Transfinite: The Essential A. E. Van Vogt

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NESFA Press, Dec 22, 2014 - Fiction - 576 pages
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One of sf's grandest old men, van Vogt (1912-2000) made history with the first story he sold. Editor John W. Campbell featured it on the cover of the genre-changing Astounding Science Fiction in July 1939, attracting future sf titans and mavens including, according to his introduction here, young collegian Harlan Ellison. That story was "Black Destroyer." It opens from the perspective of Coeurl, the single inhabitant of his world, to which humans arrive in a huge starship. The nonhuman insinuates its way into the ship, and a scenario unfolds that eventually played out--with modifications, to be sure--on the silver screen as Alien. Van Vogt created genuinely different aliens, endowed with extraordinary physical and mental powers as well as appetites, and the genre, including other stories here, has thrived on them since. An "idea" sf writer and a bit of a libertarian, van Vogt's nifty concepts also include distinctive futurist satire ("Future Perfect"), enduring World War II propaganda ("Secret Unattainable"), and entrepreneurial swashbucklers ("A Can of Paint"). Ray Olson
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User Review  - smaloney - LibraryThing

A collection of some of van Vogt's short fiction, including 'Black Destroyer' and 'Discord In Scarlet' which inspired the movie 'Alien'. While some of the writng is a bit dated, as with alot of Golden Age sci fi, the ideas behind the work more than stand the test of time. A must for sci fi fans. Read full review

About the author (2014)

A. E. Van Vogt, one of the most influential figures from the golden age of science fiction, was born on April 26, 1912 in Manitoba, Canada. During the Depression, he worked as a farm hand, truck driver, and statistical clerk. During World War II, Van Vogt worked briefly for the Department of National Defense. In the 1950s, Van Vogt became involved with L. Ron Hubbard's Dianetics program. Van Vogt wrote numerous science fiction short stories and novels. His notable novels include Slan, The Weapons Makers and The House That Stood Still.

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