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Damon Knight Papers

An inventory of his papers at Syracuse University

Finding aid created by: MPK
Date: May 1978

Biographical History

Damon Francis Knight (1922–2002) was an award-winning American science fiction author, editor, and critic. His first story was published in 1941 in the science fiction pulp magazine Amazing Stories; over his career he has written novels, short stories, criticism and other non-fiction, and edited numerous anthologies. His best-known short story is "To Serve Man," which was adapted into a Twilight Zone episode.

Knight was a founding member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA), cofounder of the National Fantasy Fan Federation, cofounder of the Milford Writer's Workshop, and -- with his wife, author Kate Wilhelm -- cofounder of the Clarion Writers Workshop. These two highly-regarded writers' workshops have produced a remarkable number of award-winning writers, including Octavia Butler, Cory Doctorow, Vonda McIntyre, Kim Stanley Robinson, and Bruce Sterling.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Damon Knight Collection consists of general files, writings, writings by other authors, and miscellaneous. There is also a set of later additions which has not yet been integrated into the main collection.

General files contains folders on a wide range of individuals, topics, organizations, and ideas. There is also biographical information about Knight.

Writings is broken down into two categories, published material and unpublished material. Published material is made up of known anthologies, novels, short stories, and critical essays. The folders include rough drafts, typescripts, correspondence, reviews, royalty receipts, etc. for each title. Unpublished material, for the most part, is composed of short stories. Also to be found in this series are joint undertakings, unfinished material, an outline, and a project.

Writings by other authors contains translations from the French of various authors, and writings in English by American and other authors. Authors include Rene Barjavel, James Bliss, Ursula K. LeGuin, R. A. Lafferty, Joanna Russ and more.

Miscellaneous material consists of miscellaneous unidentifiable pages of various writings and jacket covers, fragments, tape recordings, cartoons (by Knight), index cards relating to Fortean research on psychic phenomena, an untitled galley, and handwritten notes of unknown origin.

1980 additions contains later additions that have not been integrated into the previous accessions -- primarily writings but also some correspondence and printed material as well as material related to The Futurians, an organization of which Knight was a member. Much of the writings relates to the Orbit anthologies (Orbit 12 through Orbit 17).

Arrangement of the Collection

General files are arranged alphabetically. Writings is subdivided into published and unpublished; within that items are arranged alphabetically by type and then by title. Writings by other authors is subdivided into two categories: translations from the French, and English writers. Both sections are arranged alphabetically according to the author's last name.


Access Restrictions:

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Use Restrictions:

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

Related Material

Special Collections Research Center has a number of collections relating to science fiction and fantasy authors and publications, both in the manuscript collections and in our Rare Books collection. See the the SCRC Subject Index for a listing of manuscript collections, and refer to the Classic Catalog for a listing of cataloged books and publications.

Subject Headings


Knight, Damon, 1922-2002 -- Archives.


American literature -- 20th century.
Authors, American.
Novelists, American.
Science fiction, American.

Genres and Forms

Galley proofs.
Manuscripts for publication.
Notes (documents)



Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Damon Knight Papers
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Table of Contents

General files


Writings by other authors


1980 accession