Gateway Essentials: Terry Carr

Terry Gene Carr was born in Oregon in 1937. An enthusiastic publisher of fanzines since his early teens, Carr was nominated for the Hugo for Best Fanzine five times, winning in 1959, and for Best Fan Writer three times, winning in 1973. Despite a distinguished career in professional publishing, he continued to participate in fandom throughout his life. He produced three novels but it is as an editor that he made his reputation – first at Ace and then in a freelance capacity. He initiated the long-running and influential ‘Universe‘ series of original anthologies and, from 1972 to 1987, produced The Best Science Fiction of the Year compilations, widely regarded as being the best of the annual showcase collections. He was nominated thirteen times for the Hugo Award for Best Editor, winning twice. He died on this day in April 1987, of congestive heart failure.

Obviously, the best way to appreciate such an influential editor is to track down and read some of the anthologies for which he was responsible. As we can’t help you with that, we offer the next best thing: his best novel, Cirque: A Novel of the Far Future (1977), a religious allegory set in the Far Future.

Millennia in the future, Earth has become a backwater planet, ignored by others in the galaxy. Its one jewel is Cirque – the city on the Abyss, a city of love and harmony, with inspiring religious rites.

But in the Abyss there lives the Beast, formed from the castoff hates of the Cirquians: a beast whose body is refuse, whose mind is black as sin. Feeble weapons are no match for the Beast.

And now, after centuries, it’s climbing out of the Abyss to claim its own . . .


You can find Terry Carr’s novels via his Author page on the Gateway website and read about him in his entry in The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction.