Gordon R. Dickson

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Gordon Rupert Dickson
Dickson lecturing at Minicon in 1974
Dickson lecturing at Minicon in 1974
Born(1923-11-01)November 1, 1923
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
DiedJanuary 31, 2001(2001-01-31) (aged 77)
NationalityCanadian American
GenreScience fiction, fantasy
Notable worksChilde Cycle

Gordon Rupert Dickson (November 1, 1923 – January 31, 2001) was a Canadian-American science fiction writer. He was inducted into the Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame in 2000.[1]


Dickson was born in Edmonton, Alberta, in 1923. After the death of his father, he moved with his mother to Minneapolis in 1937.[2] He served in the United States Army, from 1943 to 1946, and received a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Minnesota, in 1948.[3] From 1948 through 1950 he attended the University of Minnesota for graduate work.[citation needed] His first published speculative fiction was the short story "Trespass!", written jointly with Poul Anderson, in the Spring 1950 issue of Fantastic Stories Quarterly (ed. Sam Merwin), the inaugural number of Fantastic Story Magazine as it came to be titled. Next year three of his solo efforts were published by John W. Campbell in Astounding Science Fiction and one appeared in Planet Stories. Anderson and Dickson also inaugurated the Hoka series with "The Sheriff of Canyon Gulch" (Other Worlds Science Stories, May 1951).[4]

Dickson's series of novels include the Childe Cycle (sometimes called the Dorsai series) and the Dragon Knight. He won three Hugo Awards and one Nebula Award.

For a great part of his life, he suffered from the effects of asthma. He died of complications from severe asthma.[5]


John Clute has characterized Dickson as a "gregarious, engaging, genial, successful man of letters" who had not been an introvert.[6] Clute considers Dickson a science fiction romantic.[6] Nevertheless, Clute stresses in connection to Dickson that science fiction welcomes "images of heightened solitude, romantically vague, limitless landscapes, and an anguished submission to afflatus", due to its origin in Gothic fiction.[2]


Clute has pointed out that Dickson, like Poul Anderson, with whom he collaborated in the Hoka series, "[tends] to infuse an austere Nordic pathos into wooded, rural midwestern American settings.'[6] His works often have mercenaries as their protagonists and deal with aliens that are "less deracinated and more lovable than humans" (Clute).[6] They "are inclined to take on a heightened, sagalike complexion" (Clute),[6] particularly by the insertion of lyric poetry that is sometimes inferior.[6]

Selected works[edit]

Gordon Dickson c.1955

Childe Cycle[edit]

Dragon Knight series[edit]

  1. The Dragon and the George (1976)
  2. The Dragon Knight (1990)
  3. The Dragon on the Border (1992)
  4. The Dragon at War (1992)
  5. The Dragon, the Earl, and the Troll (1994)
  6. The Dragon and the Djinn (1996)
  7. The Dragon and the Gnarly King (1997)
  8. The Dragon in Lyonesse (1998)
  9. The Dragon and the Fair Maid of Kent (2000)

Hoka series[edit]


  • Alien from Arcturus (1956) (expanded as Arcturus Landing)
  • Mankind on the Run (1956) (variant title: On the Run, 1979)
  • Time to Teleport (1960)
  • Naked to the Stars (1961)
  • Spacial Delivery (1961)
  • Delusion World (1961)
  • The Alien Way (1965)
  • Space Winners (1965)
  • Mission to Universe (1965) (rev. 1977)
  • The Space Swimmers (1967)
  • Planet Run (1967) (with Keith Laumer)
  • Spacepaw (1969)
  • Wolfling (1969)
  • None But Man (1969)
  • Hour of the Horde (1970)
  • Sleepwalkers’ World (1971)
  • The Outposter (1972)
  • The Pritcher Mass (1972)
  • Alien Art (1973)
  • The R-Master (1973) (revised as The Last Master, 1984)
  • Gremlins, Go Home (1974) (with Ben Bova)
  • The Lifeship (variant title: Lifeboat) (1977) (with Harry Harrison)
  • Time Storm (1977)
  • The Far Call (1978)
  • Home from the Shore (1978)
  • Pro (1978) (illustrated by James R. Odbert) (Ace Illustrated Novel)
  • Masters of Everon (1980)
  • The Last Master (1984)
  • Jamie the Red (1984) (with Roland Green)
  • The Forever Man (1986)
  • Way of the Pilgrim (1987)
  • The Earth Lords (1989)
  • Wolf and Iron (1990)
  • The Magnificent Wilf (1995)
  • The Right to Arm Bears (2000) omnibus of Spacial Delivery, Spacepaw, "The Law-Twister Shorty"

Short story collections[edit]

Dickson's novelette "The Seats of Hell", cover-featured on the May 1959 issue of Fantastic, was collected in Beginnings
Dickson's novelette "Home from the Shore", cover-featured on the February 1963 issue of Galaxy Science Fiction, was collected in Mutants

Children's books[edit]

  • Secret under the Sea (1960)
  • Secret under Antarctica (1963)
  • Secret under the Caribbean (1964)
  • Secrets of the Deep (1985) omnibus of the three above


Dickson received the 1977 Skylark —Edward E. Smith Memorial Award for Imaginative Fiction from NESFA— for his contribution to SF[7] and he was inducted by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame in 2000.[1]

He won several annual literary awards for particular works.[7]

Hugo Award
Nebula Award
August Derleth Award (best novel, British Fantasy Society)


  1. ^ a b "Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame" Archived 2013-05-21 at the Wayback Machine. Mid American Science Fiction and Fantasy Conventions, Inc. Retrieved 2013-03-22. This was the official website of the Hall of Fame to 2004.
  2. ^ a b John Clute: Gordon R. Dickson (1923–). In: Richard Bleiler (ed.): Science Fiction Writers. Critical Studies of the Major Authors from the Early Nineteenth Century to the Present Day. Charles Scribner’s Sons, New York 1982, p. 345
  3. ^ "Authors : Dickson, Gordon R : SFE : Science Fiction Encyclopedia". www.sf-encyclopedia.com. Retrieved 2020-04-23.
  4. ^ a b Gordon R. Dickson at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database (ISFDB). Retrieved 2013-04-22.
  5. ^ "Gordon R. Dickson -- Science Fiction Writer, 77". The New York Times. February 16, 2001. Retrieved April 1, 2010.
  6. ^ a b c d e f John Clute: Gordon R. Dickson (1923–). In: Richard Bleiler (ed.): Science Fiction Writers. Critical Studies of the Major Authors from the Early Nineteenth Century to the Present Day. Charles Scribner’s Sons, New York 1982, p. 346
  7. ^ a b "Dickson, Gordon R." Archived 2012-10-16 at the Wayback Machine. The Locus Index to SF Awards: Index of Literary Nominees. Locus Publications. Retrieved 2013-03-22.

External links[edit]