George H. Scithers, 1929-2010

I got word today that the first editor to buy one of my stories professionally, and my agent for many years, George H. Scithers, died yesterday at the age of 80.

He was editor of Amazing Stories Magazine back in 1984 when he bought my story, “One Final Dragon.” Several more stories followed, and he took the trouble to give me some good advice along the way.

After he left Amazing, George started Owlswick Literary Agency along with Darrell Schweitzer. They asked me to come on as a client. I remained in their stable until they dissolved a few years ago.

I never had the chance to meet George (came close once, when I had a flight layover in Philadelphia, but it didn’t work out). We communicated by letter at first, then graduated to e-mail. Talked a few times on the phone. He was always gentlemanly, funny, and reassuring.

Beginning as a fan, he was one of the people responsible for the increasing popularity of heroic fantasy, being especially a champion of Robert E. Howard’s work. I was proud to be associated with him.

We never discussed religion, but from some comments he dropped, I believe he was a Christian of some description.

An obituary by Tor editor David Hartwell is here.

His Wikipedia entry is here.


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