Ray Nelson
Science Fiction Author and Cartoonist

















A Brief Biography

Radell Faraday Nelson

Born: October 3rd 1931 in Schenectady New York.

Died: November 29th 2022 in Napa California.

Parents: Walter Hughes Nelson and Marie Reed

Offspring: Walter Trygve Nelson, born September 21st 1958 in Paris France

Noms de Plume: Ray Nelson, R. Faraday Nelson, Ray Faraday Nelson, Frank Amitage, Jeffrey Lord, R. F. Nelson, California Ray and the Old Beatnik.

Ray says he became captivated with science fiction at the age of eight at the 1939 New York World's Fair. "I was just there one day, but that was the most important day of my life because before that I was not a science fiction fan and after that day I was". After that, he began reading science fiction and fantasy novels voraciously, and became a science fiction fan and cartoonist.

In the 1950s, he moved to Paris, where he met Allen Ginsberg, Gregory Corso and William Burroughs among others of the Beat Generation, as well as existentialists Jean Paul Sartre, Boris Vian and Simone de Beauvoir. He subsequently co-edited Miscellaneous Man, the first "Beatnik" little literary review. In Paris, he worked with Michael Moorcock smuggling Henry Miller books out of France. It was also in France where he met and married Kirsten Enge, a Norwegian girl, and where his son Walter was born.

Ray, Kirsten and the webmaster (not a recent photograph)

After returning to the US with his new family in the early '60s, he published his first work of fiction, the short story Turn off the Sky.

In 1967, he published his first novel, The Ganymede Takeover in collaboration with Philip K. Dick.

Numerous books and short stories have followed. His book Blake's Progress, in which the poet William Blake and his wife are travelers in space and time, has been his greatest critical success. His short story 8 O'Clock in the Morning, was turned into the comic book story Nada, and Nada was made into the paranoid cult classic They Live in 1988. This John Carpenter film has shown remarkable staying power.

His greatest claim to fame, however, he says, is as inventor of the propeller beanie while still in high school. Says Ray, "Centuries after all my writings have been forgotten, in some far corner of the galaxy, a beaniecopter will still be spinning."



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