Neal Barrett, Jr.
Neal Barrett, Jr. named Author Emeritus at this year’s Nebula Awards®
The Wittliff Collections hold major archive of the Texas-born writer
SAN MARCOS, Texas—Texas-born Neal Barrett, Jr., author of The Hereafter Gang, lauded by the Washington Post as “one of the great American novels,” was recently named Author Emeritus by the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) at the 2010 Nebula Awards® Weekend in Cocoa Beach, Florida.
“Neal Barrett, Jr. is one of the great science fiction/fantasy writers in America, and he approaches his work with a unique Texas sensibility,” said Steve Davis, interim director of the Alkek Library's Wittliff Collections at Texas State University-San Marcos, where Barrett’s literary papers are held. “We are so pleased that Neal has been recognized in this major way.” The author has been donating his materials to the Wittliff Colllections since 1992, and his archive contains fifty years of choice material from his writing career, including manuscripts, reviews, and correspondence.
Neal Barrett, Jr. is a fourth-generation Texan born in San Antonio in 1929. He was raised in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and acquired a degree from OU’s Professional Writing Program. Barrett began as a corporate writer in public relations but turned to freelancing when his works began to sell. He lives in Austin, Texas.
Barrett is known in the science fiction and fantasy world for works such as Interstate Dreams, recognized as an award-winner by the Texas Institute of Letters, Through Darkest America, Dawn’s Uncertain Light and Prince of Christler-Coke, as well as a number of outstanding short story collections, including Perpetuity Blues, Slightly Off Center and A Different Vintage. Barrett has produced more than 50 novels and published 70-plus shorter works in major magazines such as Asimov’s Science Fiction, the Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, and OMNI since his first sales to Galaxy and Amazing Stories in 1959.
“I have a great respect for many of the editors and publishers I’ve worked with,” Barrett said. “And I’d like to say how much I admire the contributions of the small press, houses such as Subterranean Press and Golden Gryphon. I’m proud to say that a lot of what I feel is my best work is due to the editors of these presses.
“Like many professional writers, I’ve written westerns, mystery-suspense, horror, noir, air war stories, the Hardy Boys, Tom Swift, novelizations such as Judge Dredd, Barb Wire and Dungeons & Dragons,” he continued. “One of my all-time favorite jobs is writing comic books—I think I’ve turned out over a thousand pages by now. That’s what writers do, you know—they often do what needs to be done. And I’ve found that a real pro puts everything he or she has into whatever project comes along. You name it. I can’t tell you how many names besides mine are out there over the work I’ve done for a series or special projects.”
The 2010 Nebula Awards® Weekend was held in Coco Beach, Florida, May 13-16, 2010. The date was chosen to coincide with the scheduled launching of the Shuttle Atlantis on Friday, May 14. For more information, visit www.sfwa.org.
Founded in 1965 by the late Damon Knight, Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America brings together the most successful and daring writers of speculative fiction throughout the world. Since its inception, SFWA has grown in numbers and influence until it is now widely recognized as one of the most effective non-profit writers’ organizations in existence, boasting a membership of approximately 1,500 science fiction and fantasy writers as well as artists, editors and allied professionals. Each year the organization presents the prestigious Nebula Awards® for the year’s best literary and dramatic works of speculative fiction.