R.I.P. Algis Budrys, Pioneering Cyber-Novelist And Magazine Editor

I only just found out that pioneering science fiction author and editor Algis Budrys died of cancer on Monday. Budrys is probably best known for his groundbreaking 1977 novel Michaelmas, about a hacker who installs "back doors" in huge government and corporate computers and thus becomes fabulously wealthy by the turn of the Millennium. (Yes, you read that date right — 1977.) I read a few of his novels years ago and was impressed by the pervasive cynicism about human nature — in one novel (I can't remember which) the hero realizes he really just longs to give up and join the bad guys. So he does. (For 100 pages, at least.) Budrys also founded and edited the great magazine Tomorrow Speculative Fiction. And he won the Science Fiction Research Association's Pilgrim Award for contributions to science fiction scholarship. He'll be missed. [Chicago Tribune]