Author, critic, and founder of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.
September 19, 1922 – April 15, 2002
Damon Knight was an influential science fiction author, but perhaps most known for his impact as an editor and critic.
In 1948, Knight wrote a review of A.E. van Vogt's The World of Null-A (1948). His review was one of the most famous works of critical demolition ever published in the field. It inspired van Vogt to substantially revise the novel some decades later, demonstrating Knight's impact as a critic.
Concurrent with his award-winning criticism, Knight published steadily, particularly in the short story format. In the 1950s, he crafted a number of urbane and darkly humorous short stories that have aged particularly well, including the famous “To Serve Man” (1950), which was adapted for a 1962 episode of The Twilight Zone.
In the late 1950s, Knight focused his efforts upon institutionalizing the collegial science fiction field itself. His first effort, founded with James Blish and Kate Wilhelm in 1956, was the Milford Writer’s Workshop, which he ran for more than 20 years. This was followed by his founding of the Science Fiction Writers of America, where he served as first president from 1965 to 1967. Knight received the Nebula Grand Master Award in 1995.