Sci-fi magazine editor and writer Frederick Paul
Frederick George Paul Jr. (born November 26, 1919 – died September 2, 2013) is best known as a science fiction editor, with the help of which many popular authors and works received a “green light”.
Briefly about the writer
Frederick Paul made a significant contribution to the formation and development of science fiction, along with other eminent authors, but not as an independent author, but as an editor and organizer. Standing at the origins of popular writers’ communities, such as the Hydra Club, and editing the first science fiction magazines, Paul indirectly had a hand in the careers of many dozens of famous writers. Over a seventy-year career, Paul has released relatively few truly successful works, from a commercial point of view.
Early works were published under various pseudonyms, when his main activity was editing.
He was the founder of the “Hydra Club” – the first large community of science fiction writers, which included such famous authors as Asimov.
Frederick George Paul Jr. (born November 26, 1919 – died September 2, 2013) was an American science fiction writer and editor for over 75 years, from his first published work, the poem Elegy to the Dead Satellite: The Moon, 1937, before the novel 2011 “All the lives that he led.”
Childhood and youth
Paul was the son of Frederick George Paul and Anna Jane Mason. A half-senior changed several professions, and the whole family traveled after him to the states of Texas, California and New Mexico; for some time the family lived near the Panama Canal. Then they settled in Brooklyn when Paul Jr. was about seven years old.
As a teenager, he became one of the founders of the Futurians fan group (Futurists) in New York and began talking with Donald Volheim, Isaac Asimov and many other future writers and editors. Paul later said that those people with whom he met then, in this club, stayed with him for life:
Isaac, Damon Knight, Cyril Kornblat, Dirk Whiteley, and Dick Wilson. I still consider Jack Robins and Dave Kyle friends, seventy-odd years later …
As described in Isaac Asimov’s autobiography, the Futurists separated from the Big New York Science Fiction Club (led by Sam Moskowitz, later an influential science fiction editor and historian) because the futurists wanted a more open political position. In those years, Donald Walheim, one of the founders of the group, was a convinced communist and inclined all members of the club to the “left”.
At the same time, he began to publish and edit two scientific journals: Astounding Stories and Super Science Stories, where he published his own works under various pseudonyms. They brought a little to the young chief editor: 10 dollars a week. But he agreed to this, for this work brought him true joy.
By the way, Frederick Paul received the first Hugo prizes precisely for his editorial activities, while the first prize for a literary work itself was only in the early 1970s.
In 1936, Paul joined the Komsomol, sharply criticizing the policies of Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini. He became president of the local Komsomol branch in Brooklyn. Paul later said that after the conclusion of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact of 1939, the line of the Soviet party, in his opinion, had changed, and he could no longer support it, after which he left it.
The writer studied at Brooklyn Technical High School, which he dropped out at 17. In 2009, he received an honorary diploma from the Brooklyn Institute of Technology.
Creative activity and the path to fame
Paul began writing in the late 1930s, using pseudonyms for most of his early works. His first publication was the poem Elegy to a Dead Companion: The Moon, which he released under the name of Elton Andrews in the October 1937 issue of Amazing Stories. For his first story, written in collaboration with Cyril Kornblat “Before the Universe” in 1940, he chose the pseudonym S. D. Gottesman.
Paul began his career as a literary agent in 1937, but only after World War II did he take it seriously. He turned out to be “a representative of more than half of successful science fiction writers,” but his agency did not receive financial support, and he closed it in the early 1950s.
At the same time, he began to publish and edit two scientific journals: Astounding Stories and Super Science Stories, where he published his own works under various pseudonyms. Paul’s stories often appeared in these science fiction magazines, but always under pseudonyms. In his autobiography, Paul said he stopped editing two magazines around the time of the German invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941.
Paul became one of the founders of the Hydra Club, a free association of science fiction writers and readers who met in the late 1940s and 1950s.