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Cyril Kornbluth (1924-1958) was the youngest and perhaps the most brilliant of that great group of satirists (Frederik Pohl, Robert Sheckley, Damon Knight, William Tenn) whom Horace Gold drafted to become the characteristic voice of his magazine. Kornbluth was a child prodigy (writing at 16 stories which became classics of the field) and auto-didact, first-generation fan and newspaperman (a Chicago-based wire service) whose heart and health were wrecked by active combat duty at the Battle of the Bulge and other venues; after the war he became a fully committed science fiction writer who moved from journalism in Chicago to a career in the New York area. In collaboration with Frederik Pohl he wrote THE SPACE MERCHANTS (1952) for GALAXY which became the classic satirical novel of advertising and GLADIATOR-AT-LAW which brought the same satirical force to the housing industry. There were several other novels, science fiction and mainstream, written with Pohl, two with Judith Merril and several (TAKEOFF, NOT THIS AUGUST) written alone. He struggled for years with health, economic and familial obligations (he was married to a sculptress and had two young sons) and died suddenly on a train platform, sprinting for a New York bound train in March 1958. A recent (2009) biography by Mark Rich gives much detail about his painful life and brilliant career. [retrieved 10/15/2013 from Amazon.com]
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