Gordon R. Dickson is dead

Oh rats! Another great sci-fi master died. Gordon R. Dickson is dead.

I always liked his ‘George & the Dragon’ novels, but his Childe Cycle/Dorsai changed my life.

An uncle gave me ‘Final Encyclopedia’ when I was a turbulent teen… and the ideas in that book helped give me the strength to keep on going.

Anyone else with something to share?


He was one of The Good Ones…an excellent storyteller and, from all I’ve ever heard, one hell of a nice guy too.

I liked the Dragon and the George (not the sequels), some of his Hoka! stuff was fun and I’ve read some of the Dorsai books, but my favorite of his works was a short story with a title like “Danger: Human” or “Humans! Beware”. The upshot was that there were legends throughout the galaxy of this race of bipeds. It looks harmless, but they’ve taken over the galaxy four times, create a huge empire which ineveitably collapses. They’re hunted to near extinction, but a pocket invariably survives and the cycle begins again. The legend concludes that if you discover any pockets of this race, you need to nuke them into non-existance. Whatever you do: do not touch! Keep Away!

Of course, a group of aliens discover Earth. They grab one ordinary guy, to study him to see why he’s so dangerous. They put him in a metal cage on an island in an acid filled moat with armed guards around the moat, lightyears from Earth. Only one guard at a time delivers food to the guy through a tiny slot. The conclusion is fantastic and I don’t want to ruin it, but if I ever made an anthology of the best short SF stories ever, it’d be included.


Double damn.

Though I never met the man, I have enjoyed his work for years and anecdotal stories about him shared by Spider Robinson and others. I certainly hope the SF community honors his memory by doing a book like ** Requiem ** the one they did for Heinlein.

A toast to his proud memory

Ack! When? Any links yet? My parents may go into full formal mourning for this.

I first started reading the Childe Cycle when I was a young teen as well. Helped keep me from napalming the school.

Nooooooooo! This can’t be!

This is sad, sad indeed. Mr. Dickson’s dragon knight series are what got me started reading fantasy and sci-fi. I will miss looking forward for the next one to come out. I have found his Obituary for anyone interested to read.



I remember how pleased I was when I discovered Tactics of Mistakes. And then to find there were so many more of his waiting to be read.

I first found Dickson’s stories in an anthology put together when John Campbell died (I think it was “Astounding - The John W Campbell Memorial Anthology”.)

For that collection, several of the authors that had “grown up” writing for Campbell and Astounding each wrote a new story that built on or was related to one of their famous stories or series that been published in Astounding. I knew most of the author’s names, and had read most of the stories or series that these new stories came from.

But there was one story unfamiliar to me, and even though I had heard of the author, I had never read anything of his. The story was “Brothers” and the author was Dickson. I loved it, and immediately began to buy and read the entire Dorsai series. I enjoyed them all, and loved many of them.

He will be missed.