American science fiction writer, fabulist, mystery writer, and sometime editor, 1923-1993.

Born in Yonkers, NY, Davidson served in the US Navy from 1942 to 1946, served in Israel during the War of Independence in 1948, and lived in Mexico and Belize for some years during the 1960s. He died near Seattle, poor and embittered.

Davidson's writing was strange and varied and frequently wonderful. He was more erudite (I hate that word, but there's no other) than anybody since T.S. Eliot, and he just liked language. Much of what he wrote was barely science fiction, and much of it never tried to be science fiction. He was subtle, allusive, and sometimes downright opaque. In "Or All the Seas with Oysters" he suggested that safety pins grow up to be coat-hangers, which mature into bicycles; in "Dagon", he gives us a man who believes himself to be a god, and who turns out to be a fish (that's one of the opaque ones); in "The House the Blakeneys Built", he gives us a grim rebuttal to Campbellian thriving-castaways SF stories.

He wrote a number of novels, few if any of which are now in print. If you see The Kar-Chee Reign (1965), jump on it; it's one of the best SF novels ever written. There's also an anthology which is in print, entitled The Avram Davidson Treasury ed. Robert Silverberg and Grania Davis (Davidson's ex-wife). It's worth picking up.

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