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Philip Klass

"William Tenn"

Philip Klass

(1920 – 2010)

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United States

Philip Klass

Philip Klass
(1920 – 2010)

In memory of

Philip Klass

(1920 – 2010)
About Philip
This is a memorial dedicated to Philip Klass. Philip Klass was probably better known as his pseudonym William Tenn, a British-born American science fiction author, notable for many stories with satirical elements.
Born in London, Phillip Klass moved to New York with his parents before his second birthday and grew up in Brooklyn, the oldest of three children. After serving in the United States Army during World War II as a combat engineer in Europe, he held a job as a technical editor with an Air Force radar and radio laboratory and was employed by Bell Labs.
Since 1945, he has written academic articles, essays, two novels and more than 60 short stories. He began writing while working at Bell Labs, and
Continued...
About Philip
his radar lab experience prompted his first story, "Alexander the Bait," about a radar beam aimed at the moon. It was published in Astounding Science Fiction (May 1946), and within months a Signal Corps lab bounced a radar beam off the moon, making his story obsolete. He commented, "It was a bad story, just good enough to be published. Others in the same magazine were much better, so I really worked hard on my second one. I did as well as I knew how."
His second story, the widely reprinted "Child's Play" (1947), told of a lawyer who creates people with his Build-A-Man kit, a Christmas gift intended for a child of the future. After publication in Astounding Science Fiction (May 1946), William Tenn was soon
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About Philip
hailed as the science fiction field's reigning humourist, and during the early 1950s, readers of Galaxy Science Fiction looked forward to issues featuring his satirical science fiction.
Many stories followed, including "Venus and the Seven Sexes" (1951), "Down Among the Dead Men" (1954), "The Liberation of Earth", "Time in Advance" (1956) and "On Venus, Have We Got a Rabbi" (1974). One of his non-fiction articles, "Mr. Eavesdropper," was later collected in Best Magazine Articles, 1968. His essay and interview collection, Dancing Naked, was nominated for a Hugo Award for Best Related Book in 2004. He was given the Author Emeritus honour by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America in 1999.
The
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About Philip
Science Fiction Encyclopedia ranked William Tenn as "one of the genre's very few genuinely comic, genuinely incisive writers of short fiction." Theodore Sturgeon summed up Tenn's humorous viewpoint on life:
It would be too wide a generalization to say that every SF satire, every SF comedy and every attempt at witty and biting criticism found in the field is a poor and usually cheap imitation of what this man has been doing since the 1940s. His incredibly involved and complex mind can at times produce constructive comment so pointed and astute that the fortunate recipient is permanently improved by it. Admittedly, the price may be to create two whole categories for our species: humanity and William Tenn.
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About Philip
For each of which you must create your ethos and your laws. I've done that. And to me it's worth it.
William Tenn wrote two novels, both published in 1968. Of Men and Monsters is an expansion of his story "The Men in the Walls," originally in Galaxy Science Fiction (October 1963). A Lamp for Medusa was published as a double novel with Dave Van Arnam's The Players of Hell. This novella was an expansion of his story "Medusa Was a Lady!" from the October, 1951 issue of Fantastic Adventures.
Phil Klass was a Guest of Honor at Noreascon 4, the 2004 World Science Fiction Convention. He was the Author Guest of Honor at Loscon 33 at the LAX Marriott in Los Angeles in 2006.
He has published most of his fiction
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About Philip
as William Tenn and much of his nonfiction as Phil (or Philip) Klass. He is sometimes confused with UFO debunker Philip J. Klass, who was born six months earlier and who died August 9th, 2005.
Philip Klass passed away on February 7th, 2010. This is a tribute to his life and his work. May he rest in peace.
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Philip Klass - tribute extract

Philip Klass

This is a memorial dedicated to Philip Klass. Philip Klass was probably better known as his pseudonym William Tenn, a British-born American science fiction author, notable for many stories with satirical elements.
Born in London, Phillip Klass moved to New York with his parents before his second birthday and grew up in Brooklyn, the oldest of three children. After serving in the United States Army during World War II as a combat engineer in Europe, he held a job as a technical editor with an Air Force radar and radio laboratory and was employed by Bell Labs.
Since 1945, he has written academic articles, essays, two novels and more than 60 short stories. He began writing while working at Bell Labs, and...

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Rest in peace Philip
I first met Philip at ****
My sincere condolences to all friends and family of Philip
My fondest memory of Philip was ****
Philip used to really enjoy ****
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Philip inspired me to ****
Philip changed my life by ****
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