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Klein, Gérard

Entry updated 12 September 2022. Tagged: Author, Critic, Editor.

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(1937-    ) French anthologist, critic, editor and author; an economist by profession, Klein is one of the few continental-European sf writers known in the USA. He has used the pseudonyms Gilles d'Argyre (most frequently) and Mark Starr; and, jointly with Patrice Rondard and Richard Chomet, François Pagery (based on the collaborators' first names, PAtrice plus GErard plus RIchard). His first stories, heavily influenced by Ray Bradbury, appeared in 1955 when he was only eighteen, beginning with "Une place au balcon" in Galaxie (the French edition of Galaxy) for October 1955. He soon made a major impact on the field in France, publishing over forty delicately crafted tales 1956-1962 (a total that reached sixty by 1977), while also establishing himself as a forceful and literate critic of the genre with a series of thirty penetrating essays in various publications.

After at least one book-length magazine story, Klein's first novel publication was the unremarkable Embûches dans l'espace ["Ambushes in Space"] (1958) with Richard Chomet and Patrice Rondard, writing together as by François Pagery. His first novel under his own name, Le Gambit des étoiles (1958; trans C J Richards as Starmaster's Gambit 1973), a clever and wide-ranging adventure yarn, shows the increasing influence that US Genre SF was having on Klein, a trend which comes strongly to the fore in novels like Le temps n'a pas d'odeur (1963; trans P J Skowlowski as The Day before Tomorrow 1972) and Les seigneurs de la guerre (1971; trans John Brunner as The Overlords of War 1973); these, though well conducted and interesting, lack the poetic invention of his early work. From 1969, Klein edited the Ailleurs et Demain imprint for publisher Robert Laffont, where he was instrumental in introducing some of the major modern American and British sf writers to the French public while also encouraging the better local authors – Philippe Curval, Michel Jeury, Christian Léourier, André Ruellan and Stefan Wul – publishing several Anthologies for the French market during the 1970s and 1980s; they are not listed below. Many of Klein's works feature an imagery and even a structure influenced by Chess. He received the Pilgrim Award in 2005 for his contributions to sf scholarship.

It should be noted that the Gérard Klein who wrote La Ligne Bleue des Mômes ["Children's Blue Line"] (1982) is a different author. [MJ/DRL]

see also: Critical and Historical Works About SF; France; Galactic Empires; Games and Sports; Living Worlds.

Gérard Klein

born Neuilly sur Seine, France: 27 May 1937



  • Un chant de pierre ["Stone Song"] (Paris: Pierre Laffont/Le Terrain Vague, 1966) [coll: pb/Jean Gourmelin]
  • La loi du talion ["The Law of Retaliation"] (Paris: Robert Laffont, 1973) [coll: in the publisher's Ailleurs et demain series: pb/]
  • Histoires comme si ["Stories as If"] (Paris: 10/18, 1975) [coll: pb/Roland Topor]
  • Le livre d'or du Gérard Klein ["The Golden Book of Gérard Klein"] (Paris: Presses de la Cité/Presses-Pocket, 1979) [coll: pb/W Siudmak]
  • Mémoire vive, mémoire morte (Paris: Robert Laffont, 2007) [coll: in the publisher's Ailleurs et demain series: pb/Jackie Paternoster]



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