Nat Schachner

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Majoring in chemistry in college, Schachner was a research chemist, worked for the New York Board of Health, and did research in chemical warfare during WWI. After the war he became a lawyer, and wrote his first story with a fellow lawyer Arthur Leo Zagat. He was both prolific and popular in the 30's. Asimov, in Before the Golden Age states that Schachner was one of his favorite authors, and that while he wrote The Foundation Trilogy "there were many times when the voice of Schachner sounded in my ear". Schachner left science fiction in the early 40's for a career in writing biographies. For all his popularity in the 1930's, Schachner is very rarely anthologized, and has never been collected; to date only 5 stories have been reprinted ("City of the Cosmic Rays", "The Eternal Wanderer", "The Shining One", "Past, Present and Future", and "The Ultimate Metal") and one of those occasions was in Asimov's Before the Golden Age. Biographic notes about the author can be found in Sam Moskowitz's "The Science-Fiction of Nat Schachner" in Fantasy Commentator #43 (1992), and two biographic sketches can by found in Fantastic Adventures, September 1939 and August 1941.

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