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Author A.E.VanVogt Dies
Giant of the Golden Age of Science Fiction Passes Away.
By Denise Dumars
January 29, 2000
Pioneering science fiction writer A. E. van Vogt passed away during the wee hours on Wednesday, January 26, 2000. Van Vogt, known as 'Van' to his family and friends, died of complications from pneumonia. He had been battling Alzheimer's disease for several years.
Van Vogt was born in Manitoba, Canada on April 26, 1912. He was most prominent as an author during the 'Golden Age' of science fiction, and his novels, including SLAN, THE VOYAGE OF THE SPACE BEAGLE, the NULL-A books and the WEAPONS SHOPS books are still widely read and reprinted. His career spanned 50+ years, beginning with a sale to ASTOUNDING SCIENCE FICTION in the 1930's. He was an early champion of Dianetics, and was a contemporary of L. Ron Hubbard, Isaac Asimov, Ray Bradbury, and John W. Campbell. In 1996, he was given the Grand Master Award by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Association. He was also inducted into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame by the University of Kansas and the Center for the Study of Science Fiction.
'A. E. van Vogt was and is a seminal influence on scores of science fiction writers, whether they are cognizant of it or not. He dreamed large dreams and he did not fear putting those dreams on paper: the purest definition of a writer of the fantastic,' says Dan Hooker of the Ashley Grayson Literary Agency, which represents the writings of A. E. van Vogt.
Van Vogt's work championed the sense of adventure and wonder that defined the best the 'golden age' had to offer. His writing faced the future with courage and vision. He authored 85 novels and 92 short stories, and his work influenced many film and television projects. His story 'Research Alpha,' coauthored by James H. Schmitz, was adapted for the Sci-Fi channel series WELCOME TO PARADOX.
Van Vogt's first wife, science fiction author E. Mayne Hull, died in 1975. He is survived by his wife, Lydia, his stepchildren, grandchildren, and a sister. Services will be held in Hollywood on Monday, January 31, 2000, with a eulogy presented by Harlan Ellison. Interment will follow at Holy Cross Cemetery in Culver City. Fans are encouraged to send donations in Van's memory to: The Alzheimer's Association, 5900 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 1700, Los Angeles, CA 90036.