Monday, August 16, 2010


1888: Hugo Gernsback is born in Luxembourg amid the Victorian era’s embrace of science and technology. He spends his life parlaying his talents as an editor and publisher to produce a body of work so formidable that the World Science Fiction Society will name its revered Hugo Awards after him.
As a child, Gernsback discovered American astronomer Percival Lowell’s writings about canals on Mars, inspiring his love of amazing stories.
Three years after moving to the United States in 1905, Gernsback published a magazine for amateur radio enthusiasts. He then became fascinated with 18th-century adventurer Baron Munchausen and wrote a series of fantastical tales including “Munchausen on the Moon” (1915) and “Munchausen Departs for the Planet Mars” (1915).
After publishing an hugely successful all-fiction issue of his Science and Invention magazine, Gernsback in 1926 poured his passion for science, fantasy, pulp fiction and profits into the debut issue of Amazing Stories.
To hype the new magazine, which included reprinted stories by Jules Verne and H.G. Wells along with new work by H.P. Lovecraft and J.R. R. Tolkien, Gernsback came up with the category of “scientifiction.” He later improved on the term by inventing the phrase “science fiction.”
Gernsback (born Gernsbacher) lost control of Amazing Stories magazine in 1929, but followed during the Depression with Science Wonder Stories. Forced to sell the magazine — later titled Thrilling Wonder Stories — in the late ’30s. Gernsback revisited the genre in 1952 as publisher of Science-Fiction Plus.
Gernsback commonly shares credit with H.G. Wells and Jules Verne as the “Father of Science Fiction,” but Lovecraft, griping that he was underpaid, had a less august title for his publisher: “Hugo the Rat.”
Still, Gernsback’s writers gained invaluable exposure through Gernsback’s magazines, because the impresario introduced a marketing stroke of genius: He listed the addresses of writers featured in his magazine. As a result, science fiction fans organized themselves into a social movement that even now transcends the passing fancies of any given year’s best-seller list.
Married three times, Gernsback died in 1967. He was inducted 12 years later into the Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame. An archive of his publications can be found at the Special Collections Research Center of the Syracuse University Library.
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Above from the WIRED web site.  I  thought it needed further posting.  

Hugo also wrote what some feel to be the the first true modern science fiction novel, Ralph 124C41 +. Highly recommended.


LL said...

Hugo wss cool.

And he left a legacy of cool that remains.

lartronics said...

For more information on Hugo Gernsback check out a recent biography available on Amazon.

I found this document when we closed down Gernsback Publications in 2003. It was an old ms that I edited and produced as a book.

Follow the link and you can go to the book and thanks to Amazon’s “look inside” feature, you can even get an idea of what it covers.
Also at

Hope you find it interesting.

The book is also available as an E-book for the Kindle or your PC or Mac at Amazon. Here is the link:

Other Hugo Gernsback Titles available at Amazon as e-books for Kindle or your PC:

100 Radio Hookups E-book

The Collected Works of Mohammed Ullyses Fips
A collection of April Fools Articles by Hugo Gernsback

1933 Official Auto Radio Service Manual

Coming soon:

Radio Service Man’s Handybook

Radio-Cracy & Mini Radio Craft

100 Radio Hookups

French Humor & Tidbits

For more information feel free to contact me, Larry Steckler, at