AUTHOR ,

AUTHOR

A. E. van Vogt

I have been trying to pin down the interest that Science Fiction readers have in me, and it surely cannot be that they want to know the bare facts about my life. Most of them have had far more exciting lives themselves to judge by what I have seen and heard both in Toronto and Los Angeles, but it is clear that they do not realize this. The fans, I discovered were like most other people, striving to get a little happiness out of life, and not quite knowing how to do it. That is the trouble. In my speech at the Pacificon, I tried in my dim way to point out a few paths of self-development that I consider necessary before anyone can participate in the larger life of the world. The politics, the community, the realities of national life are always second, after personal achievement. How can you know what is good for a people if you have never discovered what is good for yourself?--I am not referring to money, an important tangible which I would like to have more of.

But I am sure, too, that fans are not interested in my private opinions about life, politics, and the state of the nation. That is not why they read my stories. But just for the record let me list myself as a person who believes that the belief of Americans, that Communism is the only alternative to Democracy, is the most important idea sale ever made in the history of the world. The far-reaching effect of this will not be apparent until the next depression. Civilization will disolve overnight.

As you will see, it is going to be difficult to discover what about me will interest sf readers. I was born in Canada, and lived in Toronto before comming down to L. A. in 1944. I feel like a Californian, and find it a happy state of mind. I have two problems "down" here, however. The first of these is trying to stay alive despite the high cost of living. The second one is psychological. All my life I have existed mentally from six months to a couple of years in the future. Just how this is done I cannot define exactly, but it includes hoping that someday I will be able to take off a little time and have some fun. Sofar it hasn't happened. Since coming to L. A., however, I have gradually tried to edge up to a point where I live about two weeks in the future only. Someday I really hope to live in the present, but this is not a scheme to stop me from writing Science Fiction.

I have often been asked concerning my part in the Mayne Hull stories. I can see now that it is a mistake to try to define with exactitude (as Mayne and I have tried to do) the extent of the work we have done on each other's stories. I edited all of her stories, added scenes, made changes, and so on- but, then, Mayne has always done the same for my stories; so it was merely a trade. Recently, an author's agent heavily pencilled one of my stories (not sf), suggested inumerable changes and made many others. I doubt, however, if it will occur to either of us that the agent is the author of the story.

This kind of discussion is fairly futile. I did write most of one of the Blord stories, but it was Mayne who saw the possibilities of the idea. Both Mayne and I had sold many stories and articles before we met, and we could do it again. But it is nice to have someone around who can detect weak spots in a story immediately. Usually, it takes several days to see the faults of your own stuff. That makes for slower production, and in sf that's starvation.

I have been reading sf off and on for a long time. In 1927, I picked up the copy of AMAZING which contained the first installment of THE SECOND DELUGE. I was a steady reader after that, and got most of the back issues. But I stopped reading the magazine in 1930, and did not read sf again until 1938, when I picked up a copy of ASTOUNDING which contained Don A. Stuart's great story, WHO GOES THERE?---Campbell's best story, in my opinion, and the best horror sf ever written. During the next six months my mins was active on sf plots. I finally wrote up one of them very briefly, sent it to Campbell, and asked him what he thought about it.

He replied promptly (to an absolute unknown, as far as he was concerned), suggesting that I concentrate on the atmosphere and character aspect of the story rather than the idea part. The story that reaulted was later printed under the title of VAULT OF THE BEAST.

The "monster story" period of my writing career culminated in SLAN. Then there was a gap, followed by a different approach to sf, which reached its high point in ASYLUM. Followed another shift, culminating in THE WEAPON MAKERS. Next, I became interested in science fiction. This included stories like THE STORM. I got an obsession: THE WORLD OF A resulted. In an effort to get away from that and concentrate on character, I wrote the "gods" stories, in which I plumped atomic energy down in the Roman Empire, and used incidents and people right out of history. It is my desire now to find a happy medium of all these diverse types, and to settle down to writing stories that will make everybody love me. In striving to do this, I am only ecphoriating my inherited engrams, so I hope that everybody will understand and appreciate me.

I have sold confession stories, love stories, radio plays, articles, trade paper articles, in addition to fantasy and sf. Even before I sold, I regarded myself as a writer (a curious state of mind). I can only assume that I finally convinced myself that I really was, and so sold my first story in 1932.

-A. E. van Vogt.

(To those who missed it, we highly recommend the speech, TOMORROW ON THE MARCH, which van Vogt made as guest of honor at the Pacificon. Copies may be obtained from E. Everett Evans, 628 South Bixel Street, Los Angeles 14, Claifornia.)

INDEX to S F and FANTASY STORIES by A. E. van VOGT.

Title...............................................Length in pages.........Magazine........................Date

Asylum................................................................26......Astounding................May 1942
Beast, The 2-2 ...................................................49............."..........................Nov. 1943
Black Destroyer..................................................23............."...........................July 1939
Book of Ptath, The...........................................102.......Unknown...................Oct. 1943
Book of Ptath, The (Book)....................Fantasy Press, Reading, Pa. (out soon)... $3.00
Can of Paint, A..................................................13........Astounding...............Sept.1944
Centaurus II.......................................................36..............".........................June 1947
Changling, The..................................................60..............".........................Apr. 1944
Child of the Gods 1-2........................................24..............".........................Aug. 1946
Chronicler, The (2 parts)...................................66.............."..........................Oct. 1946
Concealment 3-1...............................................11..............".........................Sept. 1943
Co-operate - Or Else 5-1...................................15.............."..........................Apr. 1942
Discord in Scarlet 4-2.......................................26.............."..........................Dec. 1939
Far Centaurus....................................................18.............."...........................Jan. 1944
Film Library......................................................19.............."...........................July 1946
Ghost, The.........................................................17........Unknown.................Aug. 1942
Great Engine, The 2-1......................................23.........Astounding...............July 1943
Hand of the Gods 1-3.......................................28...............".........................Dec. 1946
Harmonizer, The.................................................8..............".........................Nov. 1944
Heir Apparent...................................................22..............."........................June 1945
Home of the Gods 1-4......................................21...............".........................Apr. 1947
Juggernaut........................................................10..............."........................Aug. 1944
M 33 InAndromeda ........................................14.............."..........................July 1943
Mixed Men, The 3-3........................................26.............."..........................Jan. 1945
Not Only Dead Men.........................................11..............".........................Nov. 1942
Not The First....................................................12.............."..........................Apr. 1941
Purpose, The....................................................38.............."..........................May 1945
Recruiting Station........................................... 38 ..............".........................Mar. 1942
Repetition.........................................................23...............".........................Apr. 1940
Rulers, The.......................................................18..............."........................Mar. 1944
Sea Thing, The.................................................23 .............."..........................Jan. 1940
Search, The......................................................16..............."..........................Jan. 1943
Second Solution, The 5-2..................................8.............."...........................Oct. 1942
Secret Unattainable..........................................17.............."..........................July 1942
Seesaw, The 6-1...............................................15.............."..........................July 1941
Slan (4 parts)..................................................143.............."........................Sept. 1940
Slan (Book)...........................Arkham House, Sauk City, Wis.......1946..............$2.50
Son Is Born, A 1-1...........................................18........Astounding...............May 1946
Storm, The 3-2.................................................21 ..............".........................Oct. 1943
Vault of the Beast............................................20...............".........................Aug. 1940
Weapon Makers, The (3 parts) 6-3.................94 ...............".........................Feb. 1943
Weapon Makers, The (Book)......Hadley, Providence, R. I...........1947..............$3.00
Weapon Shop, The 6-2.................................. 19.........Astounding...............Dec. 1942
Witch, The......................................................10.........Unknown..................Feb. 1943
World of A (3 parts).................................... 175 ........Astounding...............Aug. 1945


Sequels: Each series has the same first number.
Second number shows order

1-1 A Son Is Born
1-2 Child of the Gods
1-3 Hand of the Gods
1-4 Home of the Gods

2-1 The Great Engine
2-2 The Beast

3-1 Concealment
3-2 The Storm
3-3 The Mixed Men

4-1 Black Destroyer
4-2 Discord in Scarlet

5-1 Co-Operate- Or Else
5-2 Second Solution

6-1 The Seesaw
6-2 The Weapon Shop
6-3 The Weapon Makers


Underlined numbers in the "Length in Pages" column indicate 9 x 12" pages.

INDEX to S/F and FANTASY stories by E. MAYNE HULL

Title...............................................Length in pages...........Magazine..............................Date

Abdication........*1............................................ 9 ..........Astounding......................Apr. 1943
Bankruptcy Proceedings......*6........................25.................."...............................Aug. 1946
Competition......*2...........................................16.................."...............................June 1943
Contract, The.........*4......................................20.................."...............................Mar. 1944
Debt, The.............*3........................................25.................."...............................Dec. 1943
Enter the Professor.....*5.................................20.................."................................Jan. 1945
Flight that Failed, The.....................................10.................."...............................Dec. 1942
Patient, The.......................................................4............Unknown........................Oct. 1943
Ultimate Wish, The......................................... 8..................."................................Feb. 1943
Winged Man, The (2 parts)............................72.............Astounding.....................May 1944
Wishes We Make, The...................................13.............Unknown........................June 1943


*Artur Blord-Ridge Stars series. Number shows order

*1 Abdication
*2 Competition
*3 The Debt
*4 The Contract
*5 Enter the Professor
*6 Bankruptcy Proceedings


Data entry by Judy Bemis

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