James Gunn, Prizewinning Science Fiction Author, Dies at 97
In 1949, when he was in his mid-20s and studying for his master’s degree in English, James E. Gunn presented a piece of science fiction for a pulp magazine. “One day, I got a letter saying, ‘I like your story” paradox, “and I’ll pay you $ 80 for it,” “he recalled in a 2008 interview.” My wife says it’s probably in our The most transformative experience in life was when we realized that someone would actually pay me to sit in front of my Mewine Writer. “
He was particularly proud of this plot – about a drunken butts abducted by telepathic aliens who, once they read their minds, abandon their plans to enslave humanity.
Decades later, he attended Sam Merwin Jr., who had purchased “Fidox” as a publisher, at a science fiction writers’ conference. He said, “You probably don’t remember, but you bought my first story.”
“Mervyn said, ‘I can tell you why,” “Mr. Gunn continues,” and I thought,’ Gee, it all stuck in his mind at the moment. ‘Then Mervyn revealed,’ It was because all the literate people came out of the pile of slush. ‘
“So,” he said, “you never want to be happy with yourself.”
But Mr. Gun was embarrassed when his first two stories were published that he made his career in science fiction. He edited 10 anthologies of science fiction and wrote 30 books, including his last novel, “Transformation”, in 2017, and some 100 short stories, one of which he presented shortly before he died in Lawrence, Cannes, on December 23. . He was 97.
His death, which was not widely reported, was announced by the University of Kansas, where he taught and founded his first English class in 1955 Gun center for the study of science fiction In 1982.
Mr. Gann’s 1962 story “The Immortals”, about those who discover the secret of eternal life, The ABC-TV film, “The Amar” was adapted in 1969 and a series in the 1970–71 season. His novels include “The Audience” (1972), described by Carl Sagan as “one of the best fictional depictions of contact with supernatural intelligence ever written”, and which research Encouragement was credited. SETI Institute In search of life beyond the earth.
Mr. Gunn was named a grand master of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America in 2007 and inducted into the Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame in 2015. He earned the Hugo Award for his critical study “Isaac Asimov: The Foundation”. Edited Science Fiction “(1983) and” The New Encyclopedia of Science Fiction “(1988).
Despite the encouragement provided by that first salary, Mr. Gunn said In an interview with the University of Kansas in 2017, “I have often made the point that writing is really hard work.”
“A lot of times,” he said, “I’m sitting in front of my typewriter or computer and felt like I’m actually digging the lawn, doing manual labor, trying to get ideas out of my head. But It also feels like I was cut off to sit there and convert concepts into language that is appropriate. ”
“I told people,” he said, “I feel like I earn my place on earth every day when I’m able to create something that wasn’t there before, and in return, some of these things enter the stories Let’s impress people. “
James Edwin Gun was born on July 12, 1923 in Kansas City, Mo. In, Jessie and Elsie Mae (Hutchison) were married to Gunn. His father was a printer, two uncles were pressmen, a third was a proofreader, and his grandfather was an editor who was listed in “Replace Believe It or Not” as a mason’s representative in every county in the country.
As a child, James devoured fairy tales and Tarzan novels. He was inspired to write science fiction as a teenager after attending a speech by HG Wells.
He served in the Navy during World War II and served as a Japanese interpreter after the war, then received a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Kansas in 1947 and a master’s degree in creative writing in 1951.
In 1947, she married Jane Francis Anderson; He died in 2012. He is survived by his son Kevin. Another son, Christopher, died in 2005.
Mr. Gunn told the new York Times In 2011, science fiction can accelerate the future by promoting the imagination of young minds. But he also acknowledged that as Arthur c. “The future is not what it used to be,” Clarke said.
“The work of a science fiction writer makes science and technology more difficult, capturing the imagination of science and fiction, and as old crops deteriorate,” he said. Electric imagery Magazine in 2007.
But science fiction and fantasy healing can provide escapism, he often said, while truth may prove stranger.
“Certainly anything as imaginative (or painful) as contact with other intelligence would be imaginative,” he said in that interview, “and how we respond to it determines humanity’s fate and perhaps its transit Will do. “
“So, he said,” it represents an important moment – maybe Critical moment – in the long history of humanity, and allows us to consider it before it happens (if it does). “