French author and editor Jacques Sadoul died January 18 at the age of 78.
He was a well-known fan and magazine collector who published an album of American SF illustrations, Hier, l’an 2000, in 1973. His work on SF anthologies, Histoire de la science fiction moderne (“History of Modern Science Fiction”), published the same year, also achieved fame.
Sadoul became one of the first successful SF paperback editors in France, working with Editions Opta and laterwith J’ai lu. Late in his career Sadoul championed the work of A. E. Van Vogt, some of whose novels only appeared in France.
Robert Silverberg recalls, “Jacques was the guiding spirit of the J’ai Lu paperback series, attended many conventions, and was much liked by the writers of his era.”
He was also a founder of the Prix Apollo award.
Sadoul wrote SF and mysteries. He won the Grand Prix for police procedurals for Trois morts au soleil in 1986. And he authored a series of novels about CIA agent Carol Evans, one of the genre’s first lesbian heroines.
His 2006 memoir, “C’est dans la poche ! Souvenirs science-fictifs et autresm,” delivers, in addition to anecdotes about Ellison, Clarke and Van Vogt, a frank defense of commercial publishing against those who favor belles lettres.
[Thanks to Andrew Porter for the story.]