Hartwell, David G(eddes) 1941-
HARTWELL, David G(eddes) 1941-
PERSONAL: Born July 10, 1941, in Salem, MA; son of Henry Geddes (an engineer) and Constance (a teacher; maiden name, Nash) Hartwell; married Patricia Lee Wolcott, August 30, 1969 (divorced, 1992); married Kathyrn Cramer (a writer), March 29, 1997; children: (first marriage) Alison, Geoffrey; (second marriage) Peter, Elizabeth. Education: Williams College, B.A., 1963; Colgate University, M.A. (with distinction), 1965; Columbia University, Ph.D. (comparative Medieval literature), 1975. Religion: Unitarian.
ADDRESSES: Home and Office—David G. Hartwell Inc., 153 Deerfield Lane, North Pleasantville, NY 10570-1430.
CAREER: Editor, publisher, and author. Science-fiction editor at publishing houses, including New American Library, New York, NY, 1971-73; G. P. Putnam & Sons, New York, NY, 1973-78, named editor-in-chief of Berkley Science Fiction, 1978; G. K. Hall & Co., New York, NY, 1975-86; and Tor Books, New York, NY, 1984-95, senior editor, 1995—. Director of science fiction at publishing houses, including Pocket Books/Simon & Schuster (Timescape), New York, NY, 1978-83; Arbor House, New York, NY, 1984-88; and William Morrow, New York, NY, 1988-91. Stevens Institute of Technology, instructor in modern and contemporary American fiction and science fiction, 1973-76; Clarion Science Fiction Writing Workshop, Seattle, WA, instructor, 1984, 1986, 1990; visiting professor of science-fiction and fantasy writing, Harvard University, 1987-93; visiting professor of horror literature, New York University, and chairman of Philip K. Dick Awards, both beginning 1993.
MEMBER: International Association for the Fantastic in the Arts, Modern Language Association, National Book Critics Circle, PEN American Center, Science Fiction Research Association, Council of Editors of Learned Journals.
AWARDS, HONORS: Invisible Little Man Award, Elves', Gnomes', and Little Men's Science Fiction, Chowder, and Marching Society, 1981, for contributions to science fiction; World Fantasy Award nominee, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1987, 1994, and winner, 1988 (two); Hugo Award nominee for best science fiction editor, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1998, and for best semi-professional magazine, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997; poll winner, Science Fiction Chronicle, 1984, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1995, for best science-fiction book editor; Gigamesh Award for best anthology, 1989, for The Dark Descent; Milford Award, J. Lloyd Eaton Conference, 1990, for lifetime achievement in science fiction.
Age of Wonders: Exploring the World of Science Fiction, Walker (New York, NY), 1984, revised edition, Tor (New York, NY), 1996.
editor of anthologies
(With L. W. Currey) The Battle of the Monsters, Gregg Press (Boston, MA), 1977.
(With Kathryn Cramer) Christmas Ghosts, Arbor House (New York, NY), 1987.
The Dark Descent, Tor (New York, NY), 1987, published in three volumes as The Color of Evil, The Medusa in the Shield, and The Fabulous Formless Darkness, Tor (New York, NY), 1991-92.
(With Kathryn Cramer) Spirits of Christmas, Wyn-wood Press (New York, NY), 1989.
(With Kathryn Cramer) Masterpieces of Fantasy and Enchantment, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 1988.
The World Treasury of Science Fiction, Little, Brown (Boston, MA), 1988.
Foundations of Fear, Tor (New York, NY), 1992, published in three volumes as Shadows of Fear, Visions of Fear, and Worlds of Fear, 1994.
Christmas Stars, Tor (New York, NY), 1992.
(With Kathryn Cramer) Masterpieces of Fantasy and Wonder, Literary Guild (New York, NY), 1989.
Christmas Forever, Tor (New York, NY), 1993.
The Screaming Skull: And Other Great American Ghost Stories, Tor (New York, NY), 1994, special edition, 1995.
Christmas Magic, Tor (New York, NY), 1994.
(With Glenn Grant) Northern Stars: The Anthology of Canadian Science Fiction, Tor (New York, NY), 1994.
(With Kathryn Cramer) The Ascent of Wonder: The Evolution of Hard SF, Tor (New York, NY), 1994.
Bodies of the Dead, Tor (New York, NY), 1995, special edition, 1996.
Year's Best Science Fiction, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 1996, 7th edition, 2002.
The Science Fiction Century, Book-of-the-Month Club (New York, NY), 1996.
David Drake, Lord of the Isles, Tor (New York, NY), 1997.
(With Damien Broderick) Centaurus: The Best of Australian Science Fiction, Tor (New York, NY), 1999.
(With Glenn Grant) Northern Suns, Tor (New York, NY), 1999.
The Twentieth Century's Greatest Hits: A "Top-40" List, Forge (New York, NY), 2000.
(With Kathryn Cramer) Year's Best Fantasy, Eos (New York, NY), 2001.
(With Kathryn Cramer) The Hard SF Renaissance, Tor (New York, NY), 2002.
Editor, Cosmos (magazine), 1977-78. Also contributor of essays and book reviews to periodicals, including Crawdaddy, Locus, Publishers Weekly, New York Review of Science Fiction, New York Times Book Review, and Top of the News. Contributor to Editors on Editing, Harper (New York, NY), 1985.
SIDELIGHTS: As a youngster growing up in Massachusetts, David G. Hartwell came from an academic background. His father was an engineer who "never read fiction for pleasure," as the author noted in an online interview with SFRevu, and his mother was a grade-school teacher. The young boy picked up his first science-fiction book in the fifth grade and never looked back. As an adult Hartwell has made his name as a leading authority on science-fiction and fantasy writing. An editor, author, college professor, and consultant, he is also an in-demand presenter at science-fiction conferences, conventions, and contests each year. In May of 1992, for example, Hartwell was a guest speaker for the Library of Congress, and in June of the same year he appeared before the American Library Association.
Hartwell's book Age of Wonders: Exploring the World of Science Fiction, first published in 1984 and revised by Tor Books in 1996, declares itself an "outsider's guidebook and road map through the world of science fiction." The book is a collection of essays that are divided into four sections: "The Source and Power of SF's Appeal," "Exploring the Worlds of SF," "Writers, Fans, Critics," and "The Future of SF." Covering a broad range of topics in Age of Wonders, Hartwell includes an analysis of the perfect age for introduction to science fiction—twelve years old—and a deliberation on the subjects of science fiction: the future, prophesies, and the unknown. He engages in a discussion of the value of science fiction and defends science-fiction literature against critics who disregard the genre. Hartwell also discourages readers from over-analyzing science fiction. Instead, he insists, reluctant readers should open their hearts and minds to the fantasy worlds created in sci-fi literature and simply enjoy the creative stories and images.
Hartwell's work as a science-fiction editor is considered unsurpassed, according to many critics. The sheer quantity of his editorial efforts is impressive, but he is also admired for his selectiveness. The anthologies arranged by Hartwell are praised for their sensitivity and their efforts to promote the genre by recognizing obscure works and popular stories that contain previously unrecognized science-fiction elements. In his New Yorker review of Hartwell's anthology The World Treasury of Science Fiction, John Updike complimented Hartwell on the book's selections and called its editor "a loving expert" of science fiction. Similar praise greeted his two books on Canadian sci-fi, Northern Stars and Northern Suns. Both anthologies, in the words of Booklist's Roberta Johnson, display "the extraordinary … voices in a country too often considered a large, empty space just above Michigan."
Reviewing the work of Hartwell and his work-and life-partner, Kathryn Cramer, in Year's Best Science Fiction, Volume 7, Gary Wolfe of Locus noted the pair's penchant for celebrating "the genre's capacity for playfulness." Wolfe pointed to such entries as "The Dog Said Bow-Wow," about talking dogs who work as smugglers. "In no sense is [such a story] a real candidate for one of the best SF stories of the year," said Wolfe, "but it helps give the collection a what-the-hell flavor that reinforces the simple old idea of SF as fun."
In his interview for SFRevu, Hartwell described his efforts in bringing such niche categories as hard—highly technical—science fiction to the fore. "We knew there was a big thing happening in the '90s," he told Ernest Lilley, "and it involved hard Science Fiction and Space Opera." According to the author, yet another category—alternate history—was developing at the same time. "One of the things about SF," Hartwell added, "is that nothing ever really goes away. Every different kind of science fiction from the [1930s] to the present has still been written all along." In the same interview, he labeled Robert A. Heinlein as "simply the most important [science fiction] writer ever."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Hartwell, David G., Age of Wonders, Walker (New York, NY), 1984, revised edition, Tor (New York, NY), 1996.
AB Bookman's Weekly, October 1, 1984, pp. 2156-2157.
Analog, August, 1985, p. 178; January, 1997, p. 147; May, 2003, Tom Easton, review of The Hard SF Renaissance, p. 136
Booklist, December 15, 1984, p. 553; January 1, 1988,p. 749; August, 1988, p. 1894; March 1, 1989,p. 1096; September 15, 1992, pp. 122, 133; October 1, 1993, p. 258; June 1, 1994, p. 1780; September 1, 1994, p. 28; October 15, 1996, p. 408; May 15, 1997, p. 1567; April 1, 1999, Roberta Johnson, review of Northern Suns, p. 1389; May 15, 2000, Roland Green, review of Year's Best Science Fiction, p. 1735; December 1, 2002, Roland Green, review of The Hard SF Renaissance, p. 651.
Book Report, March, 1992, p. 60.
Bookwatch, February 24, 1985, p. 12; November 24, 1985, p. 12; December 27, 1987, p. 8; August, 1989, p. 3; December 6, 1992, p. 1; March 27, 1994, p. 11; August, 1994, p. 12.
Canadian Literature, winter, 2000, review of Northern Suns, p. 180.
Christian Science Monitor, June 6, 1989, p. 13.
Fantasy Review, January, 1985, p. 34.
Kirkus Reviews, March 1, 1999, review of Northern Suns, p. 337; May 15, 1999, review of Centaurus: The Best of Australian Science Fiction, p. 760.
Kliatt, January, 1996, pp. 18-19.
Library Journal, January, 1985, p. 87; October 15, 1993, p. 93; November 15, 1996, p. 92; April 15, 1999, Jackie Cassada, review of Northern Suns, p. 149.
Locus, February, 1989, p. 19; October, 1991, p. 48; December, 1991, p. 53; February, 1992, p. 52; September, 1992, pp. 29, 31; October, 1992, p. 50; December, 1992, p. 52; December, 1993, pp. 17, 38, 52-53; June, 1994, pp. 19, 21; July, 1994,p. 58; August, 1994, p. 54, 68; June, 1999, review of Year's Best Science Fiction, p. 19; October, 1999, review of Centaurus, p. 17.
Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, April, 1985,p. 25; October, 1989, p. 21; May, 1998, review of The Science Fiction Century, p. 31; April, 2002, Robert Killheffer, review of Year's Best Science Fiction, p. 36.
Modern Fiction Studies, spring, 1986, p. 135.
Necrofile, spring, 1993, p. 10.
New Scientist, May 9, 1998, review of The Science Fiction Century, p. 50.
New Yorker, February 26, 1990, John Updike, review of The World Treasury of Science Fiction, pp. 126-130.
New York Times Book Review, March 10, 1985, p. 31.
Publishers Weekly, January 13, 1989, p. 78; August 17, 1992, p. 490; October 25, 1993, p. 49; May 9, 1994, p. 67; August 29, 1994, p. 65; October 14, 1996, p. 80; May 19, 1997, p. 71; March 22, 1999, review of Northern Suns, p. 75; June 21, 1999, review of Centaurus, p. 61.
Quill & Quire, April, 1999, review of Northern Suns, p. 20.
Science Fiction Chronicle, May, 1986, p. 36; February, 1988, p. 42; December, 1991, p. 34; January, 1992, p. 34; April, 1992, p. 28; October, 1992,p. 34; November, 1993, p. 47; August, 1994, p. 38; May, 1996, p. 61; April, 1998, review of The Science Fiction Century, p. 55; August, 1999, review of Centaurus, p. 45.
Science-Fiction Studies, March, 2000, Michael Levy, review of Centaurus, p. 124.
Voice Literary Supplement, November, 1988, p. 23.
Voice of Youth Advocates, August, 1985, p. 202; April, 1988, p. 22; April, 1989, p. 44; April, 1992, p. 45; August 1994, p. 158; April 1996, p. 44; February 1997, p. 356; April, 1998, review of Visions of Wonder, p. 15; December, 1998, review of Year's Best Science Fiction, p. 375.
Washington Post Book World, February 24, 1985, p. 8.
Wilson Library Bulletin, October 1989, pp. 112-113; February 1995, p. 75.
David G. Hartwell Web site,http://www.panix.com/ (March 10, 2003).
SFRevu,http://www.sfrevu.com/ (March 10, 2003), Ernest Lilley, "SFRevu Interview: David Hart-well."*