Gone But Not Forgotten:
Science Fiction Genius C. M. Kornbluth
Compiled and edited by Heribert E. Severing, M.D.
Even though having died age 35, Cyril M. Kornbluth
wrote a lot of good science fiction, on his own or
teaming up with Frederik Pohl. But he never did get the fame
The Biography and Works...
Cyril M. Kornbluth was born in New York City in 1923. Being an
active part of the science-fiction fandom in the 30's he started
professional writing age 15, a member of the Futurians. By
the early 40's quite a number of his stories had been
publicised in several magazines under several aliases of whom S.D.
Gottesman and Cecil Corman were the most
After spending some time for university studies in Chicago,
he served with the Army in Europe during WW II.
In the post-war years, he went for university studies on the
G.I. Bill to Chicago again, he worked with Trans Radio Press there
up to the year of 1951, when he took to professional writing
for a living.
best known novels resulted from the fruitful cooperation with
Frederik Pohl. The most important were The Space Merchants (1953),
Search the Sky (1954, and Wolfbane (1959, shortly
after his untimely death). It was Space Merchants that
took its place in SF's hall of fame as being one of the most
biting satirical novels ever written in the genre. Important parts
of the novel were written by Kornbluth and showed his ability of
society-critical and satirical writing.
Besides of Frederik Pohl, C.M. Kornbluth teamed up with Judith
Merril. The novels Outpost Mars and Gunner Cade
(1952) were released, the author being named as Cyril Judd.
But also the novels he did on his own, like Takeoff (1952),
The Syndic (1953), and Not This August are highly
Even more important were his short stories. Some of his best
are The Marching Morons (Galaxy 4/'51), The Little
Black Bag (Astounding Science Fiction 7/'50), The Altar
at Midnight (Galaxy 11/'52) and Ms. Found in a
Chinese Fortune Cookie (The Magazine of Fantasy and Science
Kornbluth's novels and stories showed a turn to the soft
sciences (social and psychological) for the first time.
Even though he was suffering from 'malign hypertension' and
died from a heart attack at age 35 in 1958, he led SF into the
next decade and to new horizons.
CYRIL M. KORNBLUTH
His Share of Glory
The Complete Short Science Fiction of C.M.
The NESFA Press
Post Office Box 809
Framingham, MA 01701-0203
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This page was launched in November 1996.
Revised on May 10, 2018.
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Heribert E. Severing