Jack Laurence Chalker
Chalker in 2003
|Died||February 11, 2005 60) (aged|
|Education|| Towson University |
Johns Hopkins University
|Occupation||Science fiction author, writer|
|Spouse(s)||Eva C. Whitley|
|Children||David W. Chalker, Steven L. Chalker|
Jack Laurence Chalker (December 17, 1944 – February 11, 2005) was an American science fiction author. Chalker was also a Baltimore City Schools history teacher in Maryland for 12 years, retiring during 1978 to write full-time. He also was a member of the Washington Science Fiction Association and was involved in the founding of the Baltimore Science Fiction Society.
Maryland is a state in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States, bordering Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia to its south and west; Pennsylvania to its north; and Delaware to its east. The state's largest city is Baltimore, and its capital is Annapolis. Among its occasional nicknames are Old Line State, the Free State, and the Chesapeake Bay State. It is named after the English queen Henrietta Maria, known in England as Queen Mary.
The Washington Science Fiction Association (WSFA) is the oldest science fiction club in the Washington, D.C. area. It is also one of the oldest science fiction clubs, founded in 1947 by seven fans who met at that year's Worldcon in Philadelphia, the fifth Worldcon held.
The Baltimore Science Fiction Society is a literary organization focusing on science fiction, fantasy and related genres. A 501c3 literary society based in Baltimore, Maryland, the BSFS sponsors Balticon, the Maryland Regional Science Fiction Convention.
Chalker was born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland. Some of his books said that he was born in Norfolk, Virginia although he later claimed that was a mistake; he attended high school at the Baltimore City College. Chalker earned a BA degree in English from Towson University in Towson, Maryland, where he was a theater critic for the school newspaper, The Towerlight. During 2003, Towson University named Chalker their Liberal Arts Alumnus of the Year. He received a Master of Arts in Liberal Studies from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.
Norfolk is an independent city in the Commonwealth of Virginia in the United States. At the 2010 census, the population was 242,803; in 2017, the population was estimated to be 244,703 making it the second-most populous city in Virginia after neighboring Virginia Beach.
Virginia, officially the Commonwealth of Virginia, is a state in the Southeastern and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States located between the Atlantic Coast and the Appalachian Mountains. The geography and climate of the Commonwealth are shaped by the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Chesapeake Bay, which provide habitat for much of its flora and fauna. The capital of the Commonwealth is Richmond; Virginia Beach is the most populous city, and Fairfax County is the most populous political subdivision. The Commonwealth's estimated population as of 2018 is over 8.5 million.
The Baltimore City College, known colloquially as City, City College, B.C.C. and nicknamed "The Castle on the Hill" is a public magnet high school in Baltimore, Maryland, United States. Established and authorized by resolution in March 1839 by the Baltimore City Council, signed / approved by the 10th Mayor, Sheppard C. Leakin (1838-1840), and opened in October 1839 as "The High School", "City" is the third oldest active public high school in the US. A citywide college preparatory school with a liberal arts focus, The Baltimore City College has selective admissions criteria based on entrance exams and middle school grades. The four-year City College curriculum includes the IB Middle Years Programme and the IB Diploma Programme of the International Baccalaureate curriculums since the mid 1980s.
Chalker intended to become a lawyer, but financial problems caused him to become a teacher instead. He taught history and geography in the Baltimore City Public Schools from 1966 to 1978, most notably at Baltimore City College and the now defunct Southwest Senior High School. Chalker lectured on science fiction and technology at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, and numerous universities.
Baltimore City Public Schools, also referred to as Baltimore City Public School System, BCPSS, BCPS and City Schools, is a public school district in the city of Baltimore, state of Maryland, United States. It serves the youth for Baltimore City. Traditionally however, the Baltimore City Public Schools system has usually never referred to itself as a "district," as the operation of the schools was synonymous with the city of Baltimore. Its headquarters are located on 200 East North Avenue at North Calvert Street in the "Dr. Alice G. Pinderhughes Administration Building".
Southwestern Senior High School was a public high school located in Baltimore, Maryland. Ruff Endz band members David Chance and Dante Jordan attended. Current Engineering Education leader, Clifton Martin also attended this great institution. Southwestern Senior High School opened in September 1971 and closed in June 2007. The building sat vacant for one year before the city leased the school to the SEED School of Maryland boarding school. The main classroom building was torn down along with the library and cafeteria. The building has been replaced with dorms and portable classrooms.
Science fiction is a genre of speculative fiction that has been called the "literature of ideas". It typically deals with imaginative and futuristic concepts such as advanced science and technology, time travel, parallel universes, fictional worlds, space exploration, and extraterrestrial life. Science fiction often explores the potential consequences of scientific innovations.
Chalker was married in 1978 and had two children, David, a game designer, and Samantha, a computer security consultant.
Chalker's hobbies included esoteric audio, travel, and working on science-fiction convention committees. He also had a great interest in ferryboats; at his fiancee's suggestion, their marriage was performed on the Roaring Bull boat, part of the Millersburg Ferry, in the middle of the Susquehanna River in Pennsylvania.
The Millersburg Ferry, also known as the Crow's Ferry, is the last operating ferry on the Susquehanna River. It crosses the river between Millersburg in Dauphin County and Buffalo Township in Perry County, Pennsylvania in the United States. The ferry was established in the early 19th century. The Millersburg Ferry crossing was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2006. Its ferry boat is believed to be the last "wooden double stern-wheel paddle boat" to be operating in the United States. It is owned by the Millersburg Chamber of Commerce and operated by the Millersburg Ferryboat Association from May until October when water levels permit.
The Susquehanna River is a major river located in the northeastern and mid-Atlantic United States. At 464 miles (747 km) long, it is the longest river on the East Coast of the United States that drains into the Atlantic Ocean. With its watershed, it is the 16th-largest river in the United States, and the longest river in the early 21st-century continental United States without commercial boat traffic.
Pennsylvania, officially the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, is a state located in the northeastern, Great Lakes and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. The Appalachian Mountains run through its middle. The Commonwealth is bordered by Delaware to the southeast, Maryland to the south, West Virginia to the southwest, Ohio to the west, Lake Erie and the Canadian province of Ontario to the northwest, New York to the north, and New Jersey to the east.
Chalker joined the Washington Science Fiction Association during 1958, and during 1963 he and two friends founded the Baltimore Science Fiction Society. Chalker attended every World Science Fiction Convention, except one, from 1965 until 2004. He published an amateur SF journal, Mirage, from 1960 to 1971 (a Hugo nominee during 1963 for Best Fanzine),producing ten issues. Another journal, Interjection, was published 1968–1987 in association with the Fantasy Amateur Press Association. Chalker also initiated a publishing house, Mirage Press, Ltd., for releasing nonfiction and bibliographic works concerning science fiction and fantasy.
The Fantasy Amateur Press Association or FAPA ("FAP-uh") is science fiction fandom's longest-established amateur press association ("apa"). It was founded in 1937 by Donald A. Wollheim and John B. Michel. They were inspired to create FAPA by their memberships in some of the non-science fiction amateur press associations, which they learned about from H. P. Lovecraft.
Chalker's awards included the Daedalus Award (1983), The Gold Medal of the West Coast Review of Books (1984), Skylark Award (1980), and the Hamilton-Brackett Memorial Award (1979). He was a nominee for the John W. Campbell Award twice and for the Hugo Award twice. Chalker was posthumously awarded the Phoenix Award by the Southern Fandom Confederation on April 9, 2005.
In Greek mythology, Daedalus was a skillful craftsman and artist, and was seen as a symbol of wisdom, knowledge, and power. He is the father of Icarus, the uncle of Perdix, and possibly also the father of Iapyx, although this is unclear. He invented and built the labyrinth for king Minos of Crete, but shortly after finishing it king Minos had Daedalus imprisoned within the labyrinth. He and his son Icarus devised a plan to escape by using wings made of wax that Daedalus had invented. They escaped, but sadly Icarus did not heed his father's warnings and flew too close to the sun. The wax melted and Icarus fell to his death. This left Daedalus heartbroken, but instead of giving up he flew to the island of Sicily.
The Hugo Awards are a set of literary awards given annually for the best science fiction or fantasy works and achievements of the previous year. The awards are named after Hugo Gernsback, the founder of the pioneering science fiction magazine Amazing Stories. Organized and overseen by the World Science Fiction Society, the awards are given each year at the annual World Science Fiction Convention as the central focus of the event. They were first given in 1953 at the 11th World Science Fiction Convention, and have been awarded every year since 1955. Over the years that the award has been given, the categories presented have changed; currently the award is given in more than a dozen categories and includes both written and dramatic works of various types. The Hugos are widely considered the premier award in science fiction.
The Phoenix Award is a lifetime achievement award for a science fiction professional "who has done a great deal for Southern Fandom." The Phoenix is given annually by DeepSouthCon, a bidded convention held in different states of the former Confederacy.
Chalker was a three-term treasurer of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. Chalker was also the co-author (with Mark Owings) of The Science Fantasy Publishers (third edition during 1991, updated annually), published by Mirage Press, Ltd, a bibliographic guide to genre small press publishers which was a Hugo Award nominee during 1992. The Maryland Young Writers Contest, sponsored by the Baltimore Science Fiction Society, was renamed "'The Jack L. Chalker Young Writers Contest" effective April 8, 2006.
Chalker is best known for his Well World series of novels, but he also wrote many other novels (most, but not all, part of a series, or large novels which were split into 'series' by the publishers), and at least nine short stories.
Many of Chalker's works involve some physical transformation of the main characters. For instance, in the Well World novels, immigrants to the Well World are transformed from their original form to become a member of one of the 1,560 sentient species that inhabit that artificial planet. Another example would be that the Wonderland Gambit series resembles traditional Buddhist jataka-type reincarnation stories set in a science fiction environment. Steven Chalker announced that Wonderland Gambit might be made into a movie, but supposedly its close resemblance to The Matrix resulted in the project being canceled.
At the time of his death, Chalker left one unfinished novel, Chameleon. He was planning to write another novel, Ripsaw, after Chameleon.
On September 18, 2003, during Hurricane Isabel, Chalker passed out and was rushed to the hospital with a diagnosis of a coronary occlusion. He was later released, but was severely weakened. On December 6, 2004, he was again rushed to hospital with breathing problems and disorientation, and was diagnosed with congestive heart failure and a pneumothorax. Chalker was hospitalized in critical condition, then upgraded to stable condition on December 9, though he did not regain consciousness until December 15. After several more weeks in deteriorating condition and in a persistent vegetative state, with several transfers to different hospitals, Chalker died on February 11, 2005, of kidney failure and sepsis at Bon Secours Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland.
Some of Chalker's remains are interred in the family plot at Loudon Park Cemeteryin Baltimore. The remainder were distributed off a ferry near Hong Kong, the ferry between Hainan Island and the Chinese mainland, a ferry in Vietnam, White's Ferry on the Potomac River in Virginia on Father's Day 2007, and on author H. P. Lovecraft's grave in Providence, Rhode Island on December 17, 2005.
Besides the short stories included in Dance Band on the Titanic, Chalker wrote at least one other short story:
Howard Waldrop is a science fiction author who works primarily in short fiction.
Charles Sheffield was an English-born mathematician, physicist and science fiction writer who served as a President of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America and of the American Astronautical Society.
The John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer is an award given annually to the best new writer whose first professional work of science fiction or fantasy was published within the two previous calendar years. The prize is named in honor of science fiction editor and writer John W. Campbell, whose science fiction writing and role as editor of Analog Science Fiction and Fact made him one of the most influential editors in the early history of science fiction. The award is sponsored by Dell Magazines, which publishes Analog. The nomination and selection process is administered by the World Science Fiction Society (WSFS) represented by the current Worldcon committee, and the award is presented at the Hugo Award ceremony at the Worldcon, although it is not itself a Hugo Award. All nominees receive a pin, while the winner receives a plaque. Beginning in 2005, the award has also included a tiara; created at the behest of 2004 winner Jay Lake and 2005 winner Elizabeth Bear, the tiara is passed from each year's winner to the next.
Jack Carroll "Jay" Haldeman II was an American biologist and science-fiction writer. He was the older brother of SF writer and MIT writing professor Joe Haldeman.
Julian Clare May was an American science fiction, fantasy, horror, science and children's writer who also used several literary pseudonyms. She was best known for her Saga of Pliocene Exile and Galactic Milieu Series books.
Maps in a Mirror (1990) is a collection of short stories by American writer Orson Scott Card. Like Card's novels, most of the stories have a science fiction or fantasy theme. Some of the stories, such as "Ender's Game", "Lost Boys", and "Mikal's Songbird" were later expanded into novels. Each of the smaller volumes that make up the larger collection as a whole are centered on a theme or genre. For instance, Volume 1, The Changed Man, reprints several of Card's horror stories. The collection won the Locus Award in 1991.
The Four Lords of the Diamond is a series of four science fiction novels by author Jack L. Chalker. Each volume of the series primarily follows a duplicate of a government agent as he lands on his prison planet and begins to both investigate the menace to the civilized worlds and find his position in his new society. The duplicates realize the stagnancy and corruption of the Confederacy, the intergalactic government in the series, and question their position as tools of the hierarchy. As the series progresses, the primary agent experiences each of his counterparts' divergent experiences and begins to question his beliefs as well. Like much of Chalker's work, the series deals with the effects physical transformations have on a character's personality.
Plague Ship is a science fiction novel by Andrew North. It was published in 1956 by Gnome Press in an edition of 5,000 copies. The book is the second volume of the author's Solar Queen series.
The Moon Is Hell! is a collection of science fiction stories by American writer John W. Campbell, Jr.. It was published in 1950 by Fantasy Press in an edition of 4,206 copies. The title story deals with a team of scientists stranded on the Moon when their spacecraft crashes, and how they use their combined skills and knowledge to survive until rescue, including building shelter from meteor showers, and creating their own oxygen from Lunar rock. The second story, "The Elder Gods" Campbell rewrote, on a short deadline, from a story by Arthur J. Burks purchased for Unknown but later deemed unsatisfactory. It originally appeared in that magazine under the pseudonym Don A. Stuart. The title of the eponymous story is generally reported without the exclamation point, although the punctuation is used for the title of most editions of the collection itself.
Prime Press, Inc. was a science fiction and fantasy small press specialty publishing house founded in 1947. It published a number of interesting science fiction books in its brief four-year lifespan.
Murder in Millennium VI is a science fiction novel by author Curme Gray. It was published in 1951 by Shasta Publishers in an edition of 2,500 copies, and included in a Mystery Guild omnibus edition. The novel was the subject of an extensive analysis in Damon Knight's In Search of Wonder (1956). Paul Di Filippo favorably describes it as "utter futuristic strangeness unleavened by infodumps." Less sympathetically, Groff Conklin, reviewing the novel on its release, declared that "The style is opaque, the characters wooden. posturing empty, and unreal." P. Schuyler Miller reported that although the novel violated most of the standard conventions of the mystery story, and is "unfair to organized readers" who expect that all the information needed to resolve the mystery is presented in the story, the novel still creates "a growing fascination in the situation as it unravels -- or rather entangles itself -- which is rather effective."
Melisa Michaels is a science fiction and mystery author. Her novel Skirmish was nominated for a Locus Award for Best First Novel in 1986. An active member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA), she served on the Nebula Awards jury three times, in 1996, 1997 and 2002. In 2008, she received a SFWA Service Award.
Strange Worlds is a collection of science fiction by Ralph Milne Farley. Consisting of one novel and two shorter novellas, it was first published in 1953 by Fantasy Publishing Company, Inc. in an edition of 300 copies. The book is an omnibus of Farley's earlier books, The Radio Man and The Hidden Universe. The novel was originally serialized in the magazine Argosy and the novellas originally appeared in the magazine Amazing Stories.
Kull is a collection of Fantasy short stories by Robert E. Howard. It was first published in 1967 by Lancer Books under the title King Kull. This edition included three stories completed by Lin Carter from unfinished fragments and drafts by Howard. Later editions, retitled as Kull, replaced the stories with the uncompleted fragments. Two of the stories, and the poem, "The King and the Oak", originally appeared in the magazine Weird Tales.
Yellow Fog is a horror novel by Les Daniels. It was first published in 1986 by Donald M. Grant, Publisher, Inc. in an edition of 800 copies which were signed by the author and slipcased. The novel is part of the author's Don Sebastian series. An expanded edition was published by Tor Books in 1988 (ISBN 0-812-51675-3).
In a writing career spanning more than 60 years (1946–2008), American science fiction and fantasy author Philip José Farmer published almost 60 novels, over 100 short stories and novellas, two "fictional biographies", and numerous essays, articles and ephemera in fan publications.
The Well World series is a series of science fiction novels by Jack L. Chalker. It involves a planet-sized supercomputer known as the Well of Souls that builds our reality on top of an underlying one of greater complexity but smaller size. The computer was built by a now-extinct race, the Markovians, who developed the Well of Souls with the goal of creating a new species that would transcend their own.
Will Hubbell is an American author and illustrator. He began as an author and illustrator of children's picture books. Subsequently, he authored science fiction. More recently, he has authored fantasy novels under the pen name of Morgan Howell.
"...and some were human." is the first story collection by science fiction writer Lester del Rey, originally published in hardcover by Prime Press in 1948 in an edition of 3,050 copies if which 50 were specially bound, slipcased and signed by the author. The stories first appeared in Astounding and Unknown. An abridged paperback edition, including only eight of the twelve stories, was issued by Ballantine Books in 1961. A Spanish translation, reportedly dropping only one story, appeared in 1957.
List of the published work of Robert Silverberg, American science fiction author.