Charles Sheffield

Last updated

Charles Sheffield
Writer DrCharlesSheffield.jpg
Born(1935-06-25)25 June 1935
Kingston upon Hull, Yorkshire, England [1]
Died2 November 2002(2002-11-02) (aged 67)
Silver Spring, Maryland, U.S. [1]
OccupationWriter, scientist
Alma mater St John's College, Cambridge
Period1977–2002 (fiction)
1962–? (professional) [1]
GenreScience fiction
Notable awards
  • John W. Campbell Memorial Award
    1992 Brother to Dragons
  • Nebula Award
    1993 Georgia on My Mind
  • Hugo Award
    1994 Georgia on My Mind

Charles Sheffield (25 June 1935 – 2 November 2002), [1] an English-born mathematician, physicist and science-fiction writer, served as a President of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America and of the American Astronautical Society. [2]


His novel The Web Between the Worlds , featuring the construction of a space elevator, was published almost simultaneously with Arthur C. Clarke's novel on the subject, The Fountains of Paradise - a coincidence that amused them both. Excerpts from both Sheffield's The Web Between the Worlds and Clarke's The Fountains of Paradise have appeared recently in a space-elevator anthology, Towering Yarns . [3]

Sheffield served as Chief Scientist of Earth Satellite Corporation, a company that processed remote-sensing satellite data. The association gave rise to many technical papers and two popular non-fiction books, Earthwatch (1981) and Man on Earth (1983), both collections of false-colour and enhanced images of Earth from space.

He won the Nebula and Hugo awards for his 1993 novelette "Georgia on My Mind" and the 1992 John W. Campbell Memorial Award for Best Science Fiction Novel for his 1992 novel Brother to Dragons . [4]

Sheffield was Toastmaster at BucConeer, the 1998 World Science Fiction Convention in Baltimore.

Before he died, he was writing a column for the Baen Books web-site; his last column concerned the discovery of the brain tumour that led to his death.

Personal life

Charles Sheffield attended St John's College, Cambridge, where he graduated with a Double First in Mathematics and Physics. During his studies he met and later married his first wife, Sarah Sanderson, whose death in 1977 became the catalyst for his writing career. They had a son, Charles Christopher ("Kit"), and a daughter, Ann Elizabeth. The family soon after moved to the United States, where Sheffield began working in the field of practical physics, a career that would lead him to a consultancy with NASA and the role of chief scientist at the Earth Satellite Corporation in Washington.

In response to the traumatic grief from the death of his wife Sarah to cancer (in 1977), Sheffield began a second career as a science fiction author, winning both the prestigious Nebula and Hugo awards and serving as President of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (1984–1986). He maintained two successful careers, consulting for various scientific corporations while earning fame for his "Hard SF". During this period he lived in Washington, DC, and met and married Linda Zall, a fellow scientist, and had two daughters, Elizabeth Rose and Victoria Jane.

At the time of his death, he was married to writer Nancy Kress, and lived with his children in Silver Spring, Maryland.



Behrooz Wolf

  1. Sight of Proteus, Ace September 1978; revised, NEL January 1989 – book version of the following linked stories:
    • "Sight of Proteus", Amazing May 1978
    • "Legacy", Galaxy June 1977
    • "The Grooves of Change", reprinted in Amazing Feb. 1979
  2. Proteus Unbound, Analog August 1988 / NEL Jan. 1989 / Ballantine Del Rey March 1989
  3. Proteus in the Underworld , Baen May 1995

Volumes 1 and 2 were reprinted in omnibus version Proteus Manifest (SFBC July 1989) and later in a revised omnibus version Proteus Combined (Baen May 1994)

The Heritage Universe

  1. Summertide , Ballantine Del Rey Feb. 1990 – loosely based on
    • "Summertide", Destinies, August 1981
  2. Divergence , Ballantine Del Rey, February 1991
  3. Transcendence , Ballantine Del Rey, April 1992
  4. Convergence , Baen April 1997
  5. Resurgence , Baen November 2002

Volumes 1, 2 and 3 were reprinted in omnibus version The Heritage Universe (SFBC October 1992); Volumes 1 and 2 were reprinted in revised omnibus version Convergent Series (Baen October 1998); Volumes 3 and 4 were reprinted in revised omnibus version Transvergence (Baen November 1999)

Cold as Ice

  1. Cold as Ice , Tor June 1992
  2. The Ganymede Club , Tor December 1995
  3. Dark as Day, Tor March 2002

Chan Dalton

  1. The Mind Pool, Baen, April 1993 – revised and expanded from an earlier version:
  2. The Spheres of Heaven, Baen, February 2001

Jupiter (Young Adult Novels)

  1. Higher Education (with Jerry Pournelle), Analog February 1996 / Tor June 1996 – revised and expanded from
    • "Higher Education", Charles Sheffield & Jerry Pournelle, Future Quartet: Earth in the Year 2042: A Four-Part Invention, Ben Bova, Frederik Pohl, Jerry Pournelle and Charles Sheffield, AvoNova 1994
  2. The Billion Dollar Boy , Tor April 1997
  3. Putting Up Roots, Tor September 1997
  4. The Cyborg from Earth , Tor March 1998

Supernova Alpha

  • Aftermath, Bantam Spectra Aug. 1998
  • Starfire, Bantam Spectra October 1999

Arthur Morton McAndrew

  • The Compleat McAndrew, Baen April 2000 – a collection of linked stories:
    • "Killing Vector", Galaxy March 1978; read online
    • "Moment of Inertia", Analog October 1980; read online
    • "All the Colors of the Vacuum", Analog 2 February 1981
    • "Manna Hunt", Analog September 1982
    • "The Hidden Matter of McAndrew", Analog June 1992
    • "The Invariants of Nature", Analog April 1993
    • "Rogueworld", F&SF May 1983
    • "With McAndrew, Out of Focus", Science Fiction Age March 1999
    • "McAndrew and the Fifth Commandment", Analog September 1999

The Compleat McAndrew was preceded by two earlier versions: The McAndrew Chronicles, (Tor, June 1983) and One Man’s Universe (Tor, December 1993); also, Sheffield later wrote an additional McAndrew story:

  • "McAndrew and THE LAW", Cosmic Tales: Adventures in Sol System, ed. T. K. F. Weisskopf, Baen June 2004; read online

Waldo Burmeister and Henry Carver, Space Attorneys

Sheffield wrote about this series:

In the late 1970s when I was just starting to write fiction, my young children (young back then, grown-ups now) ordered me to produce stories about every funny or disgusting thing in the world. They made the list for me. It had on it items of comic low appeal to them—sewage, visits to the dentist, mushrooms, fat aunts, opera singers, flatulence (I think they used a different word), comic Germans and Italians, fad diets, pigs, morticians, and head lice. Not an easy assignment, but I did my best. Over the years I have published ten politically incorrect stories tackling one or more of the listed topics... Together they form what I think of as my "sewage" series. They feature my two favourite lawyers, Henry Carver and Waldo Burmeister, and they are depressingly easy to write. [5]

  1. Space Suits (Fox Acre Press, August 2001); a collection of linked stories:
    • "Marconi, Mattin, Maxwell", Galaxy May 1977; read online
    • "Dinsdale Dissents", Galaxy July 1977
    • "The Deimos Plague", Stellar No. 4, ed. Judy-Lynn del Rey, Ballantine 1978; read online
    • "Perfectly Safe, Nothing to Worry About", Galaxy August 1977
    • "The Decline of Hyperion", Analog mid-Dec. 1992
    • "The Dalmatian of Faust", Galaxy September 1978
    • "A Certain Place in History", Galaxy October 1977
    • "Parasites Lost", Proteus: Voices for the 80s, ed. Richard S. McEnroe, Ace May 1981
    • "Fifteen-Love on the Dead Man’s Chest", Amazing May 1993
    • "With the Knight Male", The Chick is in the Mail, ed. Esther Friesner, Baen October 2000
    • "Space Opera", Analog mid-December 1988

Erasmus Darwin (Grandfather of Charles Darwin)

  1. The Amazing Dr. Darwin, Baen June 2002 – a collection of linked stories:
    • "The Devil of Malkirk", F&SF June 1982; read online
    • "The Heart of Ahura Mazda", AHMM November 1988
    • "The Phantom of Dunwell Cove", Asimov's August 1995
    • "The Lambeth Immortal", AHMM June 1979
    • "The Solborne Vampire", AHMM January 1998
    • "The Treasure of Odirex", Fantastic July 1978
    • Appendix- Erasmus Magister: Fact and Fiction, Erasmus Magister, Ace 1982

The Amazing Dr. Darwin was preceded by an earlier version, Erasmus Magister (Ace June 1982); also, Sheffield later wrote an additional Erasmus Darwin story:

  • "The Demon of E Staircase", AHMM January 2003

Other novels

Other collections


Short stories


See also

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Pat Cadigan</span> British-American science fiction author (born 1953)

Patricia Oren Kearney Cadigan is a British-American science fiction author, whose work is most often identified with the cyberpunk movement. Her novels and short stories often explore the relationship between the human mind and technology. Her debut novel, Mindplayers, was nominated for the Philip K. Dick Award in 1988.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Astounding Award for Best New Writer</span> Annual awards for science fiction or fantasy

The Astounding Award for Best New Writer is given annually to the best new writer whose first professional work of science fiction or fantasy was published within the two previous calendar years. It is named after Astounding Science Fiction, a foundational science fiction magazine. The award is sponsored by Dell Magazines, which publishes Analog.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Lester del Rey</span> American science fiction author (1915–1993)

Lester del Rey was an American science fiction author and editor. He was the author of many books in the juvenile Winston Science Fiction series, and the editor at Del Rey Books, the fantasy and science fiction imprint of Ballantine Books, along with his fourth wife Judy-Lynn del Rey.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Jim Baen</span> American science fiction publisher and editor

James Patrick Baen was a U.S. science fiction publisher and editor. In 1983, he founded his own publishing house, Baen Books, specializing in the adventure, fantasy, military science fiction, and space opera genres. Baen also founded the video game publisher, Baen Software. In late 1999, he started an electronic publishing business called Webscriptions, which is considered to be the first profitable e-book vendor.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Ace Books</span> American specialty publisher of science fiction and fantasy books

Ace Books is a publisher of science fiction (SF) and fantasy books founded in New York City in 1952 by Aaron A. Wyn. It began as a genre publisher of mysteries and westerns, and soon branched out into other genres, publishing its first science fiction title in 1953. This was successful, and science fiction titles outnumbered both mysteries and westerns within a few years. Other genres also made an appearance, including nonfiction, gothic novels, media tie-in novelizations, and romances. Ace became known for the tête-bêche binding format used for many of its early books, although it did not originate the format. Most of the early titles were published in this "Ace Double" format, and Ace continued to issue books in varied genres, bound tête-bêche, until 1973.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Science fiction magazine</span> Publication that offers primarily science fiction

A science fiction magazine is a publication that offers primarily science fiction, either in a hard-copy periodical format or on the Internet. Science fiction magazines traditionally featured speculative fiction in short story, novelette, novella or novel form, a format that continues into the present day. Many also contain editorials, book reviews or articles, and some also include stories in the fantasy and horror genres.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Steven Gould</span> American science fiction writer and teacher

Steven Charles Gould is an American science fiction writer and teacher. He has written ten novels. He is best known for his 1992 novel Jumper, which was adapted into a film released in 2008.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Kevin O'Donnell Jr.</span> American novelist

Kevin O'Donnell Jr. was an American science fiction author. He was the son of Kevin O'Donnell, who served as director of Peace Corps in 1971–72.

The complete bibliography of Gordon R. Dickson.

Michael Joseph Cassutt is an American television producer, screenwriter, and author. His notable TV work includes producing or writing, or both, for The Outer Limits, Eerie, Indiana, Beverly Hills, 90210, and The Twilight Zone. In addition to his work in television, Cassutt has written over thirty short stories, predominately in the genres of science fiction and fantasy. He has also published novels, including the 1986 The Star Country, the 1991 Dragon Season, the 2001 Red Moon and the 2011 Heaven's Shadow, in collaboration with David S. Goyer. In addition, Cassutt contributes non-fiction articles to magazines and is the author of the non-fiction book, The Astronaut Maker, a biography of NASA legend George W. S. Abbey (2018).

This article presents an incomplete list of short stories by Robert Sheckley, arranged alphabetically by title.

A list of list of works by or about American military science fiction and fantasy writer David Drake.

A list of the works of American science fiction author Michael Flynn.

This is complete list of works by American science fiction and fantasy author Fred Saberhagen.

A bibliography of works by American science fiction author Gregory Benford.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Robert Silverberg bibliography</span> List of works by Robert Silverberg

List of the published work of Robert Silverberg, American science fiction author.

A partial bibliography of American science fiction author Nancy Kress.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Marissa Lingen</span> American science fiction writer (born 1978)

Marissa Kristine Lingen is an American science fiction and fantasy author who writes short stories.


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 "Sheffield, Charles". Revised 2 April 2015. The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction ( Retrieved 2015-07-20. Entry by 'JC', John Clute.
  2. American Astronautical Society "History of AAS: 1974 to Present". Retrieved 4 June 2009. Archived 18 July 2010 at the Wayback Machine
  3. Clarke, Arthur; Sheffield, Charles; Crilley, Paul; Resnick, Mike (22 December 2017). Towering Yarns: Space Elevator Short Stories. Volume 1 of Towering Yarns. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. ISBN   9781981495207 . Retrieved 29 October 2022.
  4. "Campbell Award". Revised 30 May 2017. Gunn Center for the Study of Science Fiction . Retrieved 2015-07-20.
  5. Afterword to "Fifteen-Love on the Dead Man's Chest" in Georgia on My Mind and Other Places, Tor 1995.