Saturday, April 29, 2017

Roger C. Schlobin

I just learned that Dr. Roger C. Schlobin passed away a few days ago. He was an important early figure in science fiction and fantasy scholarship -- second president of the IAFA, a prolific bilbliographer and editor. When I was doing my first foray into fantasy scholarship, back during writing my senior thesis on Stephen R. Donaldson, Dr. Schlobin's name seemed to appear on every other source I consulted.

Anyway, I actually had the pleasure of corresponding with him once. This would have been back in 2011. I was looking to get into a doctoral program but had no idea where to go (sf&f is not a common field), and I hit upon the idea of cold e-mailing several fantasy scholars. One of them was Dr. Schlobin. He sent me a very friendly e-mail offering some advice, and he even cc'd a few scholarly friends of his for their opinions. As I grow old and wise in the ways of academe, I begin to appreciate more and more the generosity, goodwill, and dedication to the field of offering such a helping hand. The news of his passing saddens me, and the field of scholarship will miss him.

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