In Search of Wonder

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by Damon Knight

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More by Damon Knight

In Search of Wonder


The Futurians

The Observers

A Reasonable World

The World and Thorinn

Creating Short Fiction

Hell's Pavement

Beyond the Barrier

Masters of Evolution

A for Anything

The Sun Saboteurs

The Rithian Terror

Mind Switch

The Man in the Tree

Why Do Birds

Humpty Dumpty: An Oval

Far Out

In Deep

Off Center

Turning On

Three Novels

World Without Children and The Earth Quarter

The Best of Damon Knight

Rule Golden and Other Stories

Better Than One

Late Knight Edition

God's Nose

One Side Laughing: Stories Unlike Other Stories

Turning Points: Essays on the Art of Science Fiction

Charles Fort: Prophet of the Unexplained

Faking Out the Reader & It All Begins with Characters

Will the Real Hieronymus Bosch Please Stand Up?

A classic must-have for all readers and writers of science fiction!

Damon Knight effectively invented science fiction criticism. His reviews were not mere statements of his personal preferences—his skillful essays analyzed the books and told why they were good or bad, to the edification of readers, the delight of good writers, and the embarrassment of bad ones.

In this unique critical study of science fiction, Mr. Knight works on the principle that science fiction is a form of literature which needs no apologies and no special dispensations: it can and should be judged by the same high standards that apply to all literature. His incisive and knowing criticism covers the field brilliantly, from "Classics" to "Chuckleheads."

Readers will delight in his laser-sharp thoughts on favorite books, and writers will find his criqitues of the classics invaluable in improving their own craft.

This expanded Third Edition is 150,000 words, up from 120,000 in the 1967 Second Edition, and double the length of the 1956 First Edition.

This new edition adds a chapter of autobiography, articles on writing and teaching science fiction, and other fascinating essays. Even if you already have the first or second editions, you should consider getting this edition simply for the new material, which includes: Chapter 1: Myself When Young [autobiographical]; Chap. 13: The Excluded Data [about Charles Fort]; Chap. 29: Milford and Clarion; Chap. 30: Science and the World; Chap. 31: What Is Science Fiction, Anyway?; Chap. 32: Writing Science Fiction; a major expansion of Chapter 5, discussing John W. Campbell, Jr.; and other additions and emendations.

Table of Contents

  • Introduction by Anthony Boucher
  • Author's Notes
  • Myself When Young
  • Critics
  • The Classics
  • Chuckleheads
  • Campbell and His Decade
  • Cosmic Jerrybuilder: A. E. van Vogt
  • Half-Bad Writers
  • One Sane Man: Robert A. Heinlein
  • Asimov and Empire
  • More Chuckleheads
  • When I Was in Kneepants: Ray Bradbury
  • The Vorpal Pen: Theodore Sturgeon
  • The Excluded Data: Charles Fort
  • Microcosmic Moskowitz
  • Anthologies
  • Half Loaves
  • Genius to Order: Kuttner and Moore
  • Kornbluth and the Silver Lexicon
  • The Jagged Blade: James Blish
  • Overalls on Parnassus: Fletcher Pratt
  • Amphibians
  • New Stars
  • Curiosa
  • br-r-r!
  • Decadents
  • Britons
  • Pitfalls and Dead Ends
  • Symbolism
  • Milford and Clarion
  • Science and the World
  • What Is Science Fiction, Anyway?
  • Writing Science Fiction
  • What next
  • Bibliography
  • Index

Knight has long been a pithy and insightful commentator on science fiction, and the new material—written mostly a decade or more ago--alters that description in neither jot nor tittle ... his book is the perfect companion to your collection of favorites.

About the Author

The Damon Knight Library
The authorized site for all of the SFWA Grandmaster's books

Damon Knight

Damon Knight was a science fiction author, editor, critic and fan. His forte was short stories and he is widely acknowledged as having been a master of the genre. He was a member of the Futurians, an early organization of the most prominent SF writers of the day. He founded the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, Inc. (SFWA), the primary writers' organization for genre writers, as well as the Milford Writers workshop and co-founded the Clarion Writers Workshop. He edited the notable Orbit anthology series, and received the Hugo and SFWA Grand Master award. The award was later renamed in his honor. He was married to fellow writer Kate Wilhelm.


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