John M. Ford

(April 10, 1957 — September 24, 2006)

John Milo (Mike) Ford was born in East Chicago, Indiana; he died in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

First SF publication: “This Too, We Reconcile” in Analog (May, 1976); First novel: Web of Angels (Pocket, 1980); First collection: Casting Fortune (Tor, 1989). Under the pseudonym of Michael J. Dodge, he wrote Star Trek novels; and, under an undisclosed pseudonym, he wrote children’s fiction. Ford also worked as a game designer.

Awards in the SF genre: World Fantasy Award (Best Novel) for The Dragon Waiting (1984); World Fantasy Award (Best Short Fiction) and Rhysling Award (Long SF Poem) for the poem “Winter Soltice, Camelot Station” (1989); Philip K. Dick Memorial Award for Growing Up Weightless (1994) [a tie with Elvissey by Jack Womack]; other awards/honors, including Toastmaster, 25th World Fantasy Convention (1999).

His first novel was an early example of cyberpunk, but his later work was quite varied. During 1979-1981 much of his work was concerned with his “Alternities Corporation” series. Other early novels include the space opera The Princes of the Air (1982), the Star Trek novels The Final Reflection (1984) and How Much for Just the Planet? (1987), the mystery/thriller The Scholars of Night (1988), and the psychological SF novel Fugue State (1990).

Ford also wrote considerable poetry. A collection of his poetry, Timesteps, was published in 1993. A short fiction and poetry collection is his From the End of the Twentieth Century (1997) [NESFA Press with art by Ron Walotsky].

Heat of Fusion and Other Stories, a collection of 10 stories and 13 poems, was issued in 2004, and was a finalist for the World Fantasy Award in 2005. His nonfiction work in the SF field includes On Writing Science Fiction (1981) [with Darrell Schweitzer and George H. Scithers]. Ford’s last novel, The Last Hot Time, published in 2000, was described by one critic as a near perfect “Young Adult urban fantasy novel.” Another critic described Ford as “one of SF’s most versatile writers.” Growing Up Weightless was Book of Honor at Potlatch 18.

Ford was endlessly inventive, appearing in "Ask Dr. Science" where Ford give quick and funny pseudo-science answers to important questions (like where the refrigerator light goes when the door is shut). He also wrote the fannish musical Another Part of the Trilogy.

GoHships:

Awards and Honors:

For more on his career, see http://www.sf-encyclopedia.com/entry/ford_john_m

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