Van Gelder, Gordon 1966–
VAN GELDER, Gordon 1966–
(Gordon Mark Van Gelder)
Born September 8, 1966, in New York, NY; son of Richard G. (a museum curator) and Rosalind Van Gelder; married Barbara J. Norton (an editor), September 13, 1996; children: Zoe T. Education: Princeton University, A.B., 1988.
St. Martin's Press, New York, NY, book editor, 1988-2000; New York Review of Science Fiction, New York, NY, editor, 1988-94; Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Hoboken, NJ, editor, 1997—, publisher, 2000—.
Science Fiction Writers of America.
World Fantasy Special Award, professional category, 2000, 2003.
(Editor, with Edward L. Ferman) The Best from Fantasy and Science Fiction: The Fiftieth Anniversary Anthology, Tom Doherty Associates (New York, NY), 1999.
(Editor) One Lamp: Alternate History Stories from the Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Four Walls Eight Windows (New York, NY), 2003.
(Editor) In Lands that Never Were, Thunder's Mouth Press (New York, NY), 2004.
(Editor) Fourth Planet from the Sun: Tales of Mars from the Magazine Fantasy and Science Fiction, Thunder's Mouth Press (New York, NY), 2005.
Contributor of short fiction to anthologies, including 100 Great Fantasy Short Short Stories, Doubleday, 1984; Swashbuckling Editor Stories, Wildside Press, 1993; Young Blood, Zebra, 1994; and Bruce Coville's Book of Spine Tinglers, Scholastic Inc. (New York, NY), 1996. Contributor to New York Review of Science Fiction.
As an editor at St. Martin's Press from 1988 to 2000, Gordon Van Gelder worked with such notable science-fiction and fantasy authors as Bradley Denton, George Pelecanos, Geoff Ryman, Kate Wilhelm, and William Browning Spencer. Among his last projects for the publisher were new novels by Jack Cady and Rachel Pollack. From 1988 to 1994, Van Gelder was an editor of the New York Review of Science Fiction. In 1997 he assumed another position of importance in science-fiction publishing when he became editor of the prestigious Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction. With its former publisher Edward L. Ferman, Van Gelder edited the magazine's well-received compilation volume, The Best from Fantasy and Science Fiction: The Fiftieth Anniversary Anthology, published in 1999. The book includes twenty-one pieces from such science fiction luminaries as Ursula K. Le Guin, Ray Bradbury, and Gene Wolfe as well as up-and-coming talents Paul Di Filippo and Esther Friesner. Critics praised the volume as representative of the consistently excellent material for which the magazine has developed a reputation. For many years the Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction has been, according to Booklist reviewer Roland Green, "a leader in expanding the terrain of speculative fiction." Based on Van Gelder's book, "it intends to continue in this role." A contributor to Kirkus Reviews called The Best from Fantasy and Science Fiction "eloquent, scintillating, often sublime."
In an interview with Jayme Lynn Blaschke on the Green Man Review Web site, Van Gelder expressed enthusiasm for the future of the genre, though he complained: "I'm seeing a lot of SF that grows out of other SF and not out of life. … a lot of books and stories seem to be written in response to other works of science fiction, and I'm not seeing much SF that has the feel of someone trying to make sense out of life itself." He noted that space adventure and "hard SF" appear to be poised for a renaissance, but added that trends in the genre are difficult to predict. Van Gelder emphasized the satisfaction he receives from his editorial role. "A good story will connect with a reader, and editing is mostly about facilitating the connection between the writer and reader," he observed. "When I take something that connects with me, shape it, and then publish it so it connects with readers … well, I love the buzz that comes from knowing I've gotten through to someone that way."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, October 1, 1999, Roland Green, review of The Best from Fantasy and Science Fiction: The Fiftieth Anniversary Anthology, p. 347.
Kirkus Reviews, September 1, 1999, review of The Best from Fantasy and Science Fiction
Locus, April, 2004, interview of Van Gelder.
Publishers Weekly, September 13, 1999, review of The Best from Fantasy and Science Fiction, p. 65.
CNN-Review,http://www.cnn.com/ (March 13, 2001), L.D. Meagher, review of The Best from Fantasy and Science Fiction: The Fiftieth Anniversary Anthology.
Green Man Review Online,http://www.greenmanreview.com/ (April, 1999), interview by Jayme Lynn Blaschke.
Internet Review of Science Fiction,http://www.irosf.com/ (April, 2004), interview by Ken Rand.
Science Fiction Book Reviews,http://www.scifi.com/ (March 13, 2001), Clinton Lawrence, review of The Best from Fantasy and Science Fiction.
Science Fiction Canada,http://www.sfcanada.ca/ (winter, 2006), interview by Celu Amberstone.
Specific World Web site, http://www.specificworld.com/ (November 5, 2006), interview by Lynne Jamneck.
Strange Horizons,http://www.strangehorizons.com/ (May 12, 2003), interview by Richard Brignall.