RIP Gardner Dozois, pioneering, genre-defining science fiction editor who helped launch my career

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Sorry for your loss, Cory. I really loved his Year’s Best Science Fiction anthologies, especially the super detailed summations of everything that happened that year. It was like a mini-course in science fiction. But also love those for introducing me to dozens of authors I’d never heard of, or didn’t have the time to discover. For me, his works were the shorthand for science fiction itself.


I’ve never had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Dozois’ private persona. And now I never will.
This year’s WFC membership list is suddenly so very bittersweet.



I was lucky enough to stumble on ‘The Mammoth Book of Best New Science Fiction’ in 1987 (being the UK version of ‘The Year’s Best Science Fiction: Fourth Annual Collection’), and I’ve been a faithful devotee ever since. Sucks that this year’s will be the last… next winter will be so very cold.


He was a pretty damn good writer in his own right.


I made a push to get some stuff published back in the 1990s, before careers and family took over, and he twice wrote back with some very thoughtful (if brief) comments on a couple of stories he passed on. Too bad to hear.


I loved his writing, and he was the first person who ever made me look for the editor’s name whenever I was deciding what book of short stories to read. Gardner Dozois was one of the people who gave me that addictive sense of wonder that turned me into a life-long science fiction reader.


He was always the last to leave a party at a convention, or at least the party soon died after Gardner left. He would have an earnest conversation with ANYONE. And even though I was not a writer nor had any ambition to be one, and only semi-regularly attended Worldcons and mid-Atlantic local cons, he remembered me every time.

The writers I grew up admiring as a teen have been disappearing, and their loss hits me every time, but this one was personal.


I hope the publisher finds a way to continue the series “Years Best Science Fiction,” in his honor even. It was always worth picking up… like a year’s worth of Analog… From his intros (and from the deftly curated content), you got a real senses of his passion, deep knowledge, and passion for good science fiction.

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I didn’t know him but I loved his run on Asimov’s – I think he was the first editor whose name I knew while he was still working. My condolences to his friends and loved ones.

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