Sterling, Kenneth J.

Sterling, Kenneth J.
   Science fiction fan and late correspondent of HPL (1935–37). In early 1935 Sterling’s family moved to Providence, where he attended Classical High School. A fan of the science fiction pulps and a member of the Science Fiction League, Sterling boldly called on HPL at 66 College Street in March 1935 and introduced himself. HPL was much impressed with Sterling’s precocity and continued the association. In January 1936, Sterling produced a draft of the story “In the Walls of Eryx” (for details on the composition of what would prove to be HPL’s last acknowledged collaborative tale, see entry on that story). It was rejected by various science fiction and weird magazines but finally landed with WT,appearing in October 1939. Sterling wrote little other fiction, but the title of one story — “The Bipeds of Bjhulhu” (Wonder Stories,February 1936)—is presumably a tribute to HPL’s Cthulhu. Sterling began attendance at Harvard in the fall of 1936, graduated from there in 1940, received a medical degree at Johns Hopkins and later became a clinical professor of medicine at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. He wrote a brief memoir of HPL, “Lovecraft and Science” (in Marginalia;in LR), then a much more substantial one, “Caverns Measureless to Man” ( Science-Fantasy Correspondent,1975; in LR), in which he urged that HPL be “remembered as a scholar and thinker as well as an author.”
   See obituary, New York Times(January 27, 1995).

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