Malzberg worked as an investigator for the NYC Department of Welfare, and as a reimbursement agent for the NY State Department of Mental Health, before becoming an editor, critic, anthologist, and free-lance writer. A very prolific writer, Malzberg has published under several pseudonyms, including Mike Barry, Francine Di Natale, Claudine Dumas, Mel Johnson, S. L. Keller, Lee W. Mason, K. M. O’Donnell, Robin Schaeffer, Gerrold Watkins, and John Barry Williams. He began his SF career as an agent for the Scott Meredith Literary Agency in 1965.
His first SF publication was “We’re Coming Through the Windows” in Galaxy (August, 1967) [as by K. M. O’Donnell]; His first SF novel was Oracle of the Thousand Hands (Olympia Press, 1968), and his first collection was Final War and Other Fantasies (Ace, 1969) [as by K. M. O’Donnell].
He served as an editor of both Amazing and Fantastic in 1968-1969. One of the most controversial SF writers of the 1970s, Malzberg became disenchanted with SF in the late 1970s and produced little straight SF thereafter. He continued to write, however, collaborating with Bill Pronzini on suspense novels; they also co-edited several SF and other genre anthologies. With Edward L. Ferman he co-edited Arena: Sports SF/ (1976) and Graven Images (1977). With Martin H. Greenberg he co-edited The Science Fiction of Mark Clifton (1980).
Malzberg has been described by SF critic John Clute (1995) as “a creative phenomenon: fast, gloomy, and compelling.” Because of the sardonic view of some of his writing, he has been labeled sometimes as being anti-SF in his outlook.
The February, 1977, issue of DeLap’s SF&F Review (#23) was a “Barry Malzberg Madness” Special; he was interviewed (“Dismantling Science Fiction”) in the April 2002 issue of Locus; and the June 2003 issue of F&SF was a Special Barry Malzberg Issue.
- 1983 Best Non Fiction Book Hugo
- 1993 Best Novelette Hugo
- 1995 Best Short Story Hugo
- 2008 Best Related Book Hugo
- 2011 Best Related Work Hugo
Other Awards, Honors and GoHships:
- 1973 — John W Campbell Jr Memorial Award
- 1982 — Locus Award (Nonfiction
- 1991 — Readercon 4
- 2006 — DeepSouthCon 44