J. Neil Schulman (1953-2019)

Author J. Neil Schulman, 66, died August 11, 2019 in Colorado Springs CO. He suffered a pulmonary embolism three days earlier and never regained consciousness. Schulman’s work was particularly influential in the field of Libertarian SF. His first novel Alongside Night (1979) was a finalist for the Libertarian Futurist Society’s Prometheus Award, and in 1989 it won their Hall of Fame Award. The Rainbow Cadenza: A Novel in Logosata Form (1983) won a Prometheus Award for best novel, and Escape from Heaven (2002) and The Fractal Man (2018) were both finalists. Some of his short work was collected in Nasty, Brutish and Short Stories (1999).

Joseph Neil Schulman was born April 16, 1953 in Forest Hills NY, and grew up in New York City, New Orleans, and Massachusetts. He briefly attended City University of New York before dropping out to become a freelance writer, selling articles to The New York Times Book Review, Reader’s Digest, National Review, and other publications. He married Kate O’Neal in 1985, and they split their time between Southern California and New York. Their daughter was born in 1991, and they divorced a year later. Schulman worked as an agent, editor, teacher, and in radio and television, and also founded publishing companies, where he was an early proponent of ebooks.

Schulman first rose to prominence in SF fandom after conducting an extensive interview with Robert A. Heinlein, published in 1973 and later made the centerpiece of Schulman’s book The Robert Heinlein Interview and Other Heinleiniana (1990). Other non-fiction includes Stopping Power: Why 70 Million Americans Own Guns (1994) and Self Control, Not Gun Control (1995). In addition to prose writing, he also wrote The Twilight Zone episode “Profile in Silver” (1986), and wrote and directed films Lady Magdelane’s (2008) and Alongside Night (2014). Some of his scripts, and essays about his experiences in the industry, were collected in Profile in Silver and Other Screenwritings (1999).

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

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