James Gunn

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(July 12, 1923 – December 23, 2020)

Author, critic and teacher James Edwin Gunn’s first published SF story was "Communications" in Startling Stories (September 1949) [as by Edwin James]; his first novel, This Fortress World (Gnome Press, 1955). Other novels include The Joy Makers (1961), The Immortals (1964), and The Listeners (1972).

He won the 1983 Best Non-Fiction Book Hugo and was nominated for the 1989 Best Non-Fiction Book Hugo.

Gunn was born in Kansas City, Missouri, and educated at the University of Kansas (B.S. in Journalism, 1947; M.A. in English, 1951), where he later became a professor of English and journalism and director of the Gunn Center for the Study of Science Fiction, which he established in 1982. He wrote an autobiography, Star-Begotten: A Life Lived in Science Fiction, and a biography: Saving the World Through Science Fiction by Michael R. Page and was published by McFarland in February 2017. James Gunn's Ad Astra was named for him.

Early in his career (1951–1952), Gunn was an apprentice editor for Dell Books in their Western Printing & Lithographing Division in Racine, Wisconsin. While there, he worked on Robert Heinlein's Universe (#36 in the Dell 10¢ series), contributing the cover idea and the anonymous introduction.

From 1977 to 1998, he edited six volumes of his "Road to Science Fiction" series of anthologies. He served as president of The Science Fiction Writers of America (1971-1972) and of The Science Fiction Research Association (1980-1982).

He was the Most Senior SF Writer for seven years.

He was a member of First Fandom.

Awards, Honors and GoHships:

Person 19232020
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