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Birthday Reviews: Algis Budrys’s “Silent Brother”

Birthday Reviews: Algis Budrys’s “Silent Brother”

Astounding Science Fiction February 1956-small Astounding Science Fiction February 1956-back-small

Cover by Frank Kelly Freas

Algis Budrys was born on January 9, 1931. He died on June 9, 2008. In addition to his career as a writer, Budrys edited and published the magazine Tomorrow, first in print and later on-line. He was also active in promoting the Writers of the Future contest and wrote a long-running and very influential book review column in Galaxy Magazine entitled Benchmarks, many of which were collected into book form in 1986. He was a Guest of Honor at LoneStarCon 2, the 1997 Worldcon in San Antonio. Budrys was inducted into the First Fandom Hall of Fame in 2007 and received the Pilgrim Award for lifetime contribution to SF and fantasy scholarship from the Science Fiction Research Association the same year. In 2009, he received one of the inaugural Solstice Awards from the SFWA.

“Silent Brother” was first published under the pseudonym Paul Janvier in the February 1956 issue of Astounding Science Fiction, edited by John W. Campbell, Jr. and was reprinted five months later in the British edition of the magazine. When Judith Merril included it in SF: The Year’s Greatest Science-Fiction and Fantasy Second Annual Volume the next year, it was attributed to Budrys. Budrys included it in his collections Budrys’ Inferno, The Furious Future, and Entertainment. Isaac Asimov and Martin H. Greenberg included it in The Great SF Stories #18. The story has been translated into German and French.

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