An Edgar Pangborn Bibliography
| Home | Books | Short Fiction | TimeLine | Title Index | Notes |

"And still I persist in wondering whether folly must always be our nemesis.  To me the beauty of earth, of its other dwellers less arrogant than man, often appears more sublime than our grandest achievements.  Where nature spreads a floor of loveliness we scrape our feet and shit on it."

My Brother Leopold (1973)
Edgar Pangborn (1909 - 1976)

A Brief Biography


Edgar Pangborn was born in New York City on February 25, 1909, the son of Harry Levi Pangborn and Georgia Wood Pangborn, a noted writer of supernatural fiction.  He was educated at Brooklyn Friends School, and attended Harvard from 1924 to 1926, but did not graduate.  Edgar also studied at the New England Conservatory of Music.  In 1930, his first novel, A-100: A Mystery Story, was published as by "Bruce Harrison".  He engaged in, as he called it, "literary hackwork" under other pen names (most often as "Neil Ryder" in the mystery and detective pulp magazines) and in other random activities, including a few years of backwoods farming in Maine (1939-42).  After his army service (1942-45 in the U.S. Army Medical Corps), Edgar began writing science fiction.

His first published sf story, Angel's Egg (1951), is considered a classic of the field.  It was been translated into six languages and reprinted more than twenty times.  His novel, A Mirror for Observers (1954), won the International Fantasy Award.  He continued writing in other genres including several award-winning stories in Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine, the historical novel Wilderness of Spring (1958), and the contemporary courtroom drama The Trial of Callista Blake (1961).  Davy (1965), the first novel of his Tales of a Darkening World series, was a finalist for the Hugo Award, as was his story Longtooth (1970).  The novelette, Mount Charity (1971), was a finalist for the Nebula Award.  Good Neighbors and Other Strangers, a collection of his sf stories, was published in 1972.

Edgar lived his later years in upstate New York, writing stories set in his future history series.  After his death on February 1, 1976, those stories were collected in Still I Persist in Wondering (1978).  In his introduction to that volume, Spider Robinson writes "Edgar Pangborn said again and again in his books that love is not a condition or an event or even a state of mind — that love is a country, which we are sometimes privileged to visit." The readers of Edgar Pangborn's works are extremely privileged to have visited the worlds that he created.

Announcements and Site Updates


Old Earth Books has reprinted two more Edgar Pangborn novels: Davy and A Mirror for Observers.  Please support their efforts to bring back into print the work of this master storyteller.  For further information go here.


Individual pages have been created for each of Pangborn's ten published books.  Here's the page with an alphabetical listing with links.


Jesse F. Knight has provided information on Pangborn's Unpublished Works.


Edgar Pangborn was named winner of the third Cordwainer Smith Rediscovery Award on August 31, 2003, at the 61st World Science Fiction Convention.  The award is given to a writer, living or deceased, whose work displays unusual originality, embodies the spirit of Cordwainer Smith's fiction, and deserves renewed attention or "Rediscovery".  Judges for the award were Robert Silverberg, Scott Edelman, Gardner Dozois, and John Clute.


The "Alleged Editor" and the Cold Hard Truth, an article comparing the texts of the magazine serialization and the book publication of The Company of Glory has been added to the site.  Note: this article was updated in October, 2004.


Firsts: The Book Collector's Magazine has published "Edgar Pangborn: The Gentle Heretic" by Jesse F. Knight.  This very informative article about Pangborn and his work is highly recommended for both the reader and the collector.  For information on obtaining a copy of the magazine, please contact Michael Hutchins using the link at the bottom of this page. 


Last updated on September 13, 2005

An Edgar Pangborn Bibliography
| Home | Books | Short Fiction | TimeLine | Title Index | Notes |

Compiled by Michael H. Hutchins

1