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Fred Saberhagen

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Fred Saberhagen
Saberhagen in 2007
Saberhagen in 2007
Born(1930-05-18)May 18, 1930
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
DiedJune 29, 2007(2007-06-29) (aged 77)
Albuquerque, New Mexico, U.S.
GenreFantasy, Horror, Science fiction
Notable worksThe Berserker series The Book of Swords series
Joan Spicci
(m. 1968)

Fred Thomas Saberhagen (May 18, 1930 – June 29, 2007[1][2]) was an American science fiction and fantasy author most famous for his Berserker series of science fiction short stories and novels.

Saberhagen also wrote a series of vampire novels in which the famous Dracula is the main protagonist, and a series of post-apocalyptic mytho-magical novels beginning with his popular Empire of the East series and continuing through a long series of Swords and Lost Swords novels. Saberhagen died of cancer, in Albuquerque, New Mexico.[3]


Saberhagen was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois.[4] Saberhagen served as an enlisted man in the U.S. Air Force during the Korean War while he was in his early twenties.[5] Back in civilian life, Saberhagen worked as an electronics technician for the Motorola Corporation from 1958 to 1962, when he was around 30 years old.[5]

It was while he was working for Motorola that Saberhagen started writing fiction seriously at the age of about 30.[6] His first sale was to Galaxy Magazine, which published his short story "Volume PAA–PYX" in 1961.[7] "Fortress Ship", his first "Berserker" short shory, was published in 1963. Then, in 1964, Saberhagen saw the publication of his first novel, The Golden People.

From 1967 to 1973, he worked as an editor for the Chemistry articles in the Encyclopædia Britannica as well as writing its article on science fiction.[5] He then quit and took up writing full-time. In 1975, he moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico.[8]

He married fellow writer Joan Spicci in 1968. They had two sons and a daughter. On June 29, 2007, Saberhagen died of prostate cancer in Albuquerque.[7]

In his adult years, Fred Saberhagen was a practicing Catholic; indications of his faith appear from time to time in his writing.[9]



  1. ^ "Locus Online". 2007-07-02. Retrieved 2007-07-02. SF and fantasy writer Fred Saberhagen, born 1930, died June 29, 2007, at the age of 77.
  2. ^ "New Mexico Author Dies". KOAT-TV. 2007-07-03. Archived from the original on 2007-09-28. Retrieved 2007-07-03. Noted Albuquerque author Fred Saberhagen has died.
  3. ^ "Science fiction, fantasy writer dead at 77". Las Cruces Sun-News. Associated Press. 2007-07-04. Archived from the original on 2007-09-28. Retrieved 2007-07-05.
  4. ^ "Fred T. Saberhagen, Novelist, Dead at 77". The New York Times. 9 July 2007.
  5. ^ a b c "Fred Saberhagen (obituary)". The Independent. 6 September 2007.
  6. ^ "Fred Saberhagen: Pushing Humanity's Envelope (interview)". Archived from the original on June 7, 2009. Retrieved October 21, 2009.
  7. ^ a b Michael Carlson (20 July 2007). "Obituary: Fred Saberhagen". The Guardian.
  8. ^ "Saberhagen Biography".
  9. ^ "The otherworldly science fiction of China's Cixin Liu". 9 August 2018.

Further reading[edit]

  • Wilgus, Neal (1985). "Saberhagen's New Dracula: The Vampire as Hero". In Darrell Schweitzer (ed.), Discovering Modern Horror. Mercer Island, WA: Starmont House, pp. 92–98.

External links[edit]