Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishing news
Charles Sheffield (1935-2002)

Dr. Charles Sheffield, 67,  died of cancer on November 2 Casey House Hospice in Rockville, Maryland, following a three-month illness.

The UK- born Sheffield was a physicist known for his writing in science fiction and science. A former President of Science Fiction and Fantasy Writes of America and the American Astronautical Society, he won the Nebula and Hugo awards for his novelette "Georgia on My Mind."

His fiction writing didnít begin until he was nearly 40, and his intention was to sell three stories, just to prove that he could, and then stop forever. He published 27 novels and 6 short story collections.

Charles Sheffield with Tom Dorhety, September 2001

Survivors include his wife, science fiction author Nancy Kress; four children; a sister and his mother, Emma Sheffield of England.

His Memorial Service will be Saturday, November 16, at the Collins Funeral Home, 500 University Blvd, West Silver Spring, MD, at 1:00 p.m. Also, at 10 PM this Saturday, November 9, Nick Pollotta will host a wake for Charles in the bar of the Hyatt Regency Woodfield in Schaumburg, IL during WindyCon.


SFWA mourns the loss of one of its finest statesmen, who was never less than a gentleman. The President and Board of Directors extend their deepest sympathy to Charles' family and friends.

Sharon Lee
President, SFWA


I first met Charles back in 1992, at a book signing that was a total flop, at a bookstore that does not even exist anymore. But we became friends that day and have always stayed in touch.

Unfortunately, I live in Chicago and he was in Maryland, so we never saw each other as much as we wanted to at cons, or talked to each as much on the phone as we would have liked. For a couple of year we planned on writing a book together, but our schedules always conflicted. Life and work simply keep getting in the way, but our friendship never flagged.

For all of the time, I knew him, Charles kept asking me to call him Chuck, but I just could not do it. He was too damn dignified! So I teased him by calling him Prof. Charles, and he took the good-natured ribbing with a smile. Always with a smile. I can hear his laughter now.

So with a tear in my eye, let me finally say, Chuck, I miss you like Hell, buddy. And when I cross over myself someday, I know you'll be there with a cold beer and some new jokes.

Take care, pal,

Nick Pollotta


Many years ago, when I worked as a parcel pickup attendant at Giant Food in Layhill, I saw a man wearing a T-Shirt which bore the cover of a book I had been browsing through at a local bookstore---"Proteus In The Underworld." I asked him if he read it, and he said that he had written it. Ecstatic to be face-to-face with a published author, I proceeded to pick his brains as much as I could between helping customers. Dr. Sheffield was more than happy to talk about his work, and I loved discussing his books with him when I could. I'm saddened at his loss, and my thoughts and prayers are with his wife Nancy Kress (with whom I was also privileged to meet) and the rest of his family. He was a great writer and an even better human being. He will be sorely missed....


Edward J. Cunningham
Silver Spring, MD


Charles was always such a fine gentleman, with such a great sense of presence and great heart. I didn't know him really well, but from the first time I met him he remembered me, and he and Nancy both went out of their way to be kind and helpful to a new writer, and help me feel included. This last year has just been so hard - we've lost so many great people. Charles was not only one of the brightest, but one of the kindest, too. He always had a smile ready.

Brenda Cooper

Updated November 4, 2002

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