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SciFi and fantasy titan David G. Hartwell passes, aged 74

Influential editor and author put his stamp on dozens of classic novels and anthologies

Influential science fiction author and editor David G. Hartwell has died, aged 74.

Hartwell edited thousands of books and was nominated for the Hugo Award 41 times. He spent the last 30-plus years as an editor for Tor Books, whose founder Tom Doherty wrote “no editor was more influential in the shaping of science fiction and fantasy than he.”

SciFi co-editor Patrick Nielsen Hayden called Hartwell “our field’s most consequential editor since John W. Campbell.” Given Campbell's status as the driving force behind science fiction's Golden Age, that's high praise indeed.

Among the many award-wining works he ushered in to print were Gene Wolfe's The Shadow of the Torturer, arguably an important post-Moorcock dark fantasy marker. He had a hand in some of Frank Herbert's later Dune volumes. And he set the “cyberpunk” ball rolling by approving and editing Bruce Sterling's Mirroshades anthology. Hartwell also edited many editions of The Year's Best SF and companion volume The Year's Best Fantasy. He also found time to edit The New York Review of Science Fiction

British SciFi author and sometime Reg reader Charles Stross thanked Hartwell for acquiring and editing his book Merchant Princes and was working with him on “a new trilogy in that setting for publication next year.”

“A giant of the field has departed,” Stross writes, “and I'm going to miss him as a friend as well as an editor. I offer my deepest sympathy to everyone else who knew him.”

Hartwell is survived by his wife, Kathryn Kramer, and four children. ®

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