James Gunn is still going strong at 90 years-old, and still writing and editing anthologies. Check out this truly awesome feature on him from the Kansas City Star. Kudos to the folks at the KC Star for giving Gunn the kind of attention he so richly deserves! I had no idea that he had actually heard H.G. Wells speak as a boy.
“There’s a saying that the golden age of science fiction is 12,” Gunn, English professor emeritus at the University of Kansas, said recently. “I was 11.”
Gunn, who turned 90 last month, has yet to outgrow the genre. His latest novel, “Transcendental,” will be published next week.
While it’s not true that he shook the hand of science fiction patriarch H.G. Wells, he made the attempt as a teenager. In 1937, an uncle took Gunn down to Municipal Auditorium, where Wells spoke during a national tour.
“This literary hero of mine was short and dumpy and spoke in a high, squeaky voice,” Gunn said. “Both my brother and I pushed forward to try to touch the great man as he went by. I would love to say that he passed on the spark of writing ability. But he brushed by us.”