Walter M. Miller Jr.
Walter M. Miller Jr.
|Born||Walter Michael Miller Jr.|
January 23, 1923
New Smyrna Beach, Florida, US
|Died||January 9, 1996 (aged 72)|
Daytona Beach, Florida, US
|Notable works||A Canticle for Leibowitz (1959)|
|Notable awards||Hugo Award (1955 · 1961)|
Anna Louise Becker
(m. 1945; died 1995)
Walter Michael Miller Jr. (1923–1996) was an American science fiction writer. His fix-up novel, A Canticle for Leibowitz (1959), the only novel published in his lifetime, won the 1961 Hugo Award for Best Novel. Prior to its publication, he was a writer of short stories.
Miller was born on January 23, 1923, in New Smyrna Beach, Florida. Educated at the University of Tennessee and the University of Texas, he worked as an engineer. During World War II, he served in the Army Air Forces as a radioman and tail gunner, flying more than fifty bombing missions over Italy. He took part in the bombing of the Benedictine Abbey at Monte Cassino, which proved a traumatic experience for him. Joe Haldeman reported that Miller "had post-traumatic stress disorder for 30 years before it had a name", and that Miller displayed a photograph he had taken of Ron Kovic prominently in his living room.
Between 1951 and 1957, Miller published over three dozen science fiction short stories, winning a Hugo Award in 1955 for the story "The Darfsteller". He also wrote scripts for the television show Captain Video in 1953.
Late in the 1950s, Miller assembled a novel from three closely related novellas he had published in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction in 1955, 1956 and 1957. The novel, entitled A Canticle for Leibowitz, was published in 1959. It is a post-apocalyptic novel revolving around the canonisation of Saint Leibowitz, and is considered a masterpiece of the genre. It won the 1961 Hugo Award for Best Novel.
After the success of A Canticle for Leibowitz, Miller ceased publishing, although several compilations of Miller's earlier stories were issued in the 1960s and 1970s. A radio adaptation of A Canticle for Leibowitz was produced by WHA Radio and NPR in 1981 and is available on CD. A radio adaptation of the first two parts was broadcast in the UK by the BBC in 1992; further details can be found on the BBC Genome Project.
In Miller's later years, he became a recluse, avoiding contact with nearly everyone, including family members; he never allowed his literary agent, Don Congdon, to meet him. According to science fiction writer Terry Bisson, Miller struggled with depression, but had managed to nearly complete a 600-page manuscript for the sequel to Canticle before taking his own life with a firearm on January 9, 1996, shortly after his wife's death.
Saint Leibowitz series
The series includes Miller's two novels, published almost 40 years apart.
- A Canticle for Leibowitz (J. B. Lippincott, 1959)
- Fiat Homo, revised version of "A Canticle for Leibowitz", 1955
- Fiat Lux, revision of "And the Light Is Risen", 1956
- Fiat Voluntas Tua, revision of "The Last Canticle", 1957
- Saint Leibowitz and the Wild Horse Woman (1997) – "Terry Bisson finished the nearly complete, and reportedly very polished, manuscript left by Miller."
- Conditionally Human (1962), 3 stories
- The View from the Stars (1965), 9 stories
- The Science Fiction Stories of Walter M. Miller Jr. (1977) – omnibus of Conditionally Human and The View from the Stars
- The Best of Walter M. Miller Jr. (1980) – omnibus of Conditionally Human and The View from the Stars plus two added stories, The Lineman and Vengeance for Nikolai
- Conditionally Human and Other Stories (1982) – 6 stories from the 1980 omnibus
- The Darfstellar and Other Stories (1982) – the remaining 8 stories from the 1980 omnibus
- "MacDoughal's Wife" (in American Mercury, March 1950; not science fiction)
- "Month of Mary" (in Extension Magazine, May 1950; not science fiction)
- "Dark Benediction" (1951)
- "Izzard and the Membrane" (1951)
- "The Little Creeps" (1951)
- "Secret of the Death Dome" (1951)
- "The Song of Vorhu" (1951)
- "The Soul-Empty Ones" (1951)
- "The Space Witch" (1951)
- "The Big Hunger" (1952)
- "Big Joe and the Nth Generation" (1952, also known as "It Takes a Thief")
- "Bitter Victory" (1952)
- "Blood Bank" (1952)
- "Cold Awakening" (1952)
- "Command Performance" (1952, also known as "Anybody Else Like Me?")
- "Conditionally Human" (1952)
- "Dumb Waiter" (1952)
- "Gravesong" (1952)
- "Let My People Go" (1952)
- "No Moon for Me" (1952)
- "A Family Matter" (1952)
- "The Reluctant Traitor" (Amazing Stories, January 1952)
- "Please Me Plus Three" (in Other Worlds Science Stories, August 1952)
- "Six and Ten Are Johnny" (1952)
- "Crucifixus Etiam" (1953, also known as "The Sower Does Not Reap")
- "I, Dreamer" (1953)
- "The Yokel" (1953)
- "Wolf Pack" (1953)
- "Check and Checkmate" (1953)
- "Death of a Spaceman" (1954, also known as "Memento Homo")
- "I Made You" (1954)
- "The Ties that Bind" (1954)
- "The Will" (1954)
- "Way of a Rebel" (1954)
- "A Canticle for Leibowitz" (The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, April 1955; reprinted as "The First Canticle"; revised into A Canticle for Leibowitz)
- "The Darfsteller" (1955)
- "The Hoofer" (1955)
- "The Triflin' Man" (1955, also known as "You Triflin' Skunk!")
- "And the Light is Risen" (The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, August 1956; revised into A Canticle for Leibowitz)
- "The Last Canticle" (The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, February 1957; revised into A Canticle for Leibowitz)
- "The Lineman" (1957)
- "Vengeance for Nikolai" (1957, also known as "The Song of Marya")
- Beyond Armageddon: Twenty-One Sermons to the Dead, eds. Martin H. Greenberg and Miller (Donald I. Fine, 1985)
Works about Miller
- Roberson, W. H. (2011). Walter M. Miller Jr.: A Reference Guide to His Fiction and His Life.
- Roberson, W. H., and Battenfeld, R. L. (1992). Walter M. Miller Jr.: A Bio-Bibliography.
- Secrest, Rose (2002). Glorificemus: A Study of the Fiction of Walter M. Miller Jr.
- Musch, Sebastian (2016). "The Atomic Priesthood and Nuclear Waste Management - Religion, Sci-fi Literature and the End of our Civilization" Zygon - Journal of Religion and Science, 51 (3), p. 626-639.
- "An Appreciation", Joe Haldeman, Locus, February 1996, pp. 78-79.
- "Obituaries: Walter M. Miller Jr.", Locus, February 1996, p. 78.
- "Saturday Playhouse". June 6, 1992. p. 85 – via BBC Genome.
- Streitfeld, David (October 9, 1997). "'Canticle' Author Unsung Even In Death". Orlando Sentinel.
- Saint Leibowitz series listing at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database (ISFDB). Retrieved 2014-08-01.
- "Publication Listing" (Amazing Stories, January 1952). ISFDB. Retrieved 2014-08-01.
- "Publication Listing" (Beyond Armageddon, first edition). ISFDB. Retrieved 2014-08-01.
|Wikiquote has quotations related to Walter M. Miller Jr..|
- Works by Walter M. Miller Jr. at Project Gutenberg
- Works by or about Walter M. Miller Jr. at Internet Archive
- Works by Walter M. Miller Jr. at LibriVox (public domain audiobooks)
- Walter M. Miller Jr. at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database
- Walter M. Miller Jr. at the Internet Book List
- Walter M. Miller Jr. at IMDb
- Walter M. Miller at Library of Congress Authorities
- "Sebastian Musch: The Atomic Priesthood and Nuclear Waste Management - Religion, Sci-fi Literature and the End of our Civilization