John Jos. Miller (1954-2022)

Author John Jos. Miller, 67, died January 5, 2022 at his home in Albuquerque NM. Miller was best known for his work in the long-running (since 1987) Wild Cards shared-universe series of original anthologies and novels, edited by George R.R. Martin.

John Joseph Miller (who wrote as John Miller, John J. Miller and John Jos. Miller) was born March 28, 1954 in central New York. He started reading the works of Edgar Rice Burroughs in his childhood and soon became a dedicated fan of science fiction, comic books, and movies.

He attended the State University of New York, graduating in 1976 with a BA in anthropology. He then moved to Albuquerque to pursue a graduate degree in archaeology at the University of New Mexico and worked as a field archaeologist in England, New York, Colorado and New Mexico. He met his wife Gail Gerstner-Miller on a New York archaeological project in 1977, and they were married the following year.

While early attempts at publishing SF stories of his own were met with a succession of failures, Miller continued writing while in graduate school and finally had a story published in 1980. In 1981, he had a poem published in Nyctalops #16, a Cthulhu Mythos fanzine edited by artist Harry O. Morris.

He was a founding member of the Wild Cards Consortium, contributing to 20 volumes of the series. In “Comes a Hunter” in Wild Cards 1 (1987) he introduced iconic characters Daniel “Yeoman” Brennan and Chrysalis. In Joker Moon: Wild Cards 29 (2021), Miller was responsible for finishing and revising Victor Milan’s story, “Fatal Error”. Dead Man’s Hand: Wild Cards 7 (1990), was co-written with George R.R. Martin. Death Draws Five: Wild Cards 17 (2006) was released by iBooks about a week before the company closed down, and only a few hundred copies were distributed. It was reissued by Tor Books in November 2021.

Other works include First Power Play: Buck Rogers Inner Planets Trilogy Book 1 (1990); Dinosaur Samurai: Ray Bradbury Presents Book 3 (1993) and Dinosaur Empire: Ray Bradbury Presents Book 5 (1995), both co-written with Stephen Leigh; Witchblade: A Terrible Beauty (2002); Shades of Night, Falling: The Twilight Zone Book 1 (2003); and forthcoming graphic novel Wild Cards: Ante Up!, co-written with Kevin Andrew Murphy. Under the pseudonym of Jack Arnett, he wrote Death Force: Books of Justice Volume 3 (1990).

He contributed short fiction to several anthologies and magazines, His final story, Don’t Look Back”, was about Negro league pitcher and Hall of Famer Satchel Paige in DreamForge #9 (2022). Miller also wrote comics, including an adaptation of George R.R. Martin’s In the House of the Worm (2014).

Miller published non-fiction and essays on book collecting, tropical fish, baseball, roleplaying games, and other topics, plus Wild Cards books Mutants & Masterminds: Wild Cards (2008) and Mutants & Masterminds: Wild Cards — Aces and Jokers (2010).

Miller served as secretary of the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America from 1996-1998. He also was a Fellow of the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR), and an authority on America’s Negro league baseball of the 20th century. He was also a longtime fan of the New York Mets baseball team.

Miller is survived by his wife, Gail Gerstner-Miller, various in-laws, and many Wild Cards friends and authors.

—Craig W. Chrissinger

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