Don Sakers

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Don Sakers is a science fiction writer and fan living in Maryland, who has written several novels and edited a short story collection. In 2009 he succeeded Thomas Easton as book reviewer for Analog Science Fiction and Fact magazine. Sakers is probably best known in the science fiction community as a frequent guest speaker at science fiction conventions. Openly gay,[1] he shares a home with his spouse, costumer Thomas Atkinson.[2] Their house in Anne Arundel County, Maryland, Meerkat Meade,[3] was featured in Weird Maryland.[4][5] His self-described "day job" is with the Anne Arundel County public library, where he has worked for 40 years.[6]

When asked about the reaction to the diversity elements in his SF, Sakers said:

By and large, it seems to me that most SF fans are fairly comfortable with diversity. Part of this, I feel, comes from the common experience of being thought "weird" by the general populace.... Another reason that fans seem comfortable with diversity stems from the nature of Science Fiction itself. SF is often concerned with "the other" -- the alien being, the time traveler, the citizen of a totally different society. After you've wrapped your mind around the concept of falling in love with a silicon-based insectoid creature whose society is based on ritual cannibalism, a friendly chat with the black lesbian sitting next to you is easy to handle.

— Don Sakers, see [7]

Writing career and SF fandom[edit]

Sakers is the author of sf novels Dance for the Ivory Madonna (2002) and companion titles The Leaves of October (1988), A Voice in Every Wind (2003), Weaving the Web of Days (2004), and A Rose From Old Terra (2007); and dark fantasy novel Curse of the Zwilling (2003).[8] He is also author of the short story "The Cold Solution" (Analog, 1991) and other short fiction. Sakers was editor of Carmen Miranda's Ghost Is Haunting Space Station Three (1990), an anthology of stories based on Leslie Fish's song of the same name; the SF Book of Days (2004);[9] and the Gaylaxicon 2006 Sampler.[10]

Gay Young Adult Novels[edit]

Sakers is also the author of two gay young adult novels: Act Well Your Part (1986) and Lucky in Love (1988).

Dance for the Ivory Madonna[edit]

Dance for the Ivory Madonna is formally about when

it's 2042, and the U.S. has split into three nations; special interest groups have their own House in Congress; artificial intelligence has kicked humans out of cyberspace; and the African continent, a hotbed of technological advancement, is united under a contract government called Umoja. Making his way through this brave new world is a young African-American operative of a secret organization whose task is to avenge his father's murder and save humankind.

— Publishers Weekly review, cited at [11]

The author says it is really about:

a lot of things: friendship, toleration, a celebration of the creative spirit, a paean to unconventionality. It's about what's wrong with today's world, what's right with today's world, and what hope there is for the future. It's about how our technology affects us, and about the decisions we can make regarding those effects.

— Don Sakers, see [12]

Dance for the Ivory Madonna was a Spectrum Award finalist.[13]

Science fiction conventions[edit]

Sakers was guest of honor at the 1995 Gaylaxicon,[14][15] and is a frequent guest speaker at other Gaylaxicons,[16] Albacon, Arisia, and Boskone.[17]

Melissa Scott called him "a left wing Heinlein."[18]

A member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, he has written numerous obituaries for their web site, including that of Lisa A. Barnett.[19] Sakers is an active blogger.[20]



Scattered worlds[edit]

Sakers has published eight books in what he calls the "Scattered Worlds Mosaic":

  1. Dance for the Ivory Madonna,
  2. Weaving the Web of Days,
  3. The Eighth Succession,
  4. Children of the Eighth Day,
  5. All Roads Lead to Terra, (ebook only)
  6. A Voice in Every Wind, consisting of two short stories,
  7. A Rose From Old Terra, and
  8. The Leaves of October, which started as a short story in August 1983's Analog, and was expanded as a novel in 1988.

A Scattered Worlds short story "The Geas Ingenerate" was published in the anthology Galactic Creatures edited by Elektra Hammond.

Review columns[edit]

Date Review article Work(s) reviewed
2013 "The Reference Library". Analog. 133 (1&2): 180–183. January–February 2013. Retrieved 2015-01-26. 
  • Johnson, Les; McDevitt, Jack (eds.). Going interstellar. Baen. 
  • Reynolds, Alastair. Blue remembered Earth. Ace. ISBN 9780441020713. 
  • Resnick, Mike. Win some, lose some. ISFiC Press. ISBN 9780985798901. 
  • Foster, Alan Dean. The sum of her parts. Del Rey. ISBN 9780345512024. 
  • Wysocki, Jr., Edward M. The great Heinlein mystery. CreateSpace. ISBN 9781477410202. 
2013 "The Reference Library". Analog. 133 (6): 105–108. June 2013. Retrieved 2015-01-26. 
2013 "The Reference Library". Analog. 133 (9): 104–107. September 2013. 
  • Hough, Jason M. The Darwin Elevator. Del Rey. 
  • Sargent, Pamela. Dream of Venus and other science fiction stories. Wildside.  Bound tête-bêche with Dann, Jack and George Zebrowski. Decimated : ten science fiction stories. Wildside. 
  • Proskauer, Steve. Gaia's web. Gaia Press. 
  • Silverberg, Robert and Damien Broderick. Beyond the doors of death. Arc Manor. 
2013 "The Reference Library". Analog. 133 (10): 105–108. October 2013. Retrieved 2015-06-24. 


  1. ^ SFRevu Interview. Accessed January 23, 2008. "For the record, I am gay, of Caucasian ancestry, and fall into the category of "obese" rather than Ivory-Madonna-range 'fat.' I do have good friends who are black, as well as others who are fat."
  2. ^
  3. ^ Meerkat Meade Blog by Don Sakers. Accessed January 23, 2008.
  4. ^ Matt Lake, Mark Moran, and Mark Sceurman, Weird Maryland, p. 137, 138 (2006 Sterling Publishing Co. Inc.), ISBN 978-1-4027-3906-4, found at Weird Maryland at Google Books. Accessed June 23, 2008.
  5. ^ Reader's advice page about The Star Toys Museum. Accessed June 23, 2008.
  6. ^ Don Saker bio at
  7. ^ SFRevu Interview. Accessed January 23, 2008.
  8. ^ Review of Curse of the Zwilling. Accessed January 23, 2008. Archived May 8, 2006, at the Wayback Machine.
  9. ^ SF site review of SF Book of Days. Accessed January 23, 2008.
  10. ^ Powell's Books review of Gaylaxicon 2006 Sampler. Accessed January 23, 2008.
  11. ^ Foxacre web site. Accessed January 23, 2008.
  12. ^ SFRev Interview
  13. ^ "2003 Best Novel Finalists". Spectrums Awards. April 2012. Retrieved July 1, 2014. 
  14. ^ Gaylaxian Guest of Honor Speech. Accessed January 23, 2008.
  15. ^ Gaylaxicon 1995 Badges
  16. ^ Gaylaxicon panel list Archived December 30, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.. Accessed January 23, 2008.
  17. ^ Boskone 2007 program Archived October 11, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.. Accessed January 23, 2008.
  18. ^ SFRevu Interview. Accessed January 23, 2008.
  19. ^ Sakers, Don (2006-05-04). "Lisa A. Barnett". Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. Retrieved 2007-05-16. 
  20. ^ Profile at Accessed January 23, 2008.

External links[edit]