Steven Utley (1948-2013)

SF writer Steven Utley, 64, died January 12, 2013 just weeks after a cancer diagnosis.

Utley began publishing with “The Unkindest Cut of All” in 1972, and is best known for ambitious short stories like Nebula Award finalist “Custer’s Last Jump” (1976) and “Black as the Pit, from Pole to Pole” (1977), both in collaboration with Howard Waldrop. Utley’s popular Silurian Tales series of stories began with “There and Then” in 1993, and some of them have been collected in The 400-Year-Itch (2012), with second volume Invisible Kingdoms forthcoming in 2013; the title story of the latter was a Sturgeon Memorial Award finalist in 2005. His short fiction has also been collected in Ghost Seas (1997), The Beasts of Love (2005), and time-travel collection Where or When (2006).

Utley was also an editor, with anthologies including Lone Star Universe: Speculative Fiction from Texas (1976, with George W. Proctor) and Passing for Human (2009, with Michael Bishop). Some of his poems were collected in This Impatient Ape (1998) and Career Moves of the Gods (2000).

Steven D. Utley was born November 10, 1948. In the ’70s he was a member of the Turkey City writers’ workshop in Austin TX, which also included Tom Reamy, Bruce Sterling, Lisa Tuttle, Howard Waldrop, and others.

On December 27, 2012 Utley was diagnosed with cancer in his intestines, lungs, and liver, along with a brain lesion. He sent a message to friends on January 7, 2012 explaining that he was losing his motor skills, and naming Jessica Reisman as his literary executor. He became comatose on January 12, 2013, and died later that night.

For more, see his entry at the Encyclopedia of Science Fiction.