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The Futurians

311 pages2 hours


With fifty illustrations, many never before published.

The Futurian Society was founded in 1938 by thirteen science fiction fans; it never numbered more than twenty, including wives, girl friends and hangers-on; yet out of this small group came seven of the most famous names in science fiction: Isaac Asimov, James Blish, Damon Knight, Cyril Kornbluth, Judith Merril, Frederik Pohl and Donald A. Wollheim.

Brilliant, eccentric and poor, the Futurians invented their own subculture, with its communal dwellings, its folklore, songs and games, even its own mock religion. In later years many of them became influential novelists, editors, anthologists, literary agents and publishers.

A Futurian himself, Knight interviewed ten of the surviving Futurians and traced down the widow of one member whose tragic fate was previously unknown. Drawing on correspondence, unpublished manuscripts, and amateur publications (including a collection of Futurian wall newspapers which had wound up in Australia), he has written a fascinating narrative of the early days of the Futurians, the feuds and lawsuits that divided them, and their later careers.

"The demon imp of science fiction gossip is back stoking his furnace... Oh, Damon, you have done it again."
—Harlan Ellison

"The Futurians is an absorbing read... I don't think the world is ever ready for its Futurians: rebellious, romantic, and largely reprehensible. Gifted. Real."
—Virginia Kidd

"The book has the charm and candor of Boswell's Journals, at times rising to a crescendo of pure communication."
—Keith Laumer

"I sneaked a look at the beginning of The Futurians, was immediately hooked, and did not stop until I had finished the book."
—L. Sprague de Camp

"It will be a must for anybody interested in the history and the nature of science fiction."
—Jack Williamson

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