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September/October 2016
 
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Editorial - September/October 2016
by C.C. Finlay


ONE OF THE traditions at Fantasy & Science Fiction is the Special Author issue, created by editor Avram Davidson in September 1962 when he matched Theodore Sturgeon's noteworthy new novella ("When You Care, When You Love," a 1963 Hugo finalist) with essays about the author's place in the genre and a bibliography of his work.

Davidson published two Special Author issues, Ed Ferman added nine, and Gordon Van Gelder contributed four more. They've included some of the most influential names in the field: Ray Bradbury, Isaac Asimov, Robert Silverberg, Damon Knight, Harlan Ellison, Stephen King, Kate Wilhelm, Gene Wolfe. But none have appeared in almost a decade, not since F&SF switched to the double-issue format, and the Internet Speculative Fiction Database (isfdb.org) made features like the bibliography less essential.

So why revive the tradition? Simply, some writers are so extraordinary and have had such an impact that they deserve special recognition. And the timing for this one is perfect. This month marks the fiftieth anniversary of the Star Trek premiere. David Gerrold's first fiction sale was "The Trouble With Tribbles." It ranks as one of the top episodes of the original series, along with "Amok Time" by Sturgeon and "The City on the Edge of Forever" by Ellison, who've both been featured in F&SF special issues.

Gerrold's accomplishments merit his inclusion with this elite group. Kris Rusch touches on his remarkable record in her essay. Equally important, he has improved the field by advocating for more diverse and thoughtful representation, whether it was fighting for LGBTQ characters in the Star Trek universe or including them in autobiographical stories like "The Martian Child."

We hope you enjoy the issue.

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