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.Read More http://www.wired.com/thisdayintech/#ixzz0wo5moTGR
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.