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George H. Scithers
|Born||May 14, 1929|
|Died||19 April 2010(aged 80)|
|Notable works||Isaac Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine, Amazing Stories, Weird Tales|
|Notable awards||Hugo Award (1978, 1980) Best Professional Editor|
Hugo Award (1964, 1968) Best Fanzine
World Fantasy Award (2002) Life Achievement
World Fantasy Award (1992) Special Award
A long-time member of the World Science Fiction Society, he published a fanzine starting in the 1950s, wrote short stories, and moved on to edit several prominent science fiction magazines, as well as a number of anthologies. As editor emeritus of Weird Tales, he lectured at the Library of Congress in 2008. Wildside Press published his most recent book, Cat Tales: Fantastic Feline Fiction, in 2008.
Scithers' first published fiction, the story "Faithful Messenger", appeared in If magazine in 1969. His involvement in the field, however, dates back to 1957, when he began submitting to the fanzine Yandro. Two years later, he began publishing the Hugo Award-winning fanzine Amra. The term Swords and sorcery first appeared there, and Amra became a leading proponent of the subgenre. Several of the articles originally published in Amra were later re-printed as part of two volumes about Conan the Barbarian which Scithers co-edited with L. Sprague de Camp.
In 1963, Scithers chaired Discon I, the 21st Worldcon, held in Washington, D.C. He was a regular parliamentarian for business meetings of the World Science Fiction Society and authored a guide to running science fiction conventions, The Con-Committee Chairman's Guide based on his experiences chairing DisCon 1 in 1963.
In 1973, Scithers founded Owlswick Press, a small independent publishing company. In 1976, Owlswick published Scithers' book (under the pseudonym Karl Würf), To Serve Man: A Cookbook for People (including recipes for "Boiled Leg of Man", "Texas Chili with Cowboy", and "Person Kebabs").
In 1977, he was named the first editor for Isaac Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine (IASFM). He remained in that position until 1982 and won two more Hugo Awards for his work there. After leaving IASFM, Scithers took the helm at Amazing Stories and edited that magazine until 1986.
In 1988, he worked with John Gregory Betancourt and Darrell Schweitzer to re-establish Weird Tales, the magazine that had introduced one of his earliest interests, Conan the Barbarian, to the world. In 1992, he and Schweitzer won a World Fantasy Award for their work on Weird Tales.
Scithers served in the Korean War with the United States Army. He was a member of the all-male literary banqueting club the Trap Door Spiders, which served as the basis of Isaac Asimov's fictional group of mystery solvers the Black Widowers. He was also very fond of owls and trains. He resided in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania where Weird Tales was edited in his basement, followed by Rockville, Maryland.
Scithers died April 19, 2010, two days after suffering a heart attack.