Robert N. Stephenson (1961-2019)

Editor and author Robert N. Stephenson, 57, died August 14, 2019. Stephenson wrote SF and mystery, edited magazine Altair, and was publisher of Altair Publishing/Altair Australia Books.

Stephenson was born September 17, 1961 in Adelaide, South Australia. His first book, poetry collection Garments of Rainbow, appeared in 1992, and his first story, “Who’ll Stop the Rain”, in 1998. He went on to publish around 50 stories, notably Aurora Award winner “Rains of la Strange” (2012). Some of his short work was collected in We Would Be Heroes (2004), The Clever Nature of Wool (2019), The Mess in My Head (2019), To an Untrained Mind (2019), and Blue Reasoning and other lesser tales (2019). Novel Life Light appeared in 2015, and Vanishing Light in 2018. He wrote Do You Want to Live Forever? as R.N. Stephenson (2019), and his non-fiction includes writing guide The Writing Soldier (2015).

He launched SF magazine Altair in 1998, and published six issues (the last a double issue) before closing in 2000. After that, he focused on publishing books through Altair Publishing, renamed Altair Australia Books in 2004; Altair Australia was also a literary agency. He edited various anthologies, including Zombies (2007) and four volumes of The Worlds of Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror series (2016-19).

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3 thoughts on “Robert N. Stephenson (1961-2019)

  • August 17, 2019 at 2:59 am

    Such a sad loss is Robert’s passing. He was a wonderful man, a passionate and gifted writer, a dedicated father and husband, and the best writing trainer to me (when I was a student studying). Like so many others, our love of writing is how I knew Robert. Robert brought joy to so many readers with his unique stories. He worked tirelessly on anthologies like The Worlds of Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror series. But mostly, Robert loved his family, they were his world and that was plain to see for all who knew him.

    Robert will be missed by so many. He will be remembered also for his flamboyant outfits, quirky and entertaining chats and messages, his inspiration to others and that outrageous smile. The world has indeed lost a beautiful person, so write-on up there Robert, show Heaven your stunning stories and give that gorgeous Bob a hug from all us.

    My heart goes out to Robert’s family, as this is a tragic loss and a very sad time.

    The world seems so quiet without you. Put your legs up, read and rest.


  • August 17, 2019 at 6:29 am

    Incorrect dates on the headline.

  • October 16, 2019 at 7:45 am

    I am so sad to find out this terrible news. I had submitted a story to his anthology but his website was gone, and then I found this. My condolences to his family and loved ones, he’s so young. Rest in peace Robert. 🙁


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