E. E. “Doc” Smith was one of the early science fiction writers. His first book was The Skylark of Space, which was started when “Doc” was visiting a former classmate from the University of Idaho when they got to talking about interstellar space travel. After discussing the topic at length they both agreed to start work on a book of fiction about space travel, where Carl Garby – “Doc”‘s classmate from the University of Idaho – would write the dialogue surrounding the romantic parts of the plot.
Work was begun in 1915 but was abandon a third of the way through by 1916. In 1919 “Doc” resumed work on the book once again, eventually finishing it in the spring of 1920. The story would not be published, however, until 1928 in the October edition of Amazing Stories. The story was such a success that the publishers requested a sequel even before the story was printed in its entirety in the magazine.