Edmond Hamilton

The Short Stories of Edmond Hamilton

Considered a pioneer of the science fiction/alternative fiction forms, Edmond Moore Hamilton was born in 1904 in Youngstown, Ohio. He is remembered, among other things, for his muscular and fast-paced adventure novels and serializations – the juvenile sci-fi pulp series, Captain Future; the Interstellar Patrol stories – and for his comic book writing, especially for the Superman and Batman series. Hamilton grew up in Pennsylvania and started writing early. He graduated high school at the tender age of 14, entering Westminster College. Hamilton was first published in 1926 by the classic pulp fiction magazine, Weird Tales (WT). With the appearance of the short story The Monster-God of Marmuth (which also later was expanded as a novel), Hamilton became a member of an august group of writers and editors who would shape the concept of a science/alternative fiction genre. This company included WT editor Farnsworth Wright and writers H.P. Lovecraft, Jack Williamson, Robert E. Howard and Otis Kline, among many others. Hamilton would prove to be one of WT’s most prolific contributors with 79 stories published. Hamilton became popular as an author of “space opera”, a sub-genre he created along with E.E. “Doc” Smith. Their work is characterized by romantic outer space adventures (“space opera” is a play on the term “soap opera”). Hamilton’s story The Island of Unreason, published in Wonder Stories in 1933, won the first Jules Verne Prize (this was the first science fiction prize for writing awarded by popular vote, a precursor of the later Hugo Awards). And in 1936, Hamilton completed what is considered the first hardcover compilation of the science fiction genre – The Horror on The Asteroid and Other Tales of Planetary Horror. Among the iconic stories contained in it: The Accursed Galaxy, The Man Who Saw Everything (The Man with X-ray Eyes) and The Earth-Brain. As the popularity of the sci-fi genre waxed and waned in the ‘30s and ‘40s, Hamilton branched out into crime and detective fiction. And, in 1946, he began writing for DC Comics, contributing to the Superman and Batman series. He became a regular writer for the Legion of Super-Heroes series before finally retiring from comics altogether in 1966. Also in 1946, Hamilton married writer Leigh Brackett, a fellow sci-fi writer and a major Hollywood screenwriter for Howard Hawkes (Brackett co-wrote The Big Sleep with William Faulkner and Rio Bravo, among other classics of American cinema). Hamilton and Brackett collaborated on one work – the anthology Stark and the Star Kings, featuring stories from both writers; it was published in 2005. As a mature writer, Hamilton wrote a string of novels, including The Star of Life (1947), The City at World's End (1951), The Haunted Stars (1960), Valley of Creation (1964) and The Lake of Life (1978), continuing to sketch romantic, larger-than-life and – to some – old-fashioned and even corny scenarios. Although he was considered to be a bit of a relic towards the end of his career, Hamilton’s reputation soared in other parts of the world. In the year before his death, Japan’s Toei Animation launched production of an anime adaptation of the Captain Future novels and Tsuburaya Productions adapted his novel Star Wolf into a tokusatsu series. Both series were aired on Japanese television in 1978. The Captain Future adaptation was later exported to Europe, winning Hamilton yet another new fan base. Edmond Moore Hamilton died February 1, 1977 at the age of 73.
163 printed pages


How did you like the book?

Sign in or Register
Drag & drop your files (not more than 5 at once)