James Blish

Author who brought eloquence and maturity to pulp science fiction.

May 23, 1921 – July 30, 1975

James Blish played a key role in the transformation of pulp science fiction into more mature and eloquent forms. Like many writers, he began as a fan in the 1930s and worked hard to develop his craft, but it was not until the 1950s, with his “Okie” stories that he made his mark.

Many of Blish’s best short stories were published from 1950 through 1958. Several of these introduced biological themes that were rare in science fiction at the time. In addition, his Hugo Award-winning novel Case of Conscience (1959) was one of the first serious attempts in science fiction to explore religion.

Blish's later years were preoccupied with Star Trek books, as well as with the encouragement of younger writers through the Milford Writer’s Workshop, the Science Fiction Writers of America, and the UK's Science Fiction Foundation, each of which he helped to found.

2002 Inductee