Tuesday, March 13, 2007

David Masson obituary

David Masson, the influential science fiction short story writer whose collections included The Caltraps of Time (1968), died last week at the age of 91. There's an obituary by Christopher Priest in The Guardian.
Masson leapt to prominence in the science-fiction world with his first published story, Traveller's Rest (1965). It is difficult to convey the seminal impact this remarkable story had on the small but influential group of writers, critics and readers who closely followed Michael Moorcock's New Worlds in those days. It depicts an apocalyptic war being fought across a time-dilated landscape, where all human senses are subjected to the distortions of relativity.
Without wanting to get too morbid, it does feel as if a generation of sci-fi writers has now almost entirely passed away. The last six months, for example, has seen the deaths of British sci-fi TV pioneer Nigel Kneale, and celebrated American 'pulp' magazine contributor, Jack Williamson. The influence of their work on popular culture, however, remains as strong as ever.

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