Saturday, November 11, 2006

Jack Williamson

The second book I have any real memory of reading was Mr. Williamson's The Humanoids. I had just read the first, Isaac Asimov's David Starr, Space Ranger, and the one/two punch of these books made me, at age 9, a lifelong passionate reader of science fiction . I had the privilege of meeting Mr. Williamson several times. At the 1989 World Science Fiction Convention in Boston I had a long conversation with him and was able to express my enormous gratitude for what his writing had meant to me.

He was a man of great high plains charm, soft spoken, gentle and above all surpassingly intelligent. Go find his books. They are too.

Update: Betty Williamson said her uncle would often say "I have lived a wonderful life, and I will die with no regrets."

Update: Obits:
The LA Times

Clovis News Journal
from Locus:
SF Grand Master Jack Williamson, born 1908, died this afternoon at his home in Portales, New Mexico, at the age of 98. His first published story was "The Metal Man" in Amazing Stories in 1928, the beginning of a writing career that spanned nine decades. His work ranged from early space opera series The Legion of Space (beginning 1934), werewolf SF/fantasy Darker Than You Think (1940), thoughtful SF classic The Humanoids (1948), Golden Age antimatter tale Seetee Ship (1951 as by Will Stewart), and time travel series Legion of Time (1952). Later works included Hugo and Nebula Award winning novella "The Ultimate Earth" (2000) and its novel expansion Terraforming Earth (2001), winner of the John W. Campbell Memorial Award. He won a Hugo Award in 1985 for autobiography Wonder's Child, and his career honors include a Pilgrim Award for his nonfiction work including H.G. Wells: Critic of Progress (1973), SFWA's 2nd Grand Master Award in 1976, Life Achievement World Fantasy and Bram Stoker awards, induction in the SF Hall of Fame in 1996, and Grandmaster of the World Horror Convention in 2004. The Jack Williamson Science Fiction Library was established in 1982 at Eastern New Mexico University, which for 30 years has hosted an annual Lectureship in honor of the writer. Williamson's last novel was The Stonehenge Gate (2005).


Kolchak said...

Ah, hell...As I understand it, Williamson's life practically encapsulates science fiction, since he supposedly arrived in New Mexico at age 3 in a covered wagon. Do you know whether that's true or not?

handdrummer said...

It was age 7. Close enough for government work...