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The Life and Works of Eric Frank Russell
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Biography
Childhood

Eric Frank Russell was born on January 6th, 1905 in Sandhurst, Surrey, England. His father was a Royal Engineer and instructed at a military academy in Sandhurst. Like most military families, his moved around a good deal and part of his youth was spent in Egypt and Sudan (a fact which is reflected in some of his stories: most notably in Homo Saps). 

Study and WWII

At college, he studied a variety of scientific subjects, including chemistry, physics, metallurgy, crystallography and quantity surveying! During World War II he went through radio courses in London and at the Marconi College in Chelmsford and by the time peace came around he was commanding a small RAF mobile radio unit attached to General Patton's army. He worked for a time in an engineering firm but later became a full time writer. 

Marriage and Children

He married a nurse and they had a daughter, Erica, who shares his birthdate. Erica later married and went to live in New Zealand.

Fortean Mysteries and SF Fandom

Russell was a long time follower of Charles Fort and was an active member of the Fortean Society. His book, Great World Mysteries, is an anthology of Fortean-type tales. He was also a founder member of the British Interplanetary Society and was involved in early science fiction fandom in Britain, having attended the first British Science Fiction Convention in Leeds in 1937 and also the London Convention in 1957. 

In his own words

In a short biography which was published in the 1963 Penguin edition of Three To Conquer he described himself as follows

Am 6'2" tall with grey-brown hair, green eyes and look as if I should have been hanged at Nuremberg. My best friend is Professor Frederick B. Shroyer of California, also a writer. My best enemy was the late Aleister Crowley whom I put in his grave by bone-pointing.

Later years and death

In his later years he gave up writing, for reasons unknown to his friends in the publishing world. He stated on the back cover of an early edition of 'Deep Space' that one of his ambitions was "to entertain so many readers so well that some may have a momentary regret when they bury him". That was one ambition met, and the regret was more than momentary when he died in 1976

 

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