Friday, July 12, 2013

Happy Birthday, James Gunn

James Edwin Gunn was born this day in 1923.  He's still with us, and I  hope he will be for many years to come.  His best known works include The Listeners (1972), Starbridge (with Jack Williamson, 1955), The Immortals (1964), and Kampus (1977).  He edited the six volume historical anthology, The Road to Science Fiction (1977, 1979, 1982, 1998). This is one of the best overviews of the field.  Nearly every story in it is a classic.  Gunn was a Professor of English at the University of Kansas and is currently Professor Emeritus and director of The Center for the Study of Science Fiction.  This is the organization that gives out the John W. Campbell Memorial Award (which is not the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer) and the Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award at the Campbell Conference.  He was awarded a Grand Master Nebula by the Science Fiction Writers of America in 2007.

I only met him once, in 1989 if memory serves.  There was some sort of gathering at the UNT in which a number of science fiction authors were present.  I think it was a meeting of the Science Fiction Research Association.  Among the other attendees were Fred Pohl, Jack Williamson, L. Sprague and Catherine de Camp, James Frenkel, and Brad Denton.  I remember Gunn as being a quiet and pleasant man.

Happy birthday, Dr. Gunn, and many happy returns!

1 comment:

  1. I'm a few days behind on keeping up with the Amazing Stories blog. An interview with Gunn was posted on Wednesday: