Mike Resnick

For the mathematician, see Michael Resnik.
Mike Resnick

Resnick in 2005
Born Michael Diamond Resnick
(1942-03-05) March 5, 1942
United States
Nationality American
Occupation Science fiction writer
Spouse(s) Carol L. Cain (m. 1961)
Children Laura

Michael Diamond Resnick (born March 5, 1942) is an American science fiction writer under the name Mike Resnick. He was executive editor of Jim Baen's Universe.


A native of Chicago, Resnick is a graduate of Highland Park High School (Class of 1959)[1][2] in Highland Park, Illinois.[3] He attended the University of Chicago from 1959 to 1961 where he met his future wife, Carol L. Cain[4] (November 2, 1942). The couple were married 1961. In the 1960s and early 1970s, Resnick wrote more than 200 "adult" novels under pseudonyms,[5] edited seven tabloid newspapers, and edited a trio of men's magazines. He also produced a weekly column on horse racing for more than a decade, and for eleven years wrote a monthly column on purebred collies, which he and his wife bred and exhibited. His wife is also a writer, and, according to his biography, an uncredited collaborator on much of his science fiction and a co-author on two movie scripts that they've sold, based on his novels Santiago and The Widowmaker.[6] She also created costumes in which she and Mike appeared in five Worldcon masquerades in the 1970s, winning four out of five contests.[6][7] His daughter Laura Resnick is an award-winning science fiction and fantasy author. Resnick's papers, consisting of at least 125 boxes, are in the Special Collections Library of the University of South Florida in Tampa. He was the Guest of Honor at Chicon 7, the 70th World Science Fiction Convention, held in Chicago in 2012.

Work and themes

Two notable trends run through the majority of Resnick's science fiction work. The first is his love of fable and legend. Many of his stories chronicle larger-than-life characters with colorful names like "The Widowmaker", "Lucifer Jones", "The Forever Kid", and "Catastrophe Baker" and the legendary adventures they pursue. Resnick is also interested in the formation of history and legend, and sometimes includes bards as characters. The book The Outpost deals most with these themes, as it includes a story told from multiple perspectives and a bard who openly intends to exaggerate and edit his accounts to make them more interesting. Resnick's books in this vein bear some resemblance to Westerns, but are clearly science fiction. The other main subject of Resnick's work is Africa - especially Kenya's Kikuyu history, and the culture of Kikuyu tribes, colonialism and its aftermath, and traditionalism. He has visited Kenya often, and draws on this experience. Some of his science fiction stories are allegories of Kenyan history and politics. Other stories are actually set in Africa or have African characters.

Resnick's style is known for the inclusion of humor; he has probably sold more humorous stories than any science fiction author except Robert Sheckley, and even his most grim and serious stories have frequent unexpected bursts of humor in them. Resnick enjoys collaborating, especially on short stories. Through 2014 he has collaborated with 52 different writers on short fiction, three on screenplays, and three on novels. He has recently begun writing and selling a series of mystery novels as well, featuring detective Eli Paxton.

He is also a long-time participant in science fiction fandom. Resnick has been the Guest of Honor at some 42 science fiction conventions, and Toastmaster at a dozen others. Since 1988 Resnick has edited over 40 anthologies. He has also sold screenplays based on his novels to Miramax, Capella, and Jupiter 9, and often has multiple properties under option to Hollywood studios.

His work has been translated into French, Italian, German, Spanish, Japanese, Korean, Bulgarian, Hungarian, Hebrew, Russian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Polish, Czech, Dutch, Latin, Swedish, Romanian, Finnish, Portuguese, Slovakian, Chinese, Catalan, Danish, and Croatian.

He is also the series editor for The Stellar Guild series published by Phoenix Pick. The series attempts to provide greater visibility to lesser known science fiction and fantasy authors by pairing them up with best-selling veterans of the genre. Beginning in 2013, he has been the editor of the bi-monthly magazine, Galaxy's Edge, published by Arc Manor, which runs reprints by major names in the field along with new stories by new and lesser-known writers.

Resnick was a regular contributor to the SFWA Bulletin published by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. In 2013, articles he wrote for the Bulletin with Barry N. Malzberg triggered a controversy about sexism among members of the association. Female authors strongly objected to comments by Resnick and Malzberg such as references to "lady editors" and "lady writers" who were "beauty pageant beautiful" or a "knock out." In the next issue, Malzberg described their critics as "liberal fascists".[8] The Bulletin editor Jean Rabe resigned her post in the course of the controversy, and the magazine was relaunched under new management.[9]

Selected awards and nominations

Resnick has five Hugo Awards (from a record 37 nominations) and has won numerous other awards from places as diverse as France, Japan, Spain, Croatia, Catalonia, and Poland. He is first on the Locus list of all-time award winners, living or dead, for short fiction, and 4th on the Locus list of science fiction's all-time top award winners in all fiction categories.[10]

Selected awards

His 1995 Hugo Award-winning novella "Seven Views of Olduvai Gorge" also scooped the S.F. Chronicle Poll Award for the same, the corresponding 1994 Nebula Award for Best Novella and the 1995 HOMer Award for Best Novella.[11] Between 1991 and 2001, he won a further nine HOMer Awards (bringing his total to 10, from a staggering 24 nominations), placing him at the head of HOMer Award winners, ahead of Robert J. Sawyer on nine wins and just 12 nominations.[11]

His 1998 and 2005 Hugo Award-winning stories - "The 43 Antarean Dynasties" and "Travels with My Cats" also garnered him Asimov's Readers Poll Awards, of which he has won a total of five (from 20 nominations), placing him joint-second with poet Bruce Boston behind artist Bob Eggleton.[12] He has won a total of six (including that mentioned above) S.F. Chronicle Poll Awards,[13] one Locus Award (from 30 nominations, winning in 1996 with "When the Old Gods Die"),[14] a Golden Pagoda Award, two American Dog Writers Awards and an Alexander Award. His 37 Hugo nominations through 2015 are the all-time record for a writer.

In 1995, he was awarded the Skylark (or "Edward E. Smith Memorial Award for Imaginative Fiction") for Lifetime Achievement in Science Fiction.[15]

International awards

"Seven Views of Olduvai Gorge" has also won awards in Spain (Ignotus Award), France (Prix Ozone Award) and Croatia (Futura Poll), contributing to a total of three Ignotus Awards and two Prix Ozone Awards. He was awarded the Spanish El Melocoton Mecanico Award for "Old MacDonald Had a Farm" and the Xatafi-Cyberdark Award for "For I Have Touched the Sky", in addition to a Tour Eiffel Award in France for The Dark Lady.

In Japan, he won the Seiun-sho Award for Kirinyaga: A Fable of Utopia, and the Hayakawa Award for "For I Have Touched the Sky". In Poland, "Kirinyaga" won the Nowa Fantastyka Poll Award, while "For I Have Touched the Sky" won the Sfinks Award. (Resnick won another Sfinks Award for "When the Old Gods Die".) Most recently he won Catalonia's Ictineus Award in 2012 for Best Translated Story for "Soulmates", a collaboration with Lezli Robyn, then won it again in 2015 for another collaboration with Lezli Robyn, "Benchwarmer".

Complete list of Hugo nominations

Resnick has been nominated for 37 Hugo Awards—a record for writers—and won five times. Except for 1999 and 2003, he has received at least one nomination every year from 1989 through 2012; then, after dropping off the ballot for 2 years, he was nominated again in 2015. A complete list of his nominations (and wins) is:


Fiona Kelleghan has written an extensive bibliography, Mike Resnick: An Annotated Bibliography and Guide to His Work by (Farthest Star, 2000). Adrienne Gormley completed a massive 679-page second edition, which was published in autumn of 2012.


  1. "Highland Park High School (IL), Class of 1959 (Official Website)". Retrieved January 27, 2015.
  2. Henkle, Doug. "Highland Park High School (IL), Class of 1959". Retrieved January 27, 2015.
  3. Wilson, James J.J. (August 31, 2012). "Sci-fi group honors Highland Park High alum". Highland Park News. Retrieved September 1, 2012.
  4. "Resnick, Michael D(iamond) 1942-". Encyclopedia.com. Retrieved November 3, 2011.
  5. "How I Single-Handedly Destroyed the Sex Book Field for Five Years and Never Even Got a Thank-You Note from the Legion of Decency".
  6. 1 2 Resnick, Mike. "Biography". Archived from the original on March 1, 2009. Retrieved September 23, 2009. Archived.
  7. Resnick, Mike. "Me and the Slime God". Archived from the original on October 10, 2008. Retrieved September 23, 2009. Archived
  8. "SFWA Bulletin Issue 202 Talk Radio Redux By Mike Resnick And Barry N Malzberg". Retrieved 25 July 2014.
  9. Anders, Charlie Jane (6 June 2013). "The editor of SFWA's bulletin resigns over sexist articles". io9. Retrieved 7 June 2013.
  10. "Mike Resnick bibliography at Fantastic Fiction". Retrieved January 28, 2008.
  11. 1 2 "The Locus Index to SF Awards: HOMer nominees". Retrieved January 28, 2008.
  12. "The Locus Index to SF Awards: Asimov's Readers Poll nominees". Retrieved January 28, 2008.
  13. "The Locus Index to SF Awards: S.F. Chronicle Readers Poll nominees". Retrieved January 28, 2008.
  14. "The Locus Index to SF Awards: Locus Readers Poll nominees". Retrieved January 28, 2008.
  15. "The Locus Index to SF Awards: Skylark Winners". Retrieved January 28, 2008.
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