H.L. Gold

GOLD, H(ORACE) L. (1914-1996). A writer and editor of dual Canadian/US nationality, HLG began his sf career with several sales to ASTOUNDING STORIES in the mid-1930s, the first of them "Inflexure" (1934), reprinted in Forry Ackerman's collection Sense of Wonder.

At that time he wrote under the pseudonyms Clyde Crane Campbell and Leigh Keith, necessitated, he has said, by anti-Semitism on the part of the publishers. After a hiatus, be returned to the magazine under his own name with "A Matter of Form" (1938).

He became a regular contributor to UNKNOWN with such stories as "Trouble With Water" (1939), an enjoyable, humorous, MAGIC story, and "None But Lucifer" (1939), a collaboration with L. Sprague DE CAMP. He was later assistant to Mort WEISINGER on the magazines CAPTAIN FUTURE, STARTLING STORIES and THRILLING WONDER STORIES (1939-41), from which he moved on to true detective magazines. comics and radio scripts.

In 1950 he started GALAXY SCIENCE FICTION, which from the outset he made into one of the leading sf magazines. Afflicted with acute agoraphobia as a result of his wartime experiences, HLG edited the magazine from his apartment, doing much of his work by telephone. The emphasis of GAL reflected his interest in PSYCHOLOGY and SOCIOLOGY, as well as HUMOUR; like John W. CAMPBELL he is credited with suggesting many ideas which his contributors turned into famous stories. He also had a reputation for overediting. An interesting companion magazine, BEYOND FANTASY FICTION, lasted for 10 issues. edited by HLG, 1953-5, He also edited GALAXY SCIENCE FICTION NOVELS, an sf and fantasy reprint series of variable quality in the same format as Galaxy.

Later still he became editor of IF, when it was taken over by Gal.'s owner. He edited a number of anthologies culled from the pages of Galaxy: Galaxy Reader of Science Fiction (anth. 1952; UK edition contains 13 stories out of 33); Second Galaxy Reader of Science Fiction (anth. 1954; vt Galaxy Science Fiction Omnibus UK, omits 11 stories); The Third Galaxy, Reader (anth. 1958); Five Galaxy Short Novels (anth. 1958); The Fourth Galaxy Reader (anth. 1959); The World That Couldn't Be and Eight Other Novelets -from Galaxy (anth, 1959)@ Bodyguard and Four Other Short Novels from Galaxy (anth. 1966); The Fifth Galaxy Reader (anth. 1961); The Sixth Galaxy Reader (anth. 1962). Another anthology is The Weird Ones (anth. 1962).

HLG retired through ill health in 1961. Some of his stories were collected in The Old Die Rich (coll, 1955), reprinted as How to Write Great Science Fiction (Gateways / Retro SF, 2002). What Will They Think of Last? (IDHHB Publishing, 1976) is a selection of his editorials from Galaxy with an autobiographical postscript. HLG used two other pseudonyms on magazine stories: Richard Storey in 1943 and Dudley Dell in 1951.... Horace L. Gold died in Orange County, California, in 1996.

FROM THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF SCIENCE FICTION (ED John Clute, Peter Nicholls, Macmillan, 1993). (Slightly Updated by Gateways Books, 2012)