Dozois, Gardner

Tagged: Author | Editor | Critic

(1947-    ) US author, anthologist and, from 1985 (with the January 1986 issue) to 2004, editor of Asimov's Science Fiction, winning fifteen Hugos between 1988 and 2004 for his work as editor, and the equivalent Locus award from 1996 to 2004; he is married to Susan Casper. He began publishing sf in September 1966 with "The Empty Man" for If, but it was not until after military service (in which he worked as a military journalist) that he began producing such stories as "A Special Kind of Morning" (in New Dimensions 1, anth 1971, ed Robert Silverberg) and "Chains of the Sea" (in Chains of the Sea, anth 1972, ed Robert Silverberg), which made him a figure of some note in the latter-day US New Wave, though he was subject to some misapplied criticism of his "pessimism" and general lack of interest in storytelling; both stories are included in The Visible Man (coll 1977), which assembles his best early work, and reappear in Geodesic Dreams: The Best Short Fiction of Gardner Dozois (coll 1992). The Peacemaker (August 1983 Asimov's; 1991 chap) won a Nebula for 1983 and "Morning Child" (January 1984 Omni) a Nebula for 1984. A later volume, Strange Days: Fabulous Journeys with Gardner Dozois (coll 2001), also reassembles work from his modestly prolific earlier career, but includes stories like "A Knight of Ghosts and Shadows" (October/November 1999 Asimov's), a complex and disturbing late meditation on Singularity and upon what it takes to make a man any more.

His first novel, Nightmare Blue (1975) with George Alec Effinger, a fast-paced adventure, demonstrates a dangerous facility on both authors' parts. Much more important – and less "professional" – is his first solo novel, Strangers (in New Dimensions IV, anth 1974, ed Robert Silverberg; exp 1978), an intense and well-told love story between a human male and an Alien female, set on her home planet, in a Galaxy humans signally do not dominate; her death from bearing his child is biologically inevitable (the plot's derivation from Philip José Farmer's The Lovers [August 1952 Startling; exp 1961] can be seen as homage) and stems from a mutual incomprehension rooted in culture and the intrinsic solitude of beings (see also Biology, Sex). Never a prolific author, though fluently competent as an editor, Dozois has collaborated frequently with associates in the writing of stories, many of which are assembled in Slow Dancing through Time (coll 1990) with Susan Casper, Jack Dann, Jack C Haldeman II and Michael Swanwick.

Dozois has written considerable sf criticism, and in The Fiction of James Tiptree, Jr (as intro to 10,000 Light Years from Home [1976 reprint coll] by James Tiptree Jr; 1977 chap) he constructed an analysis which was not to be disqualified by Alice Sheldon's subsequent revelation that she was Tiptree. An anthology, Writing Science Fiction and Fantasy: Twenty Dynamic Essays by Today's Top Professionals (anth 1991; rev 1997) co-edited with Tina Lee, Stanley Schmidt, Ian Randal Strock and Sheila Williams, extols dynamic professionalism. His first fiction Anthologies, intelligently edited and of continuing interest, are A Day in the Life: A Science Fiction Anthology (anth 1972), Future Power: A Science Fiction Anthology (anth 1976) with Jack Dann, and Another World: A Science Fiction Anthology (anth 1977). Subsequent anthologies include the long Magic Tales sequence, all edited with Dann, beginning with Aliens! (anth 1980). Later singleton anthologies include Ripper! (anth 1988; vt Jack the Ripper 1988) with Susan Casper; a long sequence of anthologies taken from Isaac Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine, beginning with The Best of Isaac Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine (anth 1988), and The Legend Book of Science Fiction (anth 1991; vt Modern Classics of Science Fiction 1992), all later volumes being edited with Sheila Williams; Modern Classic Short Novels of Science Fiction (anth 1994) and The Good Old Stuff: Adventure Sf in the Grand Tradition (anth 1998) and The Good New Stuff: Adventure Sf in the Grand Tradition (anth 1999), both assembled as The Good Stuff (omni 1999); and The New Space Opera (anth 2007) with Jonathan Strahan, a large assembly of original work by many of the authors who hugely reinvigorated traditional Space Opera by setting their immensely more complex dramas in venues where – as the editors argue – "Space opera was no longer looking to go out and take over the universe: it was looking to survive."

In 1977 Dozois took over an ongoing year's-best anthology from Lester del Rey and edited several Best Science Fiction Stories of the Year anthologies, beginning with Sixth Annual Collection (anth 1977). After the termination of this series in 1981, he launched a further ongoing sequence, The Year's Best Science Fiction, beginning with The Year's Best Science Fiction: First Annual Collection (anth 1984), which continues into the twenty-first century; each volume is massive, with an extensive introduction by Dozois, and the series remains the default presentation of its material. Two further anthologies – The Best of the Best: 20 Years of the Year's Best Science Fiction (anth 2005) and The Best of the Best, Volume 2: 20 Years of the Best Short Science Fiction Novels (anth 2007) – constitute perhaps the definitive showcasing of Dozois's formative take on the sf field, primarily in his capacities as editor over the past 30 years. Of his later anthologies, Songs of the Dying Earth (anth 2009) with George R R Martin, a volume of original stories written in homage to Jack Vance, also stands out (see Sequels by Other Hands). Two recent Original Anthologies, Old Mars (anth 2013) and Old Venus (anth 2015) both with George R R Martin, assemble new stories set in traditional sf and Science Fantasy Planetary Romance versions of Mars and Venus commonly used they were discovered to be lifeless; these tales can be understood as being set in Alternate Worlds or, because of their self-conscious referentiality, as Recursive SF. It may be that Dozois's main contribution (over and above a maturely realistic sense of the nature of the world) is technical: his remarkable capacity to select (and to edit) work that is both exciting to read and adult on reflection. He was inducted into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame in 2011. [JC]

see also: Conceptual Breakthrough; Critical and Historical Works About SF; Cyberpunk; History of SF; Invisibility; Omni; Parasitism and Symbiosis; Pollution; Sharecrop.

Gardner Raymond Dozois

born Salem, Massachusetts: 23 July 1947

died

works

  • Nightmare Blue (New York: Berkley Medallion, 1975) with George Alec Effinger [pb/Paul Lehr]
  • Strangers (New York: G P Putnam's Sons, 1978) [hb/]
  • Shadow Twin (Burton, Michigan: Subterranean Press, 2005) with Daniel Abraham and George R R Martin [chap: first released online: hb/Michael Kormack]
    • Hunter's Run (London: HarperCollins, 2007) with Daniel Abraham and George R R Martin [rev vt, much exp, of the above: hb/photographic: Tony Sweet/Getty Images]

collections and stories

nonfiction

works as editor

Magic Tales

  • Aliens! (New York: Ace Books, 1980) with Jack Dann [anth: precursor to the Magic Tales sequence: pb/Michael Whelan]
  • Unicorns! (New York: Ace Books, 1982) with Jack Dann [anth: Magic Tales: pb/]
  • Magicats! (New York: Ace Books, 1984) with Jack Dann [anth: Magic Tales: pb/Ann Meisel]
  • Bestiary! (New York: Ace Books, 1985) with Jack Dann [anth: Magic Tales: pb/Dawn Wilson]
  • Mermaids! (New York: Ace Books, 1985) with Jack Dann [anth: Magic Tales: pb/Carl Lundgren]
  • Sorcerers! (New York: Ace Books, 1986) with Jack Dann [anth: Magic Tales: pb/Dean Morrissey]
  • Demons! (New York: Ace Books, 1987) with Jack Dann [anth: Magic Tales: pb/Hiro Kimura]
  • Dogtales! (New York: Ace Books, 1988) with Jack Dann [anth: Magic Tales: pb/Hiro Kimura]
  • Seaserpents! (New York: Ace Books, 1989) with Jack Dann [anth: Magic Tales: pb/Hiro Kimura]
  • Dinosaurs! (New York: Ace Books, 1990) with Jack Dann [anth: Magic Tales: pb/Bob Walters]
  • Magicats II (New York: Ace Books, 1991) with Jack Dann [anth: Magic Tales: pb/Jim Warren]
  • Little People! (New York: Ace Books, 1991) with Jack Dann [anth: Magic Tales: pb/Daniel R Home]
  • Unicorns II (New York: Ace Books, 1992) with Jack Dann [anth: Magic Tales: pb/Neal McPheeters]
  • Dragons! (New York: Ace Books, 1993) with Jack Dann [anth: Magic Tales: pb/Bob Eggleton]
  • Invaders! (New York: Ace Books, 1993) with Jack Dann [anth: Magic Tales: pb/Joan Pelaez]
  • Horses! (New York: Ace Books, 1994) with Jack Dann [anth: Magic Tales: pb/Den Beauvais]
  • Angels! (New York: Ace Books, 1995) with Jack Dann [anth: Magic Tales: pb/Den Beauvais]
  • Dinosaurs II (New York: Ace Books, 1995) with Jack Dann [anth: Magic Tales: pb/Bob Eggleton]
  • Hackers (New York: Ace Books, 1996) with Jack Dann [anth: Magic Tales: pb/Sharmen Liao]
  • Timegates (New York: Ace Books, 1997) with Jack Dann [anth: Magic Tales: pb/Jean-François Podevin]
  • Clones (New York: Ace Books, 1998) with Jack Dann [anth: Magic Tales: pb/Lee MacLeod]
  • Immortals (New York: Ace Books, 1998) with Jack Dann [anth: Magic Tales: pb/Jean-François Podevin]
  • Nanotech (New York: Ace Books, 1998) with Jack Dann [anth: Magic Tales: pb/Doug Struthers]
  • Armageddons (New York: Ace Books, 1999) with Jack Dann [anth: Magic Tales: pb/Phil Hefferman]
  • Future War (New York: Ace Books, 1999) with Jack Dann [anth: Magic Tales: pb/Chris Moore]
  • Aliens Among Us (New York: Ace Books, 2000) with Jack Dann [anth: Magic Tales: pb/Walter Velez]
  • Space Soldiers (New York: Ace Books, 2001) with Jack Dann [anth: Magic Tales: pb/Lee MacLeod]
  • Genometry (New York: Ace Books, 2001) with Jack Dann [anth: Magic Tales: pb/Walter Velez]
  • Future Sports (New York: Ace Books, 2002) with Jack Dann [anth: Magic Tales: pb/Ben Gibson]
  • Beyond Flesh (New York: Ace Books, 2003) with Jack Dann [anth: Magic Tales: pb/Jan Franz]
  • Future Crimes (New York: Ace Books, 2003) with Jack Dann [anth: Magic Tales: pb/Getty Images]
  • A.I.s (New York: Ace Books, 2004) with Jack Dann [anth: Magic Tales: pb/AXB Group]
  • Beyond Singularity (New York: Ace Books, 2005) with Jack Dann [anth: Magic Tales: pb/Ben Gibson]
  • Robots (New York: Ace Books, 2005) with Jack Dann [anth: Magic Tales: pb/]
  • Futures Past (New York: Ace Books, 2006) with Jack Dann [anth: Magic Tales: pb/AXB Group]
  • Dangerous Gamessfgateway.com (New York: Ace Books, 2007) with Jack Dann [anth: Magic Tales: pb/]

Best Science Fiction Stories of the Year

The Year's Best Science Fiction

Asimov's Anthologies

Future Earths

The Good Stuff

The New Space Opera

individual titles

about the author

links

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