Entry updated 4 January 2019. Tagged: Artist, Author, Fan.
(1919-2016) US sf fan, illustrator, owner of several radio stations, publisher and author. Kyle was a member of First Fandom, having been active in the field since 1933. Until the 1970s his writing activities were only occasional, though his first published sf was "Golden Nemesis" – which he also illustrated – for Stirring Science Stories in February 1941. (He had in fact sold this five years earlier and it had been scheduled to appear in the June 1936 Wonder Stories, which was never produced because the magazine was sold to Standard Magazines.) In 1948, with Martin Greenberg, he founded the fan publishing company Gnome Press, which maintained what were probably the highest standards of any of the Small Presses of the period; Kyle designed and illustrated several of the Gnome Press book jackets, including the first edition of Isaac Asimov's Foundation (1951). He also edited the Worldcon souvenir programme books for 1953 and (with Lin Carter) 1956.
For much of the 1970s Kyle was resident in the UK, where he published two well and lavishly illustrated coffee-table-style books on sf: A Pictorial History of Science Fiction (graph 1976), dealing primarily with the History of SF, and The Illustrated Book of Science Fiction Ideas and Dreams (graph 1977), dealing with sf's dominant themes. Both are descriptive rather than analytic, and the main interest of their texts, which are conservatively skewed towards Hard SF of the so-called Golden Age of SF, is in their well-informed data about sf Publishing.
When E E "Doc" Smith's Lensman books were reissued in the early 1980s, several Sequels by Other Hands were published, continuing and infilling the series. Kyle, who had been a friend of Smith, wrote three of these Lensman Ties: The Dragon Lensman (1980), Lensman from Rigel (1982) and Z-Lensman (1983), offering further adventures of the only three Aliens (respectively Worsel, Tregonsee and Nadreck) who during Smith's series progressed to the level of Second Stage Lensman. The third volume is perhaps the most interesting; Kyle succeeded to some degree in capturing the flavour of Smith, though not his compulsiveness. [PN/DRL/MA]
David Ackerman Kyle
born Monticello, New York: 14 February 1919
died New York State: 18 September 2016
- The Dragon Lensman (New York: Bantam Books, 1980) [tie to the Lensman sequence: E E Smith: pb/Bob Larkin]
- Lensman from Rigel (New York: Bantam Books, 1982) [tie to the Lensman sequence: E E Smith: pb/Bob Larkin]
- Z-Lensman (New York: Bantam Books, 1983) [tie to the Lensman sequence: E E Smith: pb/Bob Larkin]
- A Pictorial History of Science Fiction (London: Hamlyn Publishing Group, 1976) [nonfiction: graph: illus/various: hb/Howard V Brown]
- The Illustrated Book of Science Fiction Ideas and Dreams (London: Hamlyn Publishing Group, 1977) [nonfiction: graph: illus/various: hb/Malcolm Smith]
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