James E. Gunn (writer)

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James E. Gunn
James Gunn writer.jpg
Gunn in 2005
BornJames Edwin Gunn
(1923-07-12) July 12, 1923 (age 95)
Kansas City, Missouri, USA
Pen nameEdwin James [1]
OccupationProfessor of English, critic, fiction writer
LanguageEnglish
NationalityAmerican
EducationB.S., Journalism; M.A., English
Alma mater University of Kansas
Period1948–present
GenreScience fiction
SubjectIsaac Asimov, history of science fiction
Notable works
Notable awards (below)
Gunn's novelette "Powder Keg" was the cover story for the April 1958 issue of If If 195804.jpg
Gunn's novelette "Powder Keg" was the cover story for the April 1958 issue of If

James Edwin Gunn (born July 12, 1923) is an American science fiction writer, editor, scholar, and anthologist. His work as an editor of anthologies includes the six-volume Road to Science Fiction series. He won the Hugo Award for "Best Related Work" in 1983 and he has won or been nominated for several other awards for his non-fiction works in the field of science fiction studies. [3] The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America made him its 24th Grand Master in 2007 [4] and he was inducted by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame in 2015. [5] [6] His novel The Immortals was adapted into a 1969-71 TV series starring Christopher George. [2]

The Road to Science Fiction is a series of science fiction anthologies edited by American science fiction author, scholar and editor James Gunn. Composed as a textbook set to teach the evolution of science fiction literature, the series is now available as mass market publications.

Hugo Award Literary awards for science fiction or fantasy

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, and were officially named the Science Fiction Achievement Awards until 1992. 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 Hugo Awards are given in more than a dozen categories, and include both written and dramatic works of various types.

The Hugo Awards are given every year by the World Science Fiction Society for the best science fiction or fantasy works and achievements of the previous year. The award is named after Hugo Gernsback, the founder of the pioneering science fiction magazine Amazing Stories, and was once officially known as the Science Fiction Achievement Award. The award has been described as "a fine showcase for speculative fiction" and "the best known literary award for science fiction writing". The Hugo Award for Best Related Work is given each year for primarily non-fiction works related to science fiction or fantasy, published or translated into English during the previous calendar year. Awards are also given out for works of fiction in the novel, novella, novelette, and short story categories.

Contents

Gunn is a professor emeritus of English, and the founding director of the Center for the Study of Science Fiction, both at the University of Kansas. [7] [8]

Emeritus, in its current usage, is an adjective used to designate a retired professor, pastor, bishop, pope, director, president, prime minister, rabbi, or other person.

The Center for the Study of Science Fiction is an endowed educational institution associated with the University of Kansas in Lawrence, KS, that emerged from the science-fiction (SF) programs that James Gunn created at the University beginning in 1968. The Center was formally established through an endowment in 1982 as a focus for courses, workshops, lectures, student and international awards, a conference, fan groups, and other SF-related programs at the University of Kansas.

University of Kansas public research university in Kansas, United States

The University of Kansas, also referred to as KU, is a public research university with its main campus in Lawrence, Kansas, and several satellite campuses, research and educational centers, medical centers, and classes across the state of Kansas. Two branch campuses are in the Kansas City metropolitan area on the Kansas side: the university's medical school and hospital in Kansas City, the Edwards Campus in Overland Park, and a hospital and research center in the state's capital of Topeka. There are also educational and research sites in Garden City, Hays, Leavenworth, Parsons, and Topeka, and branches of the medical school in Salina and Wichita. The university is one of the 62 members of the Association of American Universities.

Biography

Gunn comes from a publishing family; his father was a printer, two uncles were pressmen, a third a proofreader, and a grandfather was a newspaper editor. Born on 12 July 1923, Gunn served for three years in the U.S. Navy during World War II. He attended the University of Kansas, earning a Bachelor of Science in Journalism in 1947 and a Masters of Arts in English from Northwestern University in 1951. [9]

World War II 1939–1945 global war

World War II, also known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from over 30 countries. The major participants threw their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 50 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China. It included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, and the only use of nuclear weapons in war.

Northwestern University Private research university in Illinois, United States

Northwestern University (NU) is a private research university based in Evanston, Illinois, United States, with other campuses located in Chicago and Doha, Qatar, and academic programs and facilities in Miami, Florida; Washington, D.C.; and San Francisco, California. Along with its undergraduate programs, Northwestern is known for its Kellogg School of Management, Pritzker School of Law, Feinberg School of Medicine, Bienen School of Music, Medill School of Journalism, and McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science.

By 1958 Gunn was managing editor of University of Kansas Alumni Publications. [9] He became a faculty member of the university, where he served as the director of public relations and as a Professor of English, specializing in science fiction and fiction writing. He is now a professor emeritus and director of the Center for the Study of Science Fiction, which awards the annual John W. Campbell Memorial Award for best novel and the Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award at the Campbell Conference in Lawrence, Kansas, every summer.

Science fiction Genre of speculative fiction

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.

Lawrence, Kansas City and County seat in Kansas, United States

Lawrence is the county seat of Douglas County and sixth-largest city in Kansas. It is located in the northeastern sector of the state, astride Interstate 70, between the Kansas and Wakarusa Rivers. As of the 2010 census, the city's population was 87,643. Lawrence is a college town and the home to both the University of Kansas and Haskell Indian Nations University.

He served as President of the Science Fiction Writers of America [10] from 1971–1972 and was President of the Science Fiction Research Association from 1980–1982. SFWA honored him as a Grand Master of Science Fiction in 2007. [11]

The Science Fiction Research Association (SFRA), founded in 1970, is the oldest, non-profit professional organization committed to encouraging, facilitating, and rewarding the study of science fiction and fantasy literature, film, and other media. The organization’s international membership includes academically affiliated scholars, librarians, and archivists, as well as authors, editors, publishers, and readers. In addition to its facilitating the exchange of ideas within a network of science fiction and fantasy experts, SFRA holds an annual conference for the critical discussion of science fiction and fantasy where it confers a number of awards, and it produces the quarterly publication, SFRA Review, which features reviews, review essays, articles, interviews, and professional announcements.

The Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master Award is a lifetime honor presented annually by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) to no more than one living writer of fantasy or science fiction. It was inaugurated in 1975 when Robert Heinlein was made the first SFWA Grand Master and it was renamed in 2002 after the Association's founder, Damon Knight, who had died that year.

On June 12, 2015, Locus announced the selection of Gunn and four others for induction into the Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame, along with "a 'lightning-fast' fundraiser to cover [Gunn's] travel expenses so he can attend the June 27, 2015 induction ceremony in Seattle". [5] [6]

Writing

Gunn became a professional writer in 1947 when he wrote a play produced by the University of Kansas, then wrote newspaper articles and radio scripts. [9] He began his career as a science fiction writer in 1949, making his first short story sale to Thrilling Wonder Stories . [11] He has had almost 100 stories published in magazines and anthologies and has written 28 books and edited 10. Many of his stories and books have been reprinted around the world. [8]

In 1948 Gunn wrote his first science fiction, ten short stories, and published nine from 1949 to 1952 as "Edwin James", a pseudonym derived from his full name. [9] [8] The first two in print, "Communication" and "Paradox" (the first sale), were published in September and October 1949 by editor Sam Merwin in Startling Stories and Thrilling Wonder Stories. [1] Gunn's master's thesis, a critical analysis of the genre, was also published in a professional magazine. [9] His novels were first published by Gnome Press in 1955, Star Bridge, written by Gunn and Jack Williamson, and This Fortress World. [1]

Scribner's published Gunn's novel The Listeners in 1972 [12] and it was runner-up for the first annual John W. Campbell Memorial Award for Best Science Fiction Novel. [3] Carl Sagan called it "one of the very best fictional portrayals of contact with extraterrestrial intelligence ever written."[ citation needed ] According to the publisher of a 2004 edition, "this book predicted and inspired the creation of the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI)—the organization dedicated to the search for extraterrestrial life." [13]

In 1996, Gunn wrote a Star Trek novel that was a novelization of "The Joy Machine", an unproduced episode of Star Trek scripted by Theodore Sturgeon. [14] [ citation needed ][ clarification needed ]

Adaptations

His stories also have been adapted into radioplays and teleplays.

Selected works

Fiction

Nonfiction

Anthologies

Gunn's other anthologies include The Road to Science Fiction , six volumes 1977 to 1998. The first four volumes, published by Mentor New American Library from 1977 to 1982, are organized chronologically and cover Gilgamesh to 1981 or "Forever" (volume 4, From Here to Forever). The last two volumes, published by White Wolf, Inc. in 1998, feature "The British Way" and "Around the World". [1]

Awards

Gunn's 1972 novel The Listeners was runner-up for the 1973 Campbell Memorial Award. [3]

See also

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References

  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 James E. Gunn at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database (ISFDB). Retrieved 2013-04-05. Select a title to see its linked publication history and general information. Select a particular edition (title) for more data at that level, such as a front cover image or linked contents.
  2. 1 2 "Fiction Book Review: The Immortals by James Gunn, Author Pocket Books $21.95 (320p) ISBN 978-0-671-53486-8". PublishersWeekly.com. Retrieved April 27, 2019.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 "Gunn, James". The Locus Index to SF Awards: Index of Literary Nominees. Locus Publications (locusmag.com). Archived from the original on October 16, 2012. Retrieved April 5, 2013.
  4. 1 2 "Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master". Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (sfwa.org). Archived from the original on March 8, 2013. Retrieved April 5, 2013.
  5. 1 2 3 "2015 SF&F Hall of Fame Inductees & James Gunn Fundraiser". June 12, 2015. Locus Science Fiction Foundation. Retrieved 2015-07-16.
  6. 1 2 3 "James Gunn: The "triple threat": author, scholar, and teacher of science fiction". Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame. EMP Museum (empmuseum.org). Retrieved 2015-09-10.
  7. "James Gunn: CSSF Founding Director". Gunn Center for the Study of Science Fiction (CSSF); University of Kansas (sfcenter.ku.edu). Updated December 2, 2014. Retrieved 2015-07-17.
  8. 1 2 3 4 Niccum, Jon (April 11, 2008). "Top Gunn: Renowned science fiction author finds fresh ways to cultivate genre". Lawrence Journal-World . Lawrence, KS. Retrieved August 17, 2013.
  9. 1 2 3 4 5 "Editor's Report". If (editorial). June 1958. pp. 3–5.
  10. The End of the Dreams, Charles Scribner's Sons, New York, Book Club Edition, 1975 (jacket cover).
  11. 1 2 3 Burnes, Brian (August 16, 2013). "For James Gunn, science-fiction's golden age has lasted eight decades". The Kansas City Star . Kansas City, MO: The McClatchy Company. Archived from the original on August 21, 2013. Retrieved August 17, 2013.
  12. 1 2 "The listeners" (first edition). LC Online Catalog; Library of Congress (catalog.loc.gov). Retrieved 2015-07-16.
  13. 1 2 "The listeners" (1st BenBella Books ed., 2004). LC Online Catalog. Retrieved 2015-07-16. With linked publisher description.
  14. [ dead link ]
  15. (in Russian) State Fund of Television and Radio Programs Archived September 27, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  16. The Listeners (first edition) publication contents at ISFDB. Retrieved 2015-07-16.
  17. 1 2 "Isaac Asimov Novel Wins a Hugo Award". The New York Times. Associated Press. September 6, 1983. Retrieved March 29, 2010.
  18. "The Long List of Hugo Awards, 1976". New England Science Fiction Association (nesfa.org). 1976. Retrieved August 17, 2013.

Sources