Hugo Gernsback

1884 - 1967

Luxembourg-born writer and editor

Hugo Gernsback has been called the "Father of Science Fiction." Born in Luxembourg, he immigrated to the United States in 1904. Intensely interested in electricity and radio, he designed batteries, and by 1906 was marketing a home radio set. In 1908 he launched his first magazine, Modern Electrics.

It was in this magazine that Gernsback published his novel, Ralph 124C 41+ (1911) . A catalogue of the marvelous technology of the 27th century, it revealed his overriding interest in science fiction as a vehicle of prediction. It was soon followed by a series featuring the scientific adventures of the fictional Baron Munchausen.

In 1923, Gernsback coined the term "scientific fiction," and in April 1926 began publishing Amazing Stories, the first true science fiction magazine in English. An immediate commercial success, it allowed him to launch several more magazines, including Wonder Stories and Amazing Detective Tales. In 1939 he published three issues of the early science fiction comic Superworld Comics, and in 1953 published his last magazine, Science Fiction Plus.

The Science Fiction Achievement Awards are named the "Hugos" in Gernsback's honor. He was awarded a special Hugo in 1960.

Selected Bibliography:
Ralph 124C 41+ (1911-12)

Courtesy of the Encyclopedia of Science Fiction, Copyright � John Clute and Peter Nicholls 1993, 1999, published by Orbit, an imprint of the Time Warner Book Group UK.