Hartwell, David G

Tagged: Author | Editor | Critic

(1941-    ) US editor, publisher and critic.; his first publication of genre interest is SF-I: A Selective Bibliography (1971 chap) with L W Currey, writing together as Kilgore Trout; he also assisted Currey in the latter's seminal Science Fiction and Fantasy Authors: A Bibliography of First Printings of their Fiction and Selected Nonfiction (1979). He published and edited The Little Magazine (1965-1988), a literary magazine; in 1988 he founded and has since served as reviews editor of The New York Review of Science Fiction, published by Dragon Press, the Small Press of which he was partner 1973-1978 and is now proprietor. He edited the short-lived Cosmos Science Fiction and Fantasy Magazine 1977-1978.

His substantial influence in the sf world has been mainly, however, as an editor and/or advisor for various commercial sf publishers, including Signet (1971-1973); Berkley/Putnam (1973-1978); Gregg Press (1975-1986), an academic publisher of important sf reprints which he managed part-time; Pocket Books/Simon and Schuster (1978-1983), where he was responsible for their important Timescape Books sf imprint; and Tor Books (1984-current), where he has been a Senior Editor since 1995; plus part-time responsibilities with Arbor House (1984-1988) and William Morrow (1988-1991). His career – a tightrope walk – testifies to the difficulties Hartwell has partly conquered in reconciling the conflicting demands of art and commerce, especially during his tenure with Pocket Books' Timescape programme, where he published many distinguished titles, including Gene Wolfe's The Book of the New Sun (1980-1983 4vols).

The anthologies Hartwell has edited include: The Battle of the Monsters and Other Stories (anth 1976) with L W Currey, nineteenth-century sf; the Christmas sequence of ghost and other supernatural stories, beginning with Christmas Ghosts (anth 1987) with Kathryn Cramer and ending with Christmas Magic (anth 1994); The Dark Descent (anth 1987) [for vts see Checklist]; Masterpieces of Fantasy and Enchantment (anth 1988) and Masterpieces of Fantasy and Wonder (anth 1989), both with Cramer; The World Treasury of Science Fiction (anth 1989); Foundations of Fear: An Exploration of Horror (anth 1992) [for vts see Checklist]; The Ascent of Wonder: The Evolution of Hard Science Fiction (anth 1994) with Cramer, which contains intriguingly contrasting definitions of Hard SF in the editors' comments and in the introduction by Gregory Benford; Northern Stars: The Anthology of Canadian Science Fiction (anth 1994) with Glenn Grant and its thematic companion Northern Suns (anth 1999); The Science Fiction Century (anth 1999) [for vts see Checklist]; Centaurus: The Best of Australian Science Fiction (anth 1999) with Damien Broderick; The Hard SF Renaissance (anth 2002) with Kathryn Cramer and The Space Opera Renaissance (anth 2006) with Kathryn Cramer. Most of these anthologies are huge, and as a whole they comprise a concentrated, learned and unopinionated presentation of the fields of the fantastic over the whole of the twentieth century.

Hartwell won a World Fantasy Award in the Special Award/Professional category in 1988, and has many times been nominated for a Hugo as Best Editor, finally winning in 2006 and repeating this success in the revised category Best Editor, Long Form in 2008 and 2009. He has written a number of critical essays on sf; and his Age of Wonders: Exploring the World of Science Fiction (1984; rev 1985; further rev 1996) is wide-ranging, informal and anecdotal, treating sf and Fandom as both a literary and a sociological phenomenon. All in all, however, Hartwell's concept of the fantastic is more far-ranging than this volume gives room for; and it is to be hoped that a further study will be forthcoming. [PN/JC]

see also: Philip K Dick Award; Skylark Award; Thomas D Clareson Award.

David Geddes Hartwell

born Salem, Massachusetts: 10 July 1941




works as editor



Year's Best Science Fiction

Year's Best Fantasy

individual titles

nonfiction as editor


Previous versions of this entry

Website design and build: STEEL

Site ©2011 Gollancz, SFE content ©2011 SFE Ltd.