The Short Stories of Jack Williamson
Publisher: SCI-FI Publishing
John Stewart Williamson was born on 29th April 1908 in Bisbee, Arizona Territory. His early years were spent in Western Texas and then New Mexico.
Writing as Jack Williamson his first published story was ‘The Metal Man’ and it cover-featured on the December 1928 issue of Amazing Stories. He followed this up with many other cover-featured stories ‘Through the Purple Cloud’ (May 1931 Wonder Stories) his novella ‘Wolves of Darkness’ (January 1932 Strange Tales), ‘The Pigmy Planet’ (February 1932 Astounding Stories), ‘The Moon Era’ (February 1932 Wonder Stories), ‘Wizard's Isle’ (a novelette in the June 1934 Weird Tales).
As Nils O. Sonderlund, he published ‘The Angel from Hell’ in the December 1939 Marvel Tales. He also wrote under the names Will Stewart and John Stewart.
Early on, Williamson became impressed by the works of Miles J. Breuer, a doctor who in his spare time wrote science fiction. They began to collaborate, and Williamson’s work became more structured. Their first work was a novel; ‘Birth of a New Republic’ in which Moon colonies went through something akin to the American Revolution.
Williamson had been wracked by emotional torments and believed his physical ailments to be psychosomatic. He undertook psychiatric evaluation in 1933 in an attempt to resolve the conflict between his reason and his emotion. His stories now took on a grittier, more realistic tone.
Intriguingly a negative review of one of his books, which compared his writing to that of a comic strip, brought him the attention of The New York Sunday News, which needed a new comic strip. Williamson wrote the strip Beyond Mars (1952–55), loosely based on his novel ‘Seetee Ship’, until the paper dropped all comics.
Beginning 1954 Williamson and Frederick Pohl wrote more than a dozen science fiction novels together, including the series ‘Jim Eden’, ‘Starchild’, and ‘Cuckoo’.
Williamson now gathered up a clutch of awards winning the Hugo and Nebula Awards. The Science Fiction Writers of America honoured him as its second Grand Master of Science Fiction in 1976.
His last work ‘The Stonehenge Gate’ was published in 2005.
On 10th November 2006, John Stewart Williamson died at his home in Portales, New Mexico at age 98.