In Memoriam: Mike Resnick

Author and editor Mike Resnick (b.1942) died on January 9 after a lengthy battle with cancer. Resnick began publishing science fiction in 1965 and over his career won five Hugo Awards, one Nebula Award, and more than 30 other awards. He was the Guest of Honor at Chicon 7, the 70th Worldcon.

His first novels were published in the late 1960s under the name Michael D. Resnick. Although he continued to write throughout the 1970s, most of those works were not science fiction and written pseudonymously. During that time, he was also one of the founding members of ISFiC, the Chicago organization that runs Windycon.

In 1980, he returned to writing science fiction with the Battlestar Galactica novel Galactica Discovers Earth and then quickly turned to writing his original novels with The Soul Eater. Many of Resnick’s works were set in his own future history which he outlined in his 1982 novel Birthright: The Book of Man.

Resnick published several books on writing, including Putting It Together: Turning Sow’s Ear Drafts into Silk Purse Stories, I Have This Nifty Idea…Now What Do I Do With It?, and The Business of Science Fiction: Two Insiders Discuss Writing and Publishing, the last co-written with Barry N. Malzberg and based on a series of articles originally published in the SFWA Bulletin which ended in controversy.

In 1988 he edited his first anthology, Shaggy B.E.M. Stories. He became an industrious anthologist using his books to publish new authors, many of whom he mentored, as well as established authors. He also collaborated with a wide variety of authors, both established and up-and-coming, many of which were reprinted in his collection With a Little Help from My Friends, working as a mentor for many of the latter. In recent years, Resnick edited the magazine Galaxy’s Edge.

SFWA President Mary Robinette Kowal commented, “Mike Resnick has been a force in the science fiction community. He and I disagreed about many things, but he was committed to SFWA and writing as a craft. He mentored countless young writers in addition to being a prolific author himself. I am truly saddened by his passing.”

Photo Credit: Hugette

6 Responses

  1. Ed Elbert

    There are big men, and then there are giants. And then there are a few giants who are as generous and kind and unassuming as they are giant. That was Mike Resnick. The best ones do not do it by themselves. Carol Resnick, his collaborator in art and life, made him bigger and better than he could have been by himself. Please shed a tear for her loss, and for all of us as well, for we will not see his like again.

  2. Steve A. Heinrich

    I have been reading (and collecting) Mike Resnick books since I picked up a copy of THE BRANCH back in 1984, and couldn’t stop reading it. I met him briefly at an SF convention in Michigan where he was enthusiastic about his Lucifer Jones stories, and I’ve bought a few books from him on E-Bay. His novels and stories have given me many hours of great entertainment. His death was a blow to me, and I am greatly saddened at his passing. The science fiction world, and the field of literature as a whole, has lost a Master. The memory of him autographing a book for me at that convention will always be with me. We all miss you, Mike!

  3. Walt Boyes

    One of the hallmarks of Mike’s life was the number of women authors he mentored, bought early stories from, and wrote stories with. He also mentored men, but he felt strongly that he should pay it forward by helping women enter the field. He made sure to make time for any young man or woman that wanted his advice on writing science fiction and fantasy. Bless him on his way, friends, and bless Carol and Laura, who are left behind.

    1. Michael Swanwick

      Mike was a gentle soul, a man who loved science fiction, and a positive influence upon the world. God bless him! The world is a drearier place without him.

  4. Golden

    I bought a book because of its cover, The Prophet. Loved it and sought out the first two books in the trilogy. I was hooked. Began collecting anything Resnick I could find to read (mainly books). Got to meet Mike in Chicago at the World Science Fiction Convention and then again years later when the World Science Fiction Convention was here in Southern California.

    Corresponded with Mike, buying books from him, chatting with him via Facebook Messenger. It was always an uplifting experience. I did not use a Kindle when they first came out. When I got my first, it was the original trilogy (Soothsayer, Oracle, Prophet) that I first purchased. I told Mike. His reply was to ask me why I didn’t just ask him to send me the books. I didn’t need to buy them.

    Mike was generous.

    He will be sorely missed and yet I will carry him with me always.

  5. John Johnston III

    Mike bought the first piece of fiction I ever wrote literally hours after I sent it to him. He was kind, generous, friendly, and was one of those people who had a lot going on their life, a very full plate. I always liked and admired him. RIP, Mike. I will always remember you.