Algis Budrys

Easton Press Algis Budrys books

Rogue Moon - Masterpieces of Science Fiction - 1988


Who is Algis Budrys?

Algis Budrys, a Lithuanian-American science fiction writer, editor, and critic, was born on January 9, 1931, in Königsberg, East Prussia (now Kaliningrad, Russia). His family fled the advancing Soviet forces during World War II, eventually settling in the United States in 1945. This early experience of displacement and cultural transition would later influence Budrys's perspectives and themes in his literary works. Budrys demonstrated an early interest in science fiction, both as a reader and a writer. In 1952, he published his first science fiction short story, "The High Purpose," and began to establish himself as a promising talent in the genre. Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, Budrys continued to contribute short stories to various science fiction magazines.

His breakthrough came with the publication of his novel Who? in 1958. This novel, a psychological science fiction thriller, explored themes of identity, memory, and the consequences of war. Who? received critical acclaim and established Budrys as a significant figure in the science fiction literary scene. In addition to his success as a writer, Budrys made notable contributions as an editor. He served as the editor of influential science fiction magazines such as Astounding Science Fiction (later renamed Analog Science Fiction and Fact) and Tomorrow Speculative Fiction. His editorial work allowed him to play a pivotal role in shaping the careers of emerging science fiction authors. Budrys continued to produce novels that explored complex themes within the science fiction genre. Rogue Moon (1960) and Michaelmas (1977) are among his well-regarded works, showcasing his ability to combine speculative elements with deep psychological and philosophical inquiries.

Aside from his fiction, Budrys became a respected critic and commentator on science fiction. His nonfiction works, including Benchmarks: Galaxy Bookshelf (1985), reflected his insightful analyses of the genre and its evolving trends.

Algis Budrys's impact on science fiction extended beyond his own writing. He played a crucial role in the development of the Clarion Science Fiction Writers' Workshop, where aspiring writers could hone their craft under the guidance of established authors. In the later years of his life, Budrys turned his attention to teaching and mentoring aspiring writers. His legacy endures not only through his own body of work but also through the writers he influenced and the broader contributions he made to the science fiction community. Algis Budrys passed away on June 9, 2008, leaving behind a legacy of literary exploration and a lasting imprint on the genre he loved.


Rogue Moon

Rogue Moon is a short sf novel by Algis Budrys, published in 1960. It was a 1961 Hugo Award nominee, losing to Walter M. Miller's A Canticle for Leibowitz. A novella length version of the story was included in the anthology The Science Fiction Hall of Fame, Volume 2, edited by Ben Bova.

Before 1969, every science fiction writer wrote his or her own version of the first Moon landing. Few carry the horror of Budrys' unsettling story.

During all recorded history, the Moon has hovered above our heads, a timeless symbol for lovers' ecstasy. Goddesses & Gibson Girls have tripped the light fantastic of her beams while sonneteers & scientists have scanned her changing phases.

Now humans had actually reached the Moon, & on it the explorers found a structure, a formation so terrible & incomprehensible that it couldn't even be described in human terms. It was a thing that devoured people; that killed them again & again in torturous, unfathomable ways.

Earthbound are the only two men who could probe the thing: Al Barker, a reckless thrill-seeker, whose loving mistress was death, & Dr. Edward Hawks, a scientific murderer, whose greatest mission was rebirth.

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