US TxAM-C C000180
Name and location of repository
Level of description
Alfred Elton Van Vogt Collection
- 1949-1956; Undated (Creation)
Name of creator
Alfred Elton Van Vogt was born in Winnipeg, Ontario, Canada, on April 26, 1912; he immigrated to the United States in 1944 and became a naturalized citizen in 1952. Inspired by reading an issue of _Astounding Science Fiction_in 1938, Van Vogt decided to embark on his own career writing science fiction. In 1939, he published his first story, "The Black Destroyer", the tale of an exploration spaceship (the Space Beagle) whose decks are stalked by a carnivorous monster; it was combined with several other _Beagle_stories into a fix-up novel: The Voyage of the Space Beagle, in 1950. The story was an inspiration for a number of science fiction movies such as It! The Terror From Beyond Space(1958) and Alien(1979).
In 1946 Van Vogt published his first, and most famous novel, Slan. _Slan,_originally serialized in 1940) is the story of Jommy Cross, a young mutant (a "slan") wiho has, among other abilities, the power to read minds, and who flees the anti-superhuman society that killed his parents. The novel quickly gained popularity, and the slogan "fans are slans" gained currency in the world of science fiction fandom. Fans drew similarities between perceived greater intelligence and imaginative capability of science fiction fans with the superior abilities of slans in the novel, as well as their harassment by non-fans to the persecution of slans in the novel.
Among Van Vogt's other more significant works are the _Null-A_series of novels ( The World of Null-A, The Pawns of Null-A, and Null-A Three), which uses the adventures of Gilbert Gosseyn, who can transport himself or anything instantaneously across vast distances, to explore the non-Aristotelian concept of general semantics; The Weapon Shops of Isher(1951, fixed-up from three previously published stories) and its 1952 sequel The Weapons Makers; two books exploring the Roman Empire-like decline of a far future empire, Empire of the Atom(1956) and The Wizard of Linn(1962); Rogue Ship(1956); and Quest For The Future(1970). In addition, he also wrote a great many works of short fiction.
Van Vogt was nominated for a number of awards over the course of his lifetime. He received the 1980 Prix Aurora for Lifetime Achievement, and was made a Grand Master by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America in 1996. Also in 1996 he was inducted into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame. His _The Weapons Shops of Isher_won the 2000 Prometheus Hall of Fame Award.
A.E. Van Vogt died on January 26, 2000, in Los Angeles, CA.
Content and structure elements
Scope and content
This collection consists of materials relating to the 1956 A. E. Van Vogt novel Empire of the Atom, including the original typescript, galleys, and correspondence related to the book's publication and review.
System of arrangement
Materials are arranged roughly chronological as received from the source.
Conditions of access and use elements
Conditions governing access
These materials are stored offsite and required additional time for retrieval.
Conditions governing reproduction
Copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.
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Immediate source of acquisition
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