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John Robert Colombo

by Robert J. Sawyer

Copyright © 1993 by Robert J. Sawyer
All Rights Reserved

Colombo, John Robert, born in Canada on 24 March 1936

Colombo is an editor and anthologist living in Toronto who sometimes publishes in the fields of science fiction, fantasy, and horror. Nationally famous for his many collections of Canadiana (most significant of which is Colombo's Canadian Quotations, 1974), Colombo was dubbed "the master gatherer" by the Canadian press, but refers to himself as a "folklorist." He produced the first-ever anthology of Canadian science fiction, Other Canadas (1979), a hardcover reprint collection containing 21 fiction pieces and 28 poems. Colombo was occasionally criticized for his generous definition of Canadian authors or setting, and for making little distinction between SF, fantasy, the weird, and the offbeat (seeing them all as "fantastic literature"), but this valuable volume remains the definitive historical retrospective of Canadian SF.

Colombo's other significant genre books include: Mostly Monsters (1977), a collection of "found poetry" — prose text that Colombo has rearranged as verse, gathered mostly from SF sources; Friendly Aliens (1981), a collection of thirteen SF stories by foreign authors set in Canada; Years of Light: A Celebration of Leslie A. Croutch (1982), a biography of Canadian fanzine publisher Croutch (1915-1969), as well as a general look at SF fandom in Canada; and Worlds in Small (1992), an anthology of stories of fifty words or less, most of which are SF. Colombo has also published two significant bibliographies: Blackwood's Books (1981), the first listing of works by British fantasist Algernon Blackwood; and, in collaboration with Alexandre L. Amprimoz, John Bell, and Michael Richardson, CDN SF&F (1979), the first bibliography of Canadian contributions to the SF field.


More Good Reading

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Three short-short Canadian SF Stories by Terence M. Green, Robert J. Sawyer, and Andrew Weiner, introduced by John Robert Colombo

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