Fredric Brown was born 110 years ago

Fredric Brown was born on October 29, 1906 in Cincinnati, Ohio, USA.

Orphaned as a teenager of his mother first and his father too after a year, for a number of years Fredric Brown had various jobs that years later offered him several ideas for some of his works including his autobiographical novel “The Office” (1958). For some time he studied at Ohio State University and at Hannover College in Indiana but never got a degree.

In 1929, Fredric Brown moved to Milwaukee and married Helen Brown, with whom he had two children: James Ross and Linn Lewis. He started working as a proofreader and a few years later also started publishing articles in various magazines, poems also published in books and detective stories on pulp magazines.

Fredric Brown’s debut in science fiction occurred in 1941 with the publication of his short story “Not Yet the End”. The author kept on writing works of various genres but for many years it was only short fiction, often very short stories with a twist at the end. Among his most famous short stories there are “Arena”, (1944), adapted into a “Star Trek” original series episode, and in particular “Sentry” (1954).

Only in 1947 Fredric Brown published his first novel, “The Fabulous Clipjoint”, which began the Ed & Am Hunter series. It was rejected by various publishers but eventually it wasn’t only published but also ended up winning the Edgar Award for for outstanding first mystery novel.

In subsequent years Fredric Brown published other novels with the same protagonists: “The Dead Ringer” (1948), “The Bloody Moonlight” (1949), “Compliments of a Fiend” (1950), “Death Has Many Doors” (1951), “The Late Lamented” (1959) and “Mrs. Murphy’s Underpants” (1963).

After divorcing his first wife, in 1948 Fredric Brown married Elizabeth Charlier. The next year he published his first science fiction novel, “What Mad Universe“, a parody of science fiction itself. During the ’50s he published mainly mystery / detective story novels but also almost all his other science fiction novels: “Project Jupiter”, also known as “The Lights in the Sky are Stars” (1953), “Martians, Go Home!” (1955) and “Rogue in Space” (1957). His last science fiction novel, “The Mind Thing”, was published in 1961.

Due to health problems, in the ’60 Fredric Brown stopped writing and died in Tucson, where he had been living for years, on March 11, 1972. He’s still famous especially for his short stories with a final surprise and for his humor sometimes mocking and irreverent.

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