John W. Campbell:
Science Fiction Technology and Ideas
John W. Campbell was born in 1910; he died in 1971. He received a degree in Physics from MIT in 1923, publishing his first stories when still a student. In 1937 he became editor of Astounding Stories and discovered many great talents of sf, including Asimov, Heinlein, Sturgeon, van Vogt and others. He freely offered his ideas to his writers; Isaac Asimov has credited Campbell with the Three Laws of Robotics.

(John W. Campbell [1931 Wonder Stories])

Invention/Technology Source Work (Publication Date)

Probability Time Wave Tube

Elimination (1936)

Radiation Shield

The Ultimate Weapon (1936)

Radio Meteor Detector

Islands of Space (1931)

Ray Gun (Handheld)

The Black Star Passes (1930)

Ray Pistol

The Black Star Passes (1930)

Solar-Powered Aircraft

The Black Star Passes (1930)

Space Liner - first use of phrase

Electronic Siege (1932)

Space Lock

The Black Star Passes (1930)


Invaders From The Infinite (1932)


Invaders From The Infinite (1932)

Synthetic Food Dispenser - before the Jetsons

Twilight (1934)

Synthite Food - Artificially Flavored Solids

Planet of Eternal Night (1939)


Islands of Space (1931)


Planet of Eternal Night (1939)


Blindness (1935)

Tiny Atomic-Power Drive Unit - compact power of the atom

The Brain Pirates (1938)


The Moon is Hell (1950)

Water to Cushion Acceleration

The Derelicts of Ganymede (1932)

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