Edward Willett

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The Space-Time Continuum: How a small-town Saskatchewan boy launched science fiction’s Golden Age

My most recent Space-Time Continuum column for Freelance, the magazine of the Saskatchewan Writers' Guild.  The Golden Age of science fiction, many say, began with the publication of A.E. van Vogt’s story “Black Destroyer” in Astounding in 1939. Isaac Asimov’s first story for Astounding appears in that same issue; the next contained the first story by Robert A. Heinlein, and the next the first by Theodore Sturgeon. But A.E. van Vogt’s story started it all—and van Vogt was a Saskatchewan boy. Although Alfred Elton van Vogt was born April 26, 1912, on a farm in the Russian Mennonite community of Edenburg, near the border town of Gretna, MB, his ...

Posted by Edward Willett at 9:20, July 2nd, 2018 under Blog, Columns, Science Fiction Columns | Comment now »

J.R.R. Tolkien in his own words

Today is J.R.R. Tolkien’s birthday: he was born January 3, 1892. In honor of that occasion, here’s the section entitled “In His Own Words” from the biography of Tolkien I wrote for Enslow Publishers, J.R.R. Tolkien: Master of Imaginary Worlds. These quotes are drawn from on an interview with Tolkien conducted by Daphne Castell and published in the November 1966 issue of the science fiction magazine New Worlds; an interview conducted by Philip Norman published by The New York Times on January 15, 1967, and an interview conducted by Dennis Gerrolt in January, 1971, for BBC Radio 4’s “Now Read On...” *** On his early childhood... I wasn’t born here (in England)—I was born in ...

Posted by Edward Willett at 8:47, January 3rd, 2013 under Blog, Books | Comment now »

The birth of The Hobbit

I posted this back in July, but it seems apropos to post it again today, with the release of the first movie in the new trilogy based on J.R.R. Tolkien's book The Hobbit. It's the first chapter of the biography of Tolkien I wrote for Enslow Publishers, entitled J.R.R. Tolkien, Master of Imaginary Worlds..and it's all about how The Hobbit came to be written and published. Happy Hobbit Day!     *** J.R.R. Tolkien: Master of Imaginary Worlds By Edward Willett Chapter 1: In A Hole in the Ground Lived A Hobbit The world might never have heard of J.R.R. Tolkien, or The Lord of the ...

Posted by Edward Willett at 8:43, December 14th, 2012 under Blog, Books | Comment now »

Saturday Special from the Vaults: Orson Scott Card

I wrote two author biographies for Enslow Publishers' Authors Teen Love series. One was on J.R.R. Tolkien, and the other on noted SF/fantasy writer Orson Scott Card. The former was easy because he was long dead and had been written about a great deal, the latter harder because he's very much alive and hasn't been biographied (is that a word?) nearly as much. On the other hand, that meant I had to get information directly from him, which was cool. He was very cooperative. Below is the first chapter of Orson Scott Card: Architect of Alternate Worlds, entitled "The Beginnings of Ender." And here's an Amazon link to the book, where you ...

Posted by Edward Willett at 9:44, June 16th, 2012 under Blog, Books, The Vaults | Comment now »