The Editor's Word by Mike Resnick
Welcome to the thirty-first issue of Galaxy’s Edge, as we begin our sixth year of publication. This issue features new stories by new and newer writers Michael Haynes, Steven H Silver, Jon Lasser, Larry Hodges, Regina Kanyu Wang, George Nikolopoulos, Robert Jeschonek, Matt Dovey, and Brennan Harvey.
We’ve got reprints from old friends Robert Silverberg, Nancy Kress, Robert J. Sawyer, and Orson Scott Card. And there are our regular columns: Recommended Books by Bill Fawcett and Jody Lynn Nye, The Scientist’s Notebook by Gregory Benford, and literary matters by Robert J. Sawyer. This month’s Joy Ward interview is with bestseller, award-winner, and former Worldcon Guest of Honor Greg Bear.
All in all, a typical issue—and we say that with great pride.
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The other day some real estate broker from a couple of thousand miles away, in a very warm and sunny state, called out of the blue and tried to interest me in a retirement community. I explained to him that despite my age, I had no intention of retiring or even slowing down. He pushed for a couple of minutes, then gave up.
But it got me to thinking: I’m not unique. I literally do not know of any full-time science fiction writer who retired for any reason other than health. Not one.
And there are a lot of us who, in any other field, would probably be living on pensions, watching television endlessly, and taking naps in the sun. But if you’ve spent your working life writing science fiction, which includes—to at least some degree—extrapolating the future, you just naturally want to stick around and see that future take shape, and codify it for yourself and your readers. You slow down begrudgingly, and die with the greatest reluctance.
You think I’m a rare example? Then consider this cross-section of two dozen science fiction writers, and their ages on the day this magazine comes out: Joe Haldeman (74). Robert Silverberg (83). Greg Benford (77), Barry N. Malzberg (78). Larry Niven (80). Myself (76). David Gerrold (74). Connie Willis (72). George R. R. Martin (69). C. J. Cherryh (75). Eric Flint (71). David Drake (72). Jack McDevitt (82). Nancy Kress (70). Tom Easton (73). Jack Dann (73). Gardner Dozois (70). Norman Spinrad (77). Piers Anthony (83). Jane Yolen (79). Raymond E. Feist (72). Dan Simmons (70). And the baby of the bunch, Lois McMaster Bujold (68).
We are all still active, all still writing or editing, and most of us are still active in various aspects of fandom.
I think it won’t be too long before someone takes the factual data and creates a story about how writing science fiction adds years and almost endless energy to one’s life.
The real question is whether that story will be classified as science fiction or mainstream.