Hard SF loses one of its all-time great editors, as Stanley Schmidt retires from Analog

Illustration for article titled Hard SF loses one of its all-time great editors, as Stanley Schmidt retires from Analog

Stanley Schmidt has been synonymous with hard science fiction in the magazine world for the past 34 years that he's been the editor of Analog Science Fiction and Fact, but now he's moving on. The magazine's new editor will be Trevor Quachri, the current managing editor.


Top image: "Duel for a Dracowolf" illustrated by Steven Hanly for Analog Magazine.

Many people probably associate Schmidt with great short stories in which science is front and center, and there's often a hug element of problem-solving. But his influence goes way beyond that — to choose just one example, Schmidt gave Mary Doria Russell a lot of advice when she was writing her novel The Sparrow, and you can see his influence in the more realistic way Russell handles space travel.

And he gave many great writers their start, or a career boost. To quote from the press release announcing Schmidt's retirement:

Schmidt's editorship influenced Michael F. Flynn, Jerry Oltion, Timothy Zahn, Maya Kaathryn Bohnhoff, Harry Turtledove, and Geoffrey A. Landis, all of whom made their first appearances in his magazine. Other authors who became regular and major contributors on his watch include Catherine Asaro, Robert J. Sawyer, Adam-Troy Castro, Lois McMaster Bujold, Allen M. Steele, Jack McDevitt, and Joan Slonczewski.

In the press release, Schmidt is quoted as saying, " have now been editor of Analog for 34 years, tying or (depending on how you count) slightly exceeding the previous longest-tenure record of John W. Campbell. I still enjoy it thoroughly, but am leaving to pursue a wide range of other interests. Two of the most important of these are doing more of my own writing, and reading Analog purely for the enjoyment of it, which I expect to remain at a high level under Trevor Quachri's direction." Schmidt is staying on at Analog as a science advisor.



Very sad news. Stan was my first real mentor in the business; his rejection letters taught me a lot about writing, helping me improve my work until the point where I made my first professional fiction sale to him (and by a startling coincidence, it was published in the very issue whose cover you used to illustrate this article!). I just regret that I didn't sell to Analog more often.