Stanley G. Weinbaum was born on this date, April 4, in the year 1902. He had a brief career as a science fiction writer in the mid-1930s before dying of lung cancer. While he is to a large degree forgotten today, he still casts a long shadow over the field.
His first story was “A Martian Odyssey”, in which he introduced aliens that were truly alien and not simply bug eyed monsters. We’ll take a look at that story in more depth at a later date.
For now, suffice to say that the impact of that tale was significant. Weinbaum followed it up with a sequel and then went on to write about a solar system populated with interesting and unique aliens. Weinbaum had a unique voice. I think in part that was because the tropes of the field hadn’t solidified, some would say ossified, into the more rigid standards they are now. Continue reading