Most Senior SF Writer

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Who, among the major writers, has been writing for the longest time? And who held the record before them?

(Note that this list is notOldest Living SF Writers.” It has a significant judgment element. First, "major" is inevitably subjective to a degree. In particular, there were undoubtedly early writers for magazines like Weird Tales or the mundanes who published something that was arguably SF and lived on forgotten -- or never known -- by fandom. We're not interested in these. Second, there are writers who are not forgotten, but whose writing career was relatively brief. We're looking for people with the longest active careers, not who were simply long-lived. To count, an active career should have spanned at least a majority of the time since their first published appearance. So Mary Shelley, while undoubtedly an SF writer, and deserving of her place in this list, would not have qualified 150 years later. Most subjective of all, is "major." Given two people who have essentially equivalent careers, where one is of significantly greater stature and influence in the field, we will pick the latter.)

First published Born Died Who? Span Years on Top
1818 1797 1851 Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley 33 33
1851 1828 1905 Jules Verne 54 54
1879 1859 1930 Arthur Conan Doyle 51 25
1888 1866 1946 H. G. Wells 58 16
1912 1875 1950 Edgar Rice Burroughs 38 4
1919 1896 1975 Murray Leinster 56 25
1928 1908 2006 Jack Williamson 78 31
1937 1919 2013 Frederik Pohl 68 7
1949 1923 2020 James Gunn 71 7
Current Contenders
1952 1928 William F. Nolan >69
1952 1933 Ron Goulart >69
1954 1935 Robert Silverberg >67
1956 1939 Michael Moorcock >65

Jack Williamson held the record the longest in modern times.

For a somewhat different take, see Dean of Science Fiction.

Miscellaneous Reasonator
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