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Alfred Bester

Author: Jad Smith
Publisher: Urbana : University of Illinois Press, [2016]
Series: Modern masters of science fiction.
Edition/Format:   Print book : Biography : State or province government publication : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
"Alfred Bester's classic short stories and the canonical novel The Stars My Destination made him a science fiction legend. Fans and scholars praise him as a genre-bending pioneer and cyberpunk forefather. Writers like Neil Gaiman and William Gibson celebrate his prophetic vision and stylistic innovations. Jad Smith traces the career of the unlikeliest of SF icons. Winner of the first Hugo Award for The Demolished
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Genre/Form: Biographies
Criticism, interpretation, etc
Biography
Additional Physical Format: Online version:
Smith, Jad.
Alfred Bester.
Urbana : University of Illinois Press, 2016
(DLC) 2016038980
Named Person: Alfred Bester; Alfred Bester; Alfred Bester; Alfred Bester
Material Type: Biography, Government publication, State or province government publication
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Jad Smith
ISBN: 9780252040634 0252040635 9780252082139 0252082133
OCLC Number: 946905367
Description: 208 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm.
Contents: Introduction Alfred Bester: The Insider's Outsider --
Chapter 1 Beginnings: Early Life and First Stories --
Chapter 2 Of Things to Come: The Astounding and Unknown Stories --
Chapter 3 Comics, Radio, and the Return to SF --
Chapter 4 The Eureka Years --
Chapter 5 Tiger, Tiger, Burning Bright --
Chapter 6 Hiatus and Search for a New Style --
Conclusion --
An Alfred Bester Bibliography.
Series Title: Modern masters of science fiction.
Responsibility: Jad Smith.

Abstract:

"Alfred Bester's classic short stories and the canonical novel The Stars My Destination made him a science fiction legend. Fans and scholars praise him as a genre-bending pioneer and cyberpunk forefather. Writers like Neil Gaiman and William Gibson celebrate his prophetic vision and stylistic innovations. Jad Smith traces the career of the unlikeliest of SF icons. Winner of the first Hugo Award for The Demolished Man, Bester also worked in comics, radio, and TV, and his intermittent SF writing led some critics to brand him a dabbler. In the 1960s, however, New Wave writers championed his work, and his reputation grew. Smith follows Bester's journey from consummate outsider to an artist venerated for foundational works that influenced the New Wave and cyberpunk revolutions. He also explores the little-known roots of a wayward journey fueled by curiosity, disappointment with the SF mainstream, and an artist's determination to go his own way"--

"Like Asimov and Heinlein, Alfred Bester (Dec 18, 1913-Sep 30, 1987) began his career in science fiction as a pulp fictioneer and finished it as a Grand Master, but he followed a far more curious path than either of his big-name contemporaries. He focused on SF intermittently during his nearly fifty years as a professional writer, maintaining few ties with the field. He started his career in SF and finished it there as well, but in between, he kept to a pattern of voyage and return, putting SF aside for two extended intervals, first to script comics, radio mysteries, and teleplays and later to work as a magazine columnist and editor. Bester's reputation today rests primarily on a handful of widely reprinted stories and two landmark novels from his most productive period in the 1950s: The Demolished Man (1953), an SF-murder mystery hybrid that won the first-ever Hugo Award for Best Novel, and The Stars My Destination (1957), a sleekly savage and adult space opera that gained a cult following among readers. For most of his career, Bester's reputation remained that of an outsider. But over time and partly in his absence, Bester's reputation grew into more than just that of an outsider. Movers and shakers among later generations of writers--Michael Moorcock, Samuel R. Delany, Harlan Ellison, M. John Harrison, William Gibson, and Bruce Sterling, among them--came to regard Bester's work as pivotal to SF's development"--

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"Alfred Bester is an admirable monograph, in fact the very first on a grandmaster of the genre who has received shockingly little academic attention....For anyone approaching the study of Alfred Read more...

 
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