Ray Cummings (1887-1957) gained his knowledge of science working as an assistant to Thomas Alva Edison, editing Edison’s house organ and other publications. Contemporary Authors states that Cummings was “Contributor of over seven hundred and fifty short stories under various pseudonyms to numerous periodicals.” Cummings was one of the founding fathers of Science Fiction. His 1919 “The Girl in the Golden Atom” was one of three keystone novellas appearing in All-Story Magazine that are credited with furnishing the seed to the pearl of science fiction. The other stories are A. Merritt’s “The Moon Pool” and Murray Leinster’s “The Runaway Skyscraper.” Later Cummings would pen a sequel to “The Girl in the Golden Atom” that brought the story to full novel length for book publication.
Cummings was also a pioneer of the alien invasion and future war story, notable examples include A Brand New World and Tarrano the Conqueror. Unfortunately, Cummings failed to develop with the various leaps in maturity of style and ambition which characterized science fiction during the following decades, and was unable to sell new science fiction stories during the late 1940s and 1950s. But, just before his death, he experienced a resurgence of popularity, when his works were reprinted in paperback and made bestsellers by the same audience that had responded to the republication of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Tarzan and Mars books. Cummings’ reputation as a pioneering science fiction writer who helped pave the way for and usher in the field’s Golden Era is unquestionable. PageTurner Editions’ Futures-Past imprint will be issung a number of books by Ray Cummings mentioned above, plus The Exile of Time and The Shadow Girl.