Damon Knight, 79, a prolific science fiction writer and...

Deaths Elsewhere

April 18, 2002

Damon Knight, 79, a prolific science fiction writer and editor who helped transform pulp science fiction into a respectable genre, died Monday in Eugene, Ore., of age-related causes, a family spokesman said.

Mr. Knight published his first story in 1941 and went on to write 13 novels, beginning with Hell's Pavement in 1955, and more than 100 short stories.

A short story, "To Serve Man," was adapted into a well-known episode of The Twilight Zone. In it, aliens appear on Earth and promise to end hunger and war, but their guidebook, "To Serve Man," is decoded and found to be a cookbook.

Mr. Knight helped found the Science Fiction Writers of America and was editor of Orbit, a science fiction anthology series. His wife, Kate Wilhelm, also is a writer of science fiction.

Ruth Fertel, 75, who mortgaged her home on a hunch that she could run a restaurant and then - with a recipe of searing top-quality corn-fed beef at 1,800 degrees and serving it in a comfortable atmosphere - watched it expand into the worldwide Ruth's Chris Steak House chain, died of lung cancer Tuesday in New Orleans.

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