Author Biography and Bibliography


In the early 1950s, Mark Clifton retired from twenty years as a practicing industrial psychologist, mostly responsible for personnel entrance and exit interviews. Between July 1952 and his death in early 1963 Clifton published three novels and at least twenty stories and novelettes. Nearly a third of his stories were written in collaboration with Alex Apostolides and Frank Riley.

His first novel, They'd Rather Be Right, in collaboration with Frank Riley, won the second science fiction Hugo award for best novel of the year. The others, written alone, were not as successful, and none of them had mass market editions during his lifetime.

During his last six years, Clifton published only four or five of his short stories and the last two novels. Although his first cluster of short stories, appearing in Astounding Science Fiction between 1952 and 1955, attracted vast attention and created the impression of enormous prolificacy, the fact is that Clifton's output, compared with other science fiction writers of his decade, was only moderate.

An innovator, Clifton was one of the first to etch lines of wisdom and maturity into the youthful visage of commercial science fiction. He used the common themes of science fiction—alien invasion, expanding technology, revolution against political theocracy, and space colonization—but unlike any writer before him, he imposed upon these standard themes the full range of sophisticated psychological insight.