James Edwin Gunn (born July 12, 1923) is a writer, editor, and scholar in the field of Science Fiction, best known for his writings on the history of science fiction, including Alternate Worlds: The Illustrated History of Science Fiction (winner of the Locus award), The New Encyclopedia of Science Fiction, Isaac Asimov: The Foundations of Science Fiction (which won a Hugo Award), and his anthology series, The Road to Science Fiction, a six volume epic which includes stories dating back to The Epic of Gilgamesh (c. 2100 BC). He is the founding director of the Center for the Study of Science Fiction at the University of Kansas.
As a fiction writer, his first novel was 1955's Star Bridge, co-authored with Jack Williamson. His best known fiction includes The Listeners, a collection of linked novelettes about First Contact via slower-than-light radio, and The Immortal, which was made into a short-lived TV show in the 1970s. He has continued to publish SF over the years, including 2016's Transgalactic.
He was named a Grandmaster of SF by the Science Fiction Writers of America in 2007, and was inducted into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame in 2015.
Not related to (and not to be confused with) James Gunn.
Works with a page on this Wiki:
- The Immortal (novelization of the TV series)
Selected other works:
- Star Bridge (1955, with Jack Williamson)
- The Joy Makers (1961)
- The Listeners (1972)
- Alternate Worlds: The Illustrated History of Science Fiction (1975, non-fiction)
- The Magicians (1976)
- The Road to Science Fiction (1977-1998, editor, anthology series)
- The Dreamers (1981)
- Isaac Asimov: The Foundations of Science Fiction (1982, non-fiction)
- Crisis! (1986)
- The New Encyclopedia of Science Fiction (1988, non-fiction)
- Gift from the Stars (2005)
- Transgalactic (2016)
Tropes in his other works:
- Bird People: A major breakthrough in The Listeners comes when a part of the alien signal is discovered to be an image—and the image is a winged, bird-like creature with multiple arms.
- First Contact: The Listeners is about a very slow first contact made via slower-than-light radio. The story covers the lives of several men, years apart, who are involved in the very slow process.
- Mega-Corp: Star Bridge features the Eron Company, which has a monopoly over the secret to faster-than-light travel. When the general manager dies, this triggers a Succession Crisis.