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SFE: The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction

A. Bertram Chandler

A(rthur) Bertram Chandler (1912-1984) was a UK-born writer who served in the Merchant Navy from 1928, and who emigrated to Australia in 1956, where he commanded merchant ships under Australian and New Zealand flags until his retirement in 1975. This long professional experience permeated his writing, and many of his novels feature Spaceships and flotillas whose command structures are decidedly naval. Chandler began publishing with "'This Means War!'" for Astounding in May 1944, on John W Campbell Jr's invitation, and concentrated on short fiction for almost two decades. He published no books during this period, and maybe for that reason he was until the 1960s less well known than he perhaps deserved, even though some of his best stories date from early in his career. For some time Chandler was known mainly as the author of "Giant Killer" (October 1945 Astounding), a Pocket-Universe tale which dominates the work posthumously assembled in From Sea to Shining Star (coll 1989 [1990]), and whose solitary prominence suggests that – although he published nearly 200 stories over several decades – he was not entirely comfortable in shorter forms . . .

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