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Special Collections & Archives logo : Eric Frank Russell Collection

SC&A includes manuscripts and archives, medieval to modern; early and finely printed books, and science fiction collections.

Eric Frank Russell Collection

Comprises typescripts, offprints, a significant amount of correspondence and the author's personal library and Hugo Award.

Photograph of Eric Frank RussellEric Frank Russell (1905-1978) was one of the leading and most popular British science fiction writers of the 20th century. Possessing a lifelong interest in science fiction, Russell published his first story in Astounding in 1937. He particularly admired Charles Fort (1874-1932), the American journalist, author and chronicler of scientific anomalies whose influence on Russell is reflected in the recurrent theme of humans as helpless victims of external forces in his fiction. Eric Frank Russell's first novel Sinister Barrier was published in 1943, followed by Metamorphosite (1946), Hobbyist (1947) and Dear Devil (1950).

 

Image of letter wrote by RussellThese novels were followed by a number of anti-war stories, including Late Night Final (1948), ...And Then There Were None (1951) and I am Nothing (1952). Yet, it is humour that is the most distinctive feature of Eric Frank Russell's writing and it was for the satirical short story Allamagoosa (1955) that he gained the distinction of being the first British writer to receive a Hugo Award. Eric Frank Russell's later fiction is regarded as less colourful but remains characteristically humanitarian.

 

Russell letter from British Interplanetary SocietyThe Eric Frank Russell Collection was donated to University of Liverpool by the author's daughter, Erica Metcalfe, in November 1993. The Archive contains 21 typescripts of his fiction and non-fiction, plus offprints from various periodicals of some of Russell's work. There is a large amount of papers relating to his literary career, including correspondence with agents, editors and publishers and a group of royalty statements and copyright agreements. The Archive also contains a large number of letters from family, friends, fans and fellow authors, as well as correspondence relating to Russell's role as British representative of the Fortean Society. Eric Frank Russell's personal library of books, magazines and fanzines and his Hugo Award are also contained in the Archive.

Finding and using

The archive is fully listed the Russell Finding Aid including further biographical information is available for browsing or searching.

Access

All material in the Archive is available to scholars for consultation in the University Library's Special Collections and Archives Reading Room by prior arrangement. Please refer to visiting & using SC&A.

Related material

Search the SF Catalogue for Eric Frank Russell's published works and related critical material in our collections. A bibliography of Russell's works can be found on Fantastic Fiction.