A. E. van Vogt (Alfred Elton van Vogt) Biography
(1912–2000), (Alfred Elton van Vogt), Slan, Astounding Science Fiction, The Weapon Shops of Isher
Canadian-born science fiction writer, born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, resident in the USA from 1944. Together with I. Asimov and R. A. Heinlein, he dominated American science fiction for a decade from 1939. His first novel, Slan (1940, in Astounding Science Fiction; final revised edition 1951), adopted for young magazine readers the idea of the solitary superman. More ambitious were two sets of linked novels, The Weapon Shops of Isher (1951) and The Weapon Makers (final form 1952), a space opera in which the solar system is created as an afterthought, and The World of A (1948) and The Pawns of Null-A (1956), which attempted to relate the principles of Count Alfred Korzybski's General Semantics to the politics and intellectual processes of an immortal superman. Some of his best stories, many of them featuring savage but engrossing aliens, were collected in The Voyage of the Space Beagle (1950), Away and Beyond (1952), and Destination: Universe (1952). For a period Van Vogt's energies were diverted by R. Hubbard's Dianetics (later Scientology), but in the 1970s he was again producing prolifically, though novels such as The Battle of Forever (1971) lacked the haunting momentum of his earlier work.