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Murray Leinster

(1896-1975)
Murray Leinster was a nom de plume of William Fitzgerald Jenkins, an award-winning American writer of science fiction and alternate history. He wrote and published over 1,500 short stories and articles, 14 movie scripts, and hundreds of radio scripts and television plays. An author whose career spanned the first six decades of the 20th Century. From mystery and adventure stories in the earliest years to science fiction in his later years, he worked steadily and at a highly professional level of craftsmanship longer than most writers of his generation. He won a Hugo Award in 1956 for his novelet “Exploration Team,” and in 1995 the Sidewise Award for Alternate History took its name from his classic story, “Sidewise in Time.” His last original work appeared in 1967.
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The Forgotten Planet: You want BEMs? Look no further!

The Forgotten Planet by Murray Leinster

There is a wonderful old term used to describe a feature of Golden Age science fiction novels: BEM, an acronym for “bug-eyed monsters.” Back in the 1930s and ‘40s, you see, the covers of many sci-fi pulp magazines featured illustrations of bulbous-orbed, invariably menacing aliens and other creatures; just do a Google Image search for the Thrilling Wonder Stories periodical and you’ll see what I mean! But anyone wanting to actually READ a book with more BEMs than any 10 other sci-fi books of the era combined would be well advised to pick up Murray Leinster’s The Forgotten Planet. This Golden Age classic not only features bug-eyed monsters, but also monsters — and scads of them — that just happen to be giant bugs! Leinster (1896 - 1975), who was born William Fitzgerald Jenkins in Norfolk, Virginia, would go on to write some 40 sci-fi novels a... Read More

SHORTS: The Retro Hugo-nominated novellas of 1944

SHORTS: Our column exploring free and inexpensive short fiction available on the internet. In today's column we review the 2020 Retro Hugo nominees in the novella category, other than The Jewel of Bas, which we've previously reviewed here as part of The Best of Leigh Brackett. Stay tuned for tomorrow's column, where we turn our attention to the Retro Hugo novelettes and short stories.

A God Named Kroo by Henry Kuttner (1944, published in Thrilling Wonder Stories, free online at Internet Archive). 2020 Retro Hugo award nominee (novella).

In remote Tibet, a minor deity named Kroo is slowly d... Read More