Sam Moskowitz
Sam Moskowitz was an early fan and organizer of interest in science fiction
Science fiction
Science fiction is a genre of fiction dealing with imaginary but more or less plausible content such as future settings, futuristic science and technology, space travel, aliens, and paranormal abilities...

 and, later, a writer, critic, and historian of the field.


As a child, Moskowitz greatly enjoyed reading science fiction pulp magazine
Pulp magazine
Pulp magazines , also collectively known as pulp fiction, refers to inexpensive fiction magazines published from 1896 through the 1950s. The typical pulp magazine was seven inches wide by ten inches high, half an inch thick, and 128 pages long...

s. As a teenager, he organized a branch of the Science Fiction League. Meanwhile, Donald A. Wollheim
Donald A. Wollheim
Donald Allen Wollheim was an American science fiction ' editor, publisher, writer, and fan. As an author, he published under his own name as well as under pseudonyms, including David Grinnell....

 helped organize the Futurians, a rival club with Marxist sympathies. While still in his teens, Moskowitz became chairman of the first
1st World Science Fiction Convention
The First World Science Fiction Convention was held in the Caravan Hall in New York from July 2 to July 4, 1939, in conjunction with the New York World's Fair, which was themed as "The World of Tomorrow"...

 World Science Fiction Convention
Worldcon, or more formally The World Science Fiction Convention, is a science fiction convention held each year since 1939 . It is the annual convention of the World Science Fiction Society...

 held in New York City in 1939. He barred several Futurians
The Futurians were a group of science fiction fans, many of whom became editors and writers as well. The Futurians were based in New York City and were a major force in the development of science fiction writing and science fiction fandom in the years 1937-1945.-Origins of the group:As described...

 from the convention
Science fiction convention
Science fiction conventions are gatherings of fans of various forms of speculative fiction including science fiction and fantasy. Historically, science fiction conventions had focused primarily on literature, but the purview of many extends to such other avenues of expression as movies and...

 because they threatened to disrupt it. This event is referred to by historians of fandom as the "Great Exclusion Act".

Moskowitz later worked professionally in the science fiction field. He edited Science-Fiction Plus
Science-Fiction Plus
Science-Fiction Plus was a science fiction magazine published from Philadelphia by Gernsback Publications, Inc. in 1952-53...

, a short-lived genre magazine owned by Hugo Gernsback
Hugo Gernsback
Hugo Gernsback , born Hugo Gernsbacher, was a Luxembourgian American inventor, writer, editor, and magazine publisher, best remembered for publications that included the first science fiction magazine. His contributions to the genre as publisher were so significant that, along with H. G...

, in 1953. He compiled about two dozen anthologies, and a few single-author collections, most published in the 1960s and early 1970s. Moskowitz also wrote a handful of short stories (three published in 1941, one in 1953, three in 1956). His most enduring work is likely to be his writing
Science fiction studies
This article is about the field of science fiction studies. For the journal of the same title, please see Science Fiction Studies.Science fiction studies is the common name for the academic discipline that studies and researches the history, culture, and works of science fiction and, more broadly,...

 on the history of science fiction
History of science fiction
The literary genre of science fiction is diverse. Since there is little consensus of definition among scholars or devotees, its origin is an open question. Some offer works like the Sumerian Epic of Gilgamesh as the primal text of science fiction...

, in particular two collections of short author biographies, Explorers of the Infinite and Seekers of Tomorrow, as well as the highly regarded Under the Moons of Mars: A History and Anthology of “The Scientific Romance” in the Munsey Magazines, 1912-1920. His exhaustive cataloging of early sf magazine stories by important genre authors remains the best resource for nonspecialists.

Theodore Sturgeon
Theodore Sturgeon
Theodore Sturgeon was an American science fiction author.His most famous novel is More Than Human .-Biography:...

, although noting the book's many imperfections, praised Explorers of the Infinite, saying "no one has surveyed the roots of SF as well as Mr. M.; probably no one ever will; prossibly [sic], no one else can."

Reviewing Seekers of Tomorrow, Algis Budrys
Algis Budrys
Algis Budrys was a Lithuanian-American science fiction author, editor, and critic. He was also known under the pen names "Frank Mason", "Alger Rome", "John A. Sentry", "William Scarff", and "Paul Janvier."-Biography:...

 wryly noted that "Moskowitz is a master of denotation. He wouldn't know a connotation if it snapped at his ankle, which is something that happens quite often." He added, however, that "Moskowitz knows and transmits, at least as much about the history of science fiction and its evolution, as anyone possibly could."

Moskowitz's most popular work may be The Immortal Storm, a historical review of internecine strife within fandom. Moskowitz wrote it in a bombastic style that made the events he described seem so important that, as fan historian Harry Warner, Jr.
Harry Warner, Jr.
Harry Warner, Jr. was an American journalist. He spent 40 years working for the Hagerstown, Maryland, Herald-Mail....

 quipped, "If read directly after a history of World War II, it does not seem like an anticlimax." Anthony Boucher
Anthony Boucher
Anthony Boucher was an American science fiction editor and author of mystery novels and short stories. He was particularly influential as an editor. Between 1942 and 1947 he acted as reviewer of mostly mystery fiction for the San Francisco Chronicle...

 noted wryly that "never has so much been written about so little," but added that the book was "a unique document not without a good deal of social and psychological value."

Moskowitz was also renowned as a science fiction book collector, with a tremendous number of important early works and rarities. His book collection was auctioned off after his death.

As "Sam Martin", he was also editor of the trade publications Quick Frozen Foods and Quick Frozen Foods International for many years.

First Fandom
First Fandom
First Fandom is an association of experienced science fiction fans.In 1958 a number of fans at Midwestcon realized amid table-talk that they all had been active in fandom for more than 20 years. This inspired the creation of an organization for longstanding fans under the initial chairmanship of...

, an organization of science fiction fans active before 1940, gives an award in Moskowitz' memory each year at the World Science Fiction Convention.

Moskowitz smoked cigarettes frequently throughout his adult life. A few years before his death, throat cancer required the surgical removal of his larynx. He continued to speak at science fiction conventions, using an electronic voice-box
Mechanical larynx
A mechanical larynx, also referred to as a "throat back", is a medical device used to produce clearer speech by those who have lost their original voicebox, usually due to cancer of the larynx. The most common device is the electrolarynx which is handheld, battery operated and placed under the...

 held against his throat. Throughout his later years, although his controversial opinions were often disputed by others, he was recognized as a leading authority on the history of science fiction.

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.