RIP: Damon Knight, 1922-2002

I just found out that noted SF critic and author Damon Knight died the other night (Click here for a cite)

He was most famous among non-SF fans for his story (adapted by the Twilight Zone) “To Serve Man” (you know it…it’s the one with the famous last line “…it’s a COOKBOOK!”) but he also wrote In Search of Wonder, a great book of SF reviews, edited a ton of anthologies. The link above notes his Orbit series, but they never did as much for me as his stand-alones.






Can’t say I’ve read too much of his work. Years ago I read “The Futurians” and really enjoyed it. The latest thing of his that I read was “Humpty Dumpty: An Oval” One of the strangest novels I’ve ever read. Great title.

He’ll be missed.

I see on the same webpage that it’s possible that Henry Slesar may have died too.

Wow. Between the two of them, they must have had a story in every suspense/mystery/SF/fantasy anthology I read between 1969 and 1977.

Let’s also add that Knight was one of the first serious reviewers/critics of the sf field (In Search of Wonder is a must read for anyone interested in the glories and horrors of 50s sf; he founded the Milford workshops for pros and the Clarion workshops for younger youngers; he created one of the major long-lasting series of original anthologies of literary sf, Orbit; he founded the Science Fiction Writers of America; and the list could go on from there. He is probably among the half dozen most influential people in the history of the field.

Oops, sorry, Fenris, I didn’t click on that Locus link which included much of what I said. But perhaps the point is that I didn’t have to. Knight’s accomplishments were so great that everybody in the field knows them by heart.

R.I.P. Damon

Influential and profoundly human.