David G. Hartwell (1941-2016)


Editor David G. Hartwell, 74, died January 20, 2016. He suffered head trauma in a fall, was hospitalized, and did not David G. Hartwell [FM] 2013smallrecover from a massive brain bleed. Hartwell was one of the genre’s most accomplished editors, and was equally known for his encyclopedic knowledge of the field and his memorable personal style.

David Geddes Hartwell was born July 10, 1941 in Salem MA. He attended Williams College, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in 1963, then went on to earn a master’s from Colgate University in 1965 and a doctorate in Comparative Medieval Literature from Columbia University in 1973. Hartwell married Patricia Lee Wolcott in 1969, and they had two children before divorcing in 1992. He married Kathryn Cramer in 1997, and they had two children.

Hartwell’s publishing career began in 1971 as a consulting SF editor for Signet. He joined Berkley in 1973, later rising to editor-in-chief of science fiction there. After moving to Pocket books in 1978, he launched the influential Timescape imprint, which ran until 1983. In 1985 he joined Arbor House (later merged into Avon/Morrow). He began working as a consulting editor for Tor Books in 1983, and became a full-time senior editor at Tor/Forge in 1995.

Hartwell edited thousands of SF books starting in the 1970s, and edited or co-edited over 40 anthologies, among them The Dark Descent (1987) and Foundations of Fear (1992), surveys of horror; Masterpieces of Fantasy & Enchantment (1988); The World Treasury of Science Fiction (1988); and The Science Fiction Century (1997). He co-edited numerous books with Kathryn Cramer, including The Ascent of Wonder (1994), The Hard SF Renaissance (2002), The Space Opera Renaissance (2006), and many volumes in the Year’s Best SF and Year’s Best Fantasy series. His non-fiction book Age of Wonders (1984) examined the history and culture of SF.

Hartwell published and edited literary journal The Little Magazine (1965-88) and was co-founder and reviews editor of of The New York Review of Science Fiction (1988), published by his own Dragon Press. He was also a bookseller.

He was nominated for Hugo Awards 41 times, with nominations for professional editing (long and short forms) and for the The New York Review of Science Fiction. He won for Professional Editor in 2006, and for Best Editor, Long Form in 2008 and 2009. He won the World Fantasy Award twice (both in 1988), the Milford Award for Life Achievement (1990), and the Skylark Award for his contributions to SF (2006). He taught at Harvard University, NYU, Clarion West, and Clarion South. He chaired the board of the directors of the World Fantasy Convention, and administered the Philip K. Dick Award with Gordon Van Gelder.

Hartwell lived in Pleasantville NY, and is survived by his wife and children.

See the February issue of Locus for a complete obituary. For more, see his entry in the Encyclopedia of Science Fiction.