David G. Hartwell (1941-2016)

David G. Hartwell at the 2015 World Fantasy Con. Photo by and (c) Andrew Porter.

David G. Hartwell at the 2015 World Fantasy Con. Photo by and (c) Andrew Porter.

Tor senior editor David G. Hartwell passed away January 20 in the aftermath of a massive stroke a day earlier.

Hartwell was a three-time Hugo winner, for Best Professional Editor (2006), and Best Professional Editor Long Form (2008, 2009). All told, as a professional editor, and co-editor of New York Review of SF, he was nominated for the Hugo a total of 41 times. He was Guest of Honor at the 2009 Worldcon in Montreal, Anticipation.

Hartwell also received World Fantasy Awards in 1988, a special award for his work editing anthologies, and another specifically for the anthology The Dark Descent.

He was the chair of the board of directors of the World Fantasy Convention and, with Gordon Van Gelder, the administrator of the Philip K. Dick Award.

(Left) Chuck Miller and (Right) David G. Hartwell at the 1982 World Fantasy Con. Photo by and (c) Andrew Porter.

(Left) Chuck Miller and (Right) David G. Hartwell at the 1982 World Fantasy Con. Photo by and (c) Andrew Porter.

Andrew Porter, who has been photographing Hartwell for decades, recalls: “I knew David since he was a live-in dorm proctor at Columbia, I think, in the early 70s. He was doing The Little Magazine and I, with a bunch of other SF fans, went to a reading at the 92nd Street YMHA by some little-known Canadian author, Margaret Atwood…”

He is survived by his wife, Kathryn Cramer (with whom he co-edited two annual Year’s Best anthologies for SF and Fantasy), and his children.

David G. Hartwell at BEA 2015. Photo by and (c) Andrew Porter.

David G. Hartwell at BEA 2015. Photo by and (c) Andrew Porter.

Update 01/20/2015: This is a substantially rewritten post. The original prematurely announced Hartwell’s death.

32 thoughts on “David G. Hartwell (1941-2016)

  1. I met him once at a con. He was outgoing and friendly, and what struck me most was how much he enjoyed SF – and poetry, and the written word generally. He edited some books that mean the world to me.

  2. A shock beyond saying.
    The best editor I ever knew.

    hard to accept

    my best friend in the entire field

    I called him hours ago because he said Saturday to call Tuesday because he wanted to discuss my novel ms, which he would have read by then.

    His daughter was stunned, on the phone, starting to come apart…

  3. I got to meet Mr Hartwell at Sasquan, thanks to the introduction of a mutual friend. He was gracious and dynamic. His anthologies were a way for a non-short fiction reader to find the best without having to wade through a lot of dross.

    This is a real loss for the SFF genre. My thoughts are with his family, hoping that their good memories will be a comfort during this very sad time.

  4. I’d add “Worldcon Guest of Honor in 2009”.

    Needless to say, this continues 2016’s general suckage.

  5. Even if it’s a bit premature: I’ll miss him. He was one of the great editors in the field, and one of the people who shaped my SF world. Anyone who was close to him had times of disagreement. And anyone who was close to him knew how much he respected principled, intelligent disagreement. I keep saying this: there is a great disturbance in the Force. I learned from him, and I felt respected by him — maybe he learned from me. I’m crying.

  6. Damn it. People are premature. Please correct?

    In a matter of more likely to be hours than days, it won’t matter. For now, it still matters a bit, in the interests of accuracy, that David is still actually alive. For now.

    Despite all the obits posted:

    9:02 p.m., PST: “Kathryn Cramer His heart is still beating. They are evaluating him for brain death.
    Like · Reply · 2 · 59 mins”

    https://www.facebook.com/gary.farber/posts/1112468935438459?comment_id=1112474798771206&reply_comment_id=1112475608771125&comment_tracking=%7B%22tn%22%3A%22R4%22%7cD

    “#21 ::: Kathryn Cramer ::: (view all by) ::: January 20, 2016, 12:10 AM:
    His heart is still beating, but he is being assessed for brain death. Whatever the assessment, he has had a massive brain bleed, which continues. He will nor survive. He has not been breathing on his own since the EMTs arrived at the orchard house late this afternon.”

    http://nielsenhayden.com/makinglight/archives/016423.html#4276314

  7. I think I finally have the revision on screen. My first several attempts would only display on my dashboard….

  8. So sad to hear. He was always a pleasure to chat with at conventions. He was a gentleman and ever gracious to fans. My condolences to his family and friends.

  9. I met him several times at CapClave, where he was a regular attendee and panelist. This is a sad day, and a great loss for science fiction.

  10. I’m very sorry to hear this! 🙁

    @Mike Glyer: There’s some repetition here:

    Hartwell also received World Fantasy Awards in 1988, a special award for his work editing anthologies, and another specifically for the anthology The Dark Descent. He also received World Fantasy Awards in 1988, a special award for his work editing anthologies, and another specifically for the anthology The Dark Descent.

    It looks like the same info twice.

  11. Kendall: Thanks for catching that! You are hereby annointed File 770 savior proofreader of the day, with all rights and privileges appurtaning thereto, including the right to buy yourself the beverage of your choice….

  12. I’ll let others, more qualified, talk about David’s editing skills and his contribution to our literature. I just want to say that he was a hell of a nice guy to hang out with at cons. I plan to wear a variety of carefully mismatched garish ties and shirts at Boskone, in his honor. I was privileged to hear David discourse, once or twice, on the Hartwell theory of fashion, which consisted of much more than just apparently-clashing patterns and colors.
    When I told David, once, that I had enjoyed a particular anthology that he had edited, he asked whether I had bought the paperback or hardcover version, and then reached behind himself and picked up a copy of the other edition, which he gave me, explaining that it had some additional material which he thought that I should read. This is a typical exampleof the big-hearted Hartwell generosity.

  13. I only know of him from a couple of his anthologies and by reputation, but what a reputation. Looking at the remembrance and postings that I’ve see in the last day all across the field, he’s certainly left his mark all across the genre, and this is a loss to the field.

    My condolences to his family.

  14. I used to talk to David Hartwell at the Boston conventions quite a lot, back in the days when my volunteer time involved kid-wrangling. I’m having trouble picturing Boskone without him.

  15. Me three.

    My sincerest, though inadequate, condolences to all of those whose lives he touched.

  16. I’m not sure whether I’ve ever cried for a stranger; I rarely cry for people I know (something odd has to trigger me). It’s just how I am; I’m weird like this, though I cry a bit more now than when I was younger.

    But the end of Kathryn Cramer’s post made me cry. That last part pushed me right over the edge. She’s very eloquent and very, very sad, and my heart goes out to her, the rest of David Hartwell’s family and friends, and anyone reading this who’s ever lost someone – I’m sad for you right now, too. I’m sad for all of us.

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