Monday, June 27, 2011

Marty Greenberg: Nancy Pickard, Official Obituary

From Nancy Pickard:

Ed, I'm so sad to hear about Marty's passing. I just loved him to pieces. Not that I got to be around him very often or talk to him very much, but I loved him anyway. He was SO GOOD to so many writers, including me. God, the opportunities he gave us! The way he--arm in arm with you--opened up the floodgates to short story publication! It was like a miracle for so many writers.
He just seemed to be the sweetest guy. So kind and courteous, enthusiastic, and full of great ideas. I remember when his little girl was born, and how thrilled he was and we all were for him.

I've thought of you ever since I heard this sad news. What a great team you guys were, and always will be considering how many books you have in print together.

Love,
Nancy

-------------------------------------Marty's official obituary

This comes via Marty's long-time assistant and friend, Larry Segriff.

Dr. Martin H. Greenberg, known throughout the publishing industry for the
scope and scale of the anthologies he produced, passed away on June 25,
2011.
Dr. Greenberg, whose background and training was in political science, and
who worked for many years as a professor at the University of Wisconsin
Green Bay, was a longtime fan of science fiction. He got his start in
publishing when, in the early 1970s, he realized that many great SF stories
demonstrated or dealt with themes, ideas, and issues that correlated to what
he was teaching. In partnership with Pat Warrick, Marty reached out to a
number of authors‹having at the time absolutely no idea how to clear a
permission or what went into the production of an anthology‹and ended up
co-editing his first reprint anthology, Political Science Fiction: An
Introductory Reader (1974).
That anthology became the first of many, and spawned a great career and also
a terrific friendship with Isaac Asimov. As Marty told the story, when
Isaac received his request to reprint ³Evidence² and ³Franchise,² Isaac
responded with a very polite letter saying that he would be happy to allow
the reprint provided that Marty could prove that he was not a certain
individual with a similar name who had a less than savory reputation at the
time. Marty did so, writing back with a letter that began by listing his
genealogy, went through his academic background and how he ended up in Green
Bay, and he signed it, ³Marty the Other.² Isaac responded with a letter
addressed to ³Marty the Other,² and so began both a friendship and a career
that lasted a very long time. Isaac introduced Marty to many aspects of
publishing, and Marty was Isaac¹s best friend for the last twelve years of
Isaac¹s life.
Marty eventually branched out and started creating original anthologies, and
went on to a career that spanned almost four decades and produced over 2,500
books (including nearly a thousand anthologies, many non-fiction works, and
many hundreds of novels in multiple genres). Along the way, he helped
co-found the Sci-Fi Channel and befriended many authors and editors.
It was always a point of personal pride with Marty that, though he never
considered himself a writer, he was always perceived as very author friendly
and he worked hard to give writers the absolute best market he could.
During his career, Marty was awarded lifetime achievement honors in science
fiction, mystery, and horror‹the only person in history to win such awards
in all three genres. Marty won numerous other awards as well, in
essentially every major genre, and was particularly proud of his Guest of
Honor appearances at a number of science fiction, fantasy, and mystery
conventions.
An interviewer once remarked to Marty that he was known in the business as
the ³king of anthologies² and asked Marty how he felt about that. Marty,
true to form, borrowed a line from Mel Brooks and replied, ³It¹s good to be
the king.²
Marty cast a long shadow across the industry, and devoted himself to
establishing and maintaining top quality markets for writers. In the wake
of his departure, his company, Tekno Books, will continue his good work
under the guidance of his wife Rosalind, but there is no doubt that he will
be missed.
Marty was preceded in death by his first wife, Sally. He is survived by his
wife Rosalind, their daughter Madeline, of Seattle, WA, two stepdaughters
from his first wife; Kari Walsh, wife of John Kerkhof, and their daughter
Delenn Kerkhof, of Appleton, WI, and Kate Walsh, wife of Matt Hall, of
Bakersfield, CA.

2 comments:

Bill Crider said...

Marty was top-of-the line. He did a lot for a lot of writers. I'm glad I knew him at least a little bit.

Mike Stotter said...

I have only just learned about Marty's passing. Marty and Ed were the first to give me my break by taking some of my short stories for their anthologies. Whether the stories were crime, westerns or science fiction, they'd always be there to support me. I think many writers know how hard it is to get published, and I deeply appreciate everything Marty did for me.
Mike