The Info List - Damon Knight

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Damon Francis Knight (September 19, 1922 – April 15, 2002) was an American science fiction author, editor and critic. He is the author of "To Serve Man", a 1950 short story adapted for The Twilight Zone.[2] He was married to fellow writer Kate Wilhelm.


1 Biography 2 Selected works

2.1 Novels 2.2 Short stories
Short stories
and other writings 2.3 Literary criticism
Literary criticism
and analysis 2.4 Short story
Short story

3 See also 4 Notes 5 References 6 Sources 7 External links

Biography[edit] Knight was born in Baker, Oregon
Baker, Oregon
in 1922, and grew up in Hood River, Oregon. He entered science-fiction fandom at the age of eleven and published two issues of a fanzine entitled Snide.[3] Knight's first professional sale was a cartoon drawing to a science-fiction magazine, Amazing Stories.[4] His first story, "The Itching Hour," appeared in the Summer 1940 number of Futuria Fantasia, edited and published by Ray Bradbury.[1] "Resilience" followed in the February 1941 number of Stirring Science Stories, edited by Donald Wolheim.[1] An editorial error made the latter story's ending incomprehensible;[5] it was reprinted in a 1978 magazine in four pages with a two-page introduction by Knight.[1] At the time of his first story sale, he was living in New York, and was a member of the Futurians.[6] One of his short stories describes paranormal disruption of a science fiction fan group, and contains cameo appearances of various Futurians
and others under thinly-disguised names: for instance, non-Futurian SF writer H. Beam Piper is identified as "H. Dreyne Fifer". Knight's forte was the short story; he is widely acknowledged as having been a master of the genre.[7] To the general public, he is best known as the author of "To Serve Man", a 1950 short story adapted for The Twilight Zone.[2] It won a 50-year Retro Hugo
Retro Hugo
in 2001 as the best short story of 1950.[8] Knight also became well known as a science fiction critic, a career which began when he wrote in 1945 that A. E. van Vogt
A. E. van Vogt
"is not a giant as often maintained. He's only a pygmy who has learned to operate an overgrown typewriter."[3] He ceased reviewing when Fantasy & Science Fiction refused to publish a review.[9] These reviews were later collected in In Search of Wonder.[6] Algis Budrys
Algis Budrys
wrote that Knight and William Atheling Jr. (James Blish) had "transformed the reviewer's trade in the field",[10] in Knight's case "without the guidance of his own prior example".[9] The term "idiot plot", a story that only functions because almost everyone in it is an idiot, became well-known through Knight's frequent use of it in his reviews, though he believed the term was probably invented by Blish.[11] Knight's only non- Retro Hugo
Retro Hugo
Award was for "Best Reviewer" in 1956.[8] Knight was the founder of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA),[12] cofounder of the National Fantasy Fan Federation,[13] cofounder of the Milford Writer's Workshop,[14] and cofounder of the Clarion Writers Workshop.[15] The SFWA officers and past presidents named Knight its 13th Grand Master in 1994 (presented 1995). After his death, the associated award was renamed the Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master Award in his honor.[8][6][16] The Science Fiction Hall of Fame inducted him in 2003.[17] Until his death, Knight lived in Eugene, Oregon, with his second wife, author Kate Wilhelm.[18] His papers are held in the University of Oregon Special
Collections and University Archive.[19] Selected works[edit] Main article: Damon Knight
Damon Knight
bibliography Novels[edit]

Hell's Pavement
Hell's Pavement
(1955) A for Anything
A for Anything
(1961) (original version titled The People Maker, 1959) Masters of Evolution
Masters of Evolution
(1959) The Sun Saboteurs
The Sun Saboteurs
(1961) Beyond the Barrier
Beyond the Barrier
(1964) Mind Switch
Mind Switch
(1965) Double Meaning (1965) The Earth Quarter (1970) World without Children (1970) The World and Thorinn (1980) The Man in the Tree (1984) CV (1985) The Observers (1988) A Reasonable World (1991) God's Nose (1991) Why Do Birds (1992) Humpty Dumpty: An Oval (1996)

Short stories
Short stories
and other writings[edit]

"The Third Little Green Man" (1948) "PS's Feature Flash" (1948) "Not with a Bang" (1949) "To Serve Man" (1950) "Ask Me Anything" (1951) "Don't Live in the Past" (1951) "Cabin Boy" (1951) "Catch that Martian" (1952) "The Analogues" (1952) "Beachcomber" (1952) "Ticket to Anywhere" (1952) "Anachron" (1953) "Babel II" (1953) "Four in One" (1953) " Special
Delivery" (1953) "Natural State" (1954) "Rule Golden" (1954) "The Country of the Kind" (1955) "Dulcie and Decorum" (1955) "You're Another" (1955) "This way to the Regress (1956) "Extempore" (1956) "The Last Word" (1956) "Stranger Station" (1956) "Dio" (1957) "The Dying Man" (1957) "An Eye for a What?" (1957) "The Enemy" (1958) "Be My Guest" (1958) "Eripmav" (1958) "Idiot Stick" (1958) "Thing of Beauty" (1958) "To Be Continued" (1959) "The Handler" (1960) "Time Enough" (1960) "Auto-Da-Fe" (1961) A Century of Science Fiction (1962) (editor) "The Visitor at the Zoo" (1963) "The Big Pat Boom" (1963) "An Ancient Madness" (1964) God's Nose (1964) Maid to Measure (1964) "Shall the Dust Praise Thee?" (1967) "Masks'" (1968) "The Star Below" (1968) I See You (1976) Forever (1981) O (1983) Point of View (1985) (Illustrated by Chris Van Allsburg) Strangers on Paradise (1986) Not a Creature (1993) Fortyday (1994) Life Edit (1996) "Double Meaning" "In the Beginning"

Literary criticism
Literary criticism
and analysis[edit]

In Search of Wonder
In Search of Wonder
(1956) (collected reviews and critical pieces) Creating Short Fiction (1981) (advice on writing short stories) Turning Points (editor/contributor: critical anthology) Orbit (editor) The Futurians
(1977, memoir/history)

Short story
Short story

Far Out (1961) (contains "To Serve Man") In Deep (1963) (contains "The Country of the Kind") Off Center
Off Center
(1965) (contains "Be My Guest") Turning On
Turning On

See also[edit]

Science fiction portal


^ Futurians
Chester Cohen and Knight used the name Conanight jointly for two 1942 illustrations. Knight wrote three 1943–1944 short stories as Stuart Fleming.[1]


^ a b c d Damon Knight
Damon Knight
at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database (ISFDB). Retrieved 2013-04-04. Select a title to see its linked publication history and general information. Select a particular edition (title) for more data at that level, such as a front cover image or linked contents. ^ a b Stanyard, Dimensions Behind the Twilight Zone, p. 51. ^ a b Battistella, Edwin. " Damon Knight
Damon Knight
(1922-2002)". The Oregon Encyclopedia. Retrieved 31 July 2012.  ^ Knight, "Knight Piece," Brian W. Aldiss & Harry Harrison, Hell's Cartographers, Orbit Books, 1976, p. 105. ^ Pohl, SFWA Grand Masters Volume Three, p. 202. ^ a b c "Damon Knight". Gollancz/SFE Ltd. Retrieved 15 October 2011.  ^ Malzberg, Barry N., ed. (1976). The Best of Damon Knight. Nelson Doubleday.  ^ a b c "Knight, Damon". The Locus Index to SF Awards: Index to Literary Nominees. Locus Publications. Archived from the original on 2012-10-16. Retrieved 2013-04-04.  ^ a b Budrys, Algis (December 1967). "Galaxy Bookshelf". Galaxy Science Fiction. pp. 187–194.  ^ Budrys, Algis (June 1965). "Galaxy Bookshelf". Galaxy Science Fiction. pp. 164–169.  ^ Gary K. Wolfe, "Coming to Terms", in Gunn & Candelaria, Speculations on Speculation, p. 18. ^ " Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America
Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America
History and Statistics". Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, Inc. Archived from the original on 3 October 2011. Retrieved 1 October 2011.  ^ "The History of N3F". The National Fantasy Fan Federation. Archived from the original on 27 September 2011. Retrieved 1 October 2011.  ^ "Milford History". Milford Speculative Fiction Writers. Retrieved 1 October 2011.  ^ "Robin Scott Wilson". Gollancz/SFE Ltd. Retrieved 15 October 2011.  ^ " Damon Knight
Damon Knight
Memorial Grand Master". Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA). Archived from the original on 2013-03-08. Retrieved 2013-04-04.  ^ "Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame". Mid American Science Fiction and Fantasy Conventions, Inc. Archived from the original on May 21, 2013. Retrieved 2013-03-22. This was the official website of the hall of fame to 2004  ^ "Damon Knight, 79, Writer and Editor of Science Fiction, Dies". The New York Times. 17 April 2002.  ^ http://around.uoregon.edu/story/academics/celebrating-csws-40th-le-guin-feminist-science-fiction-fellowship


Aldiss, Brian W.; Harrison, Harry (1976). Hell's Cartographers. London: Futura. ISBN 0-86007-907-4.  Gunn, James E.; Candelaria, Matthew (2005). Speculations on Speculation: Theories of Science Fiction. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press. ISBN 0-8108-4902-X.  Pohl, Frederik (2002). The SFWA Grand Masters. 3. New York: Macmillan. ISBN 0-312-86876-6.  Stanyard, Stewart T. (2006). Dimensions Behind the Twilight Zone: A Backstage Tribute to Television's Groundbreaking Series. Chicago: ECW Press. ISBN 978-1-55022-744-4. 

External links[edit]

Works by Damon Knight
Damon Knight
at Project Gutenberg Works by or about Damon Knight
Damon Knight
at Internet Archive Works by Damon Knight
Damon Knight
at LibriVox
(public domain audiobooks) " Damon Knight
Damon Knight
biography". Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame.  Damon Knight
Damon Knight
at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database " Damon Knight
Damon Knight
papers". Syracuse University.  "Obituary". SFWA. April 17, 2002. Archived from the original on 2011-08-11.  "Obituary". News Log. Locus. April 15, 2002. Complete obituary follows in May issue  Damon Knight
Damon Knight
at Library of Congress
Library of Congress
Authorities, with 60 catalog records

v t e

Damon Knight
Damon Knight
Memorial Grand Master Awards (SFWA Grand Masters)


Robert A. Heinlein
Robert A. Heinlein
(1975) Jack Williamson
Jack Williamson
(1976) Clifford D. Simak
Clifford D. Simak
(1977) L. Sprague de Camp
L. Sprague de Camp
(1979) Fritz Leiber
Fritz Leiber
(1981) Andre Norton
Andre Norton
(1984) Arthur C. Clarke
Arthur C. Clarke
(1986) Isaac Asimov
Isaac Asimov
(1987) Alfred Bester
Alfred Bester
(1988) Ray Bradbury
Ray Bradbury
(1989) Lester del Rey
Lester del Rey
(1991) Frederik Pohl
Frederik Pohl
(1993) Damon Knight
Damon Knight
(1995) A. E. van Vogt
A. E. van Vogt
(1996) Jack Vance
Jack Vance
(1997) Poul Anderson
Poul Anderson
(1998) Hal Clement
Hal Clement


Brian Aldiss
Brian Aldiss
(2000) Philip José Farmer
Philip José Farmer
(2001) Ursula K. Le Guin
Ursula K. Le Guin
(2003) Robert Silverberg
Robert Silverberg
(2004) Anne McCaffrey
Anne McCaffrey
(2005) Harlan Ellison
Harlan Ellison
(2006) James Gunn (2007) Michael Moorcock
Michael Moorcock
(2008) Harry Harrison (2009) Joe Haldeman
Joe Haldeman
(2010) Connie Willis
Connie Willis
(2012) Gene Wolfe (2013) Samuel Delany
Samuel Delany
(2014) Larry Niven
Larry Niven
(2015) C. J. Cherryh
C. J. Cherryh

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 62070456 LCCN: n79108377 ISNI: 0000 0001 0908 0463 GND: 107522535 SUDOC: 026951274 BNF: cb11909882d (data) BIBSYS: 90762006 NDL: 00445