station and Masters of Time
- The Wizard of Linn (1962) (serial, 1950)
- The Violent Man (1962), political thriller set in China
- The Beast (1963), also published as Moonbeast
- Rogue Ship (1965)
- The Winged Man (1966), with Edna Mayne Hull
- The Changeling (1967) stand-alone publication of story first published in 1942 and 1944 in Astounding Stories
- The Silkie (1969)
- Children of Tomorrow (1970)
- Quest for the Future (1970)
- The Battle of Forever (1971)
- The Darkness on Diamondia (1972)
- Future Glitter (1973), also published as Tyranopolis
- The Man with a Thousand Names (1974)
- The Secret Galactics (1974), also published as Earth Factor X
- Supermind (1977) [from short stories; including a collaboration with James H. Schmitz and Edna Mayne Hull]
- The Anarchistic Colossus (1977)
- The Enchanted Village (1979), chapbook
- Renaissance (1979)
- Cosmic Encounter (1979)
- Computerworld (1983), also published as Computer Eye
- Null-A Three (1984)
- To Conquer Kiber (1985)
- Slan Hunter (2007), with Kevin J. Anderson