Born and raised in rural Canada, A.E. Van Vogt (April 26, 1912 – January 26, 2000) would grow up to become one of science fiction’s most complex and talked about authors. Always a fan of the fantastic, Van Vogt got his start writing regular old pulp fiction. He sold his first science fiction story in 1939. Like many golden age science fiction writers, most of his early works were short stories for the magazine industry. As the industry later changed to short novels and chapbooks, Van Vogt attempted to weave together short stories that took place in the same universe into a longer coherent story. Known as “fix-ups”, some of the them were very successful, others, not so much.
He moved to California in the 1940s, and watched as World War II unfolded. Obsessed with humanities reaction to totalitarian police states, the concept of governments that had complete control would be a theme that showed up in many of his works, along with the concept of superbeings that took control, or had to be kept from taking control.