John Stewart Williamson (April 29, 1908 – November 10, 2006), who wrote as Jack Williamson, was an American science fiction writer, often called the "Dean of Science Fiction" after the death of Robert Heinlein in 1988. early in his career he sometimes used the pseudonyms Will Stewart and Nils O. Sonderlund.
Williamson was born April 29, 1908 in Bisbee, Arizona Territory, and spent his early childhood in western Texas. In search of better pastures, his family migrated to rural New Mexico in a horse-drawn covered wagon in 1915. The farming was difficult there and the family turned to ranching, which they continue to this day. He served in the U.S. Army Air Corps in World War II as a weather forecaster.
As a child Williamson enjoyed storytelling to his brother and two sisters. As a young man, he discovered the magazine Amazing Stories, established in 1926 by Hugo Gernsback, after answering an ad for one free issue. He strove to write his own fiction and sold his first story to Gernsback at age 20: "The Metal Man" was published in the December 1928 issue of Amazing. During the next year Gernsback published three more of his stories in the new pulp magazines Science Wonder Stories and Air Wonder Stories, and separately published "The Girl from Mars" by Miles J. Breuer and Williamson as Science Fiction Series #1. His work during this early period was heavily influenced by A. Merritt, author of The Metal Monster (1920) and other fantasy serials. Noting the Merritt influence, Algis Budrys described "The Metal Man" as "a story full of memorable images"...
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