My memories of David G. Hartwell

(Expanded a bit from Facebook post, 20jan16)

I met David G. Hartwell​ in the mid 1990s and had lunch with him on the Queen Mary, one Nebula Awards weekend (it was 1997), where I described my idea of compiling a comprehensive book of SF/F awards data — I had a draft of such a book, printed and formatted in MS Word, a huge stack of paper. (I recall how scrupulously he cleaned his plate, a piece of bread to wipe up every bit of sauce.) He said something about Tor having a previous commitment for such a volume, by himself. Thus my notion was never published by Tor, or anyone else, as a book, and so it went online first on the site, and then where it’s now at (Just as well; any physical book would have been instantly out of date. Which is why I suspect David’s book was never published either.)

Years later, the second time Locus Online was nominated for a Best Website Hugo, and lost, he leaned over to me (sitting in the nominees’ section at the ceremony) and said, “You was robbed.” A few hours later voting statistics were distributed, which revealed Locus Online had lost (to Craig Engler and Ellen Datlow’s SciFiction, a site ironically discontinued just a year or so later) by a single vote. (Meanwhile, my Locus Online site is still chugging along, after almost 20 years.)

In later years I had many friendly chats with David in passing, often in the books room at ICFA, the International Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts, held annually in Florida, in Ft. Lauderdale and then Orlando. He was always very friendly and supportive; a generous person in every way; a true mensch in the SF field, with whom I am sorry I did not have more interaction. He’d invited me.

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