Gardner Dozois

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Oct 23, 2008
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4,877
#2
Got this in my RSS feed from Locus and have spent quite awhile recovering from the shock. I never met him in person but, back when Asimov's had a posting board and I was a regular, he was very active and interacted with... huh, I started to say, "all us mere mortals"... quite a lot. This was when the internet was new to me and I couldn't believe, "Holy cow, I'm talking to Gardner Dozois!" He was a very nice, real presence on the board. His editing of Asimov's and about forty years of annuals and other anthologies had a huge, almost Campbellian, influence on the field and on me. Still kind of traumatized. He will very definitely be missed. Condolences to his family - it sound like they were expecting him to get out of the hospital shortly and, instead, there's this. My shock can be nothing to theirs.
 

dannymcg

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#3
For a very long time I've had a book he wrote (Strangers) in my tbr pile.
Twice I've picked it up and got a page or two in but didn't really feel like reading what's basically a sci fi inter-species romance.
Now I feel I owe it to him to read it, as a tribute to all the anthologies etc of short stories he's been involved with and that I've enjoyed. RIP
 

Alex The G and T

Thar! That Blows.
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#4
Shocking, indeed. I remember Gardner so fondly as the instigator-in-chief of the old Asimov's forum. Mid '90's. when the www was young and the Asimov's magazine forum was a raucous, freewheeling soundboard for the semi-closeted SFF community.

Gardner, as editor of Asimov's mag was also a real and daily presence among the fans on the BBS. He was as friendly, witty, silly, and naughty as any of the rest of us. Sex and drugs and rock and roll were open game... and OMG we're chatting with Gardner ****ing Dozois, like we're sitting on bar stools together.

And he had an eidetic memory for every SF&F ever published. "Help me remember this book title?" He always knew. Instantly.

J-Sun was there, and David the Evil Overlord, too. I can't think of any other Chroners that made the graft; but I still have a half-dozen facebook friends who were there. The Forum was never quite as much fun after Gardner abdicated the editorship of the mag. When Dell bought out Penny Press; Gardner actually got banned for Anarchy. He stopped participating as the forum sank into a weird maelstrom of Political Correctness vs Political Trolling.

The demise of that forum was a terrible trauma. I had a dozen years of joy invested in that thing.

Gardner's Years' Best anthologies were always a Must Buy, along with other countless anthologies and collaborations. (Including several collaborations with this Grr Martin, who's since become so full of himself) and Gardners's solo works were always enjoyable and thought-provoking.

I never actually met the man; but I still feel like I've lost a personal friend.
 
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AlexH

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#7
I only know him through the short story anthologies he edited, which contained some great stories and very thorough roundups of the previous year. His passion for the genre came across without a doubt.
 

Serendipity

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#8
He gave encouragement to continue writing science fiction to this 'wet behind the ears' newbie writer when other editors gave perfunctory replies to my short story submissions. All I can say is thank you, you did a grand job as they say up t'north and rest in peace knowing you made a difference.
 

Vince W

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#9
I've seen his name in magazines and anthologies my entire life. With a sure hand he guided science fiction and science fiction readers to some of the choicest works to be published. He will be missed. RIP. :(
 
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#12
I think Alex the G&T's description of Gardner is better than any I could attempt. Friendly, witty, silly, and naughty, yep, that was him. And just as Alex and J-Sun said, he was happily being friendly, witty, silly and naughty with us mere mortals.

Those days on the Asimov's forum, with Gardner, convinced me that I could write. So, if you're looking down on us mere mortals from the afterlife, Gardner, all I can say is it's all your fault. :)
 
Joined
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#13
I, too, frequented the late, lamented Asimov's forum, and it was such an honor to be in Gardner's company. I never had any chance of meeting him, but I occasionally exchanged private messages with him.

The highlight of that forum was the Ghost Hugos threads, in which he treated us to his encyclopedic knowledge of books and stories of the past—all free of charge.

Alex, I've always wondered why Gardner suddenly disappeared off the Asimov's forum. But after about six months, he came back. I'm astounded to hear that he was "banned for Anarchy". Surely that just can't be. He MADE that forum. What exactly happened there?
 

Alex The G and T

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#14
When Dell bought out PennyPress and became publishers of Asimov's and Analog magazines; the Dell suits found the freewheeling nature of the forums to offend their crosssword puzzle sensibilities.

Web Master Willie was installed as our first Moiderator. Webmaster Willie was a great guy. He came in lightly, to the long established community. He was accessible and willing to carry on lengthy discussions about what was appropriate, or not. He was even handed and fair. It took some pretty egregious activities to actually get banned.

After a few months, Webmaster Willie disappeared. Presumably, he was too lax for the Dell suits.

The new moderator was anonymous, unresponsive to queries and irrational. We speculated that it was a software filter, or some sort of offshore, sweatshop, Service. It absolutely refused to identify itself.

There was zero tolerance for four letter words; many of which actually appeared in stories in Asimov's, if not Analog; whilst horrific trolling went unremarked by the Moderator.

Gardner cursed and failed to show proper obeisance when chastised. I doubt that the moderation entity had a clue who he was.
 
Joined
Nov 28, 2012
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#15
I've made enquiries about this, and I have it on good authority that Dell appreciated Gardner's presence on the forum, and that he was not suspended.
 

Alex The G and T

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#16
Well, of course they'd say that, now. And of course the human side of the equation couldn't remember Gardner any way but fondly.

But seriously.... As you said in your earlier post; Gardner's absence didn't last long. Probably about enough time for him to work his way up the human chain-of-command with a great WTF?

Let me re-emphasize the impact of the insane, robotic Moderator thing.

The community, at large, was already dismayed by the arbitrary nature of the moderation; and it's complete disregard, and ignorance of the nature of a community that had pre-existed, in harmony, for a dozen years.

It was a stunningly remarkable cap on this display of ignorance, by the Psychotic Moderataton, when it arbitrarily banished Gardner; which emphasized its complete ignorance of, even, who was Gardner Dozois.

It's no surprise that the disconnected (disconnected enough to hire a computer algorithm or an offshore sweatshop to do the moderating) higher echelon at Dell would have a softer memory of what chaos was happening in the trenches during the collapse of a long-standing, vibrant community.
 
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