Longtime Tor Senior Editor, colleague and friend David Hartwell passed away last night. Tom Doherty, President and Publisher of Tor Books shares his thoughts.
David Hartwell was a brilliant editor. I met David in the early 70’s when he was working for Berkeley and got to know him better as he was creating Timescape, an imprint at Simon and Schuster. I’ve worked with him closely for the last 33 years at TOR Books. In all that time, no editor was more influential in the shaping of science fiction and fantasy than he.
He was a founder of the New York Review of Science Fiction, a founder and chairman of the board of directors of the World Fantasy Convention, an administrator of the Philip K. Dick Award. A three-time winner of the Hugo Award for Best Professional Editor Long Form, David later withdrew his name from contention to give younger editors an opportunity to shine.
John Updike, in the New Yorker, aptly characterized David as a “loving expert.” David’s expertly selected list has been a solid rock in the foundation of TOR. In addition to bringing a vast selection of books to the field, he always found time to mentor younger editors as they learned the trade. David’s Year’s Best anthologies consistently placed high in the Locus reader polls. David’s legacy leaves an indelible mark on the literature and the culture of science fiction and fantasy—as an editor, a mentor, and a fan. He shaped our concepts, our tastes, and in some ways our expectations of these immense and beloved genres.
Fascinating to talk to on any aspect of science fiction, his perspective so fundamental to the building of our company, David was a very special man, and he was my friend. I and so many in the community will miss him.