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8 June 2017
Born in Newark, New Jersey, on this day in 1910, John Wood Campbell, Jr studied physics at MIT and then Duke University. Campbell was a prolific early pulp writer – he made his first sale while still in his teens, was a recognised name in the genre by the time he was 21 and at the age of 28 published the seminal novella Who Goes There?, which has been filmed as The Thing From Antoher World (1951) and The Thing (1982). However, it was as an editor that he is best remembered. In 1937 he was appointed editor of Astounding Stories (now Analog), and over the next few decades would have an enormous influence on the field, more-or-less defining the Golden Age. He continued as editor of Astounding until his death in 1971.
For those looking to explore Campbell’s work it’s difficult to trecommend starting anywhere other than Who Goes There?, a masterpiece of suspense and paranoia: