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On This Day: Alfred Bester Died

On this day in 1987, Alfred Bester passed away and the SF world lost one its brightest stars.

From The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction:

Educated in both humanities and sciences – including Psychology, perhaps the most important “science” in his sf – at the University of Pennsylvania, Bester entered sf when he submitted a story to Thrilling Wonder Stories. Mort Weisinger, the editor, helped Bester to polish it, and then suggested he submit it for an amateur story competition that Thrilling Wonder Stories was running. Bester did so and won. The story was “The Broken Axiom” (April 1939 Thrilling Wonder).

Bester published another thirteen sf stories to 1942, and then followed his friend Weisinger, along with Otto Binder, Manly Wade Wellman and others, into the field of Comic books, working on such DC Comics titles as Superman, The Green Lantern and Batman. He worked successfully for four years on comics outlines and dialogue, later working on Captain Marvel, and then moved into radio, scripting for such serials as Charlie Chan and The Shadow (see The Shadow). After the intensive course in action plotting this career had given him, Bester returned (part-time) to the sf magazines in 1950, by now more mature as a writer. (His main job at the time was scripting the new television series Tom Corbett: Space Cadet.) There ensued over the next six years a series of stories and novels which are considered to be among the greatest creations of genre sf . . .

You can the rest of Alfred Bester’s entry at The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction. His two most famous works – The Demolished Man and The Stars My Destination – are available as SF Masterworks paperbacks.

Alfred Bester (1913 – 1987)