James Gunn has worked as an editor of paperback reprints; as managing editor of Kansas University alumni publications; as director of K.U. public relations; as a professor of English; and now is professor emeritus of English and director of the Center for the Study of Science Fiction. He won national awards for his work as an editor and a director of public relations. He was awarded the Byron Caldwell Smith Award in recognition of literary achievement and the Edward Grier Award for excellence in teaching; was president of the Science Fiction Writers of America for 1971–72; and president of the Science Fiction Research Association from 1980–82.
Gunn has been guest of honor at many regional SF conventions, including SFeracon in Zagreb, Yugoslavia, and Polcon, the Polish National SF convention, in Katowice; was presented the Pilgrim Award of SFRA in 1976; a special award from the 1976 World SF Convention for Alternate Worlds; a Science Fiction Achievement Award (Hugo) by the 1983 World SF Convention for Isaac Asimov: The Foundations of Science Fiction; and the Eaton Award in 1992 for lifetime achievement.
He was a K.U. Mellon Fellow in 1981 and 1984, and served from 1978–80 and 1985–present as chairman of the Campbell Award jury to select the best science fiction novel of the year.
Photo by Jason Dailey.