Transreal Fiction

Scotland’s sf & fantasy bookstore

Gardner Dozois – 1947 – 2018

The man who was probably the top short fiction editor in the field for over 30 years died last week. The 35th edition of his annual doorstop of an anthology of The Year’s Best Science Fiction is due out this summer although his editing career (as opposed to his writing career) started long ago in a small way back in 1972 and kicked into gear in 1976 and hardly paused until now. Apart from producing dozens of anthologies, often with the assistance of Jack Dann or George R. R. Martin, among others, he also edited Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine for 20 years and won innumerable awards for his work.

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(cover art by Doug Herring)

But he was also an acomplished author in his own right and won, or was nominated for, Hugos & Nebulas 16 times over 30 years. I probably first read his short work in The Visible Man, his first short story collection, back in 1977 (I still have my copy!) and later in Geodesic Dreams.  He also wrote a couple of novels, Nightmare Blue, with George Alec Effinger in 1975, which I bought when it came out for the Effinger connection but never really liked, and Strangers three years later, which I struggled with as well. But his short fiction was great! He collaborated with several authors, including his wife Susan Casper, and Slow Dancing Through Time, in 1990, collected the best of these stories in one place.

When I heard of his death, I wanted to read something of his but many of my books are currently boxed up. But I did find my little copy of Peacemaker, his Hugo nominated and Nebula winning story from 1983, re-issued on it’s own by Pulphouse in 1991.
I hadn’t remembered much about it, but it’s still a strong story; the climate change details are fortunately wrong (his changes are much speeded up), but the portrayal of a future rural America is still chilling to read today.

So, farewell Gardner, a giant in our field.

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June 1, 2018 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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