Wolfgang Jeschke (1936-2015)

Editor and author Wolfgang Jeschke, 78, died June 10, 2015 in Munich, Germany. Jeschke was an award-winning editor of SF novels and anthologies, as well as an author. He is credited with leading German SF publisher Heyne Verlag to great success beginning in the late ’70s.

Jeschke was born November 19, 1936 in Tetschen, Czechoslovakia (now Děčín, Czech Republic) and grew up in Asperg near Ludwigsburg, West Germany. He studied at Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich and began working as an editor. In 1973 he joined Heyne Verlag, convincing them to change their policy of cutting longer novels to fit established limits on length and price. Under Jeshcke’s leadership, Heyne published more novels, brought important SF works into translation, and became the leading SF publisher in the country. He retired from Heyne in 2002. Jeschke edited over 100 anthologies, notably the Science Fiction Jahrbuch (Science Fiction Yearbook) series with Sascha Mamczak.

Jeschke published “Die Anderen” (“The Others”), his first SF piece, in 1959. First novel Der Letzte Tag der Schöpfung (1981) was translated as The Last Day of Creation (1982), and was followed by Midas oder die Auferstehung des Fleisches (1989; translated as Midas, 1990), Meamones Auge (1994), Das Cusanus-Spiel (2005, a finalist for the John. W. Campbell Memorial Award when translated as The Cusanus Game in 2013), and Dschiheads (2013). He also wrote short fiction, including “Land of Osiris” translated in Asimov’s (1985), and non-fiction pieces.

Jeschke received many German SF awards, was a Guest of Honor at ConFiction, the 1990 Worldcon in the Hague, and was inducted into the European Science Fiction Society’s Hall of Fame in 2014.