San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

June 7th, 2010
Barrett named author emeritus by science fiction writers


Neal Barrett, Jr.


San Antonio-born Neal Barrett, Jr., recently was named Author Emeritus by the Science Fiction &  Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) at the 2010 Nebula Awards Weekend last month in Cocoa Beach, FL.

Barrett’s literary papers are held by the Wittliff Collections at Texas State.

Among the author’s top achievements is his book The Hereafter Gang, which was called “one of the great American novels” by The Washington Post.

“Neal Barrett, Jr. is one of the great science fiction/fantasy writers in America, and he approaches his work with a unique Texas sensibility,” said Steve Davis, interim director of the Wittliff Collections. “We are so pleased that Neal has been recognized in this major way.”

Barrett has donated his materials to the Wittliff Colllections since 1992. His archive contains fifty years of material from his writing career, including manuscripts, reviews, and correspondence.

The finding aid is online at

Barrett is a fourth-generation Texan born in San Antonio in 1929. Raised in Oklahoma City, Barrett received a degree from Oklahoma University’s professional writing program. Barrett began as a corporate writer in public relations, but turned to freelancing when his works began to sell. He lives in Austin.

Barrett is known in the science fiction and fantasy world for works such as Interstate Dreams, recognized as an award-winner by the Texas Institute of Letters, Through Darkest America, Dawn’s Uncertain Light and Prince of Christler-Coke, as well as a number of short story collections. Barrett has produced more than 50 novels and published 70-plus shorter works in major magazines.

“I have a great respect for many of the editors and publishers I’ve worked with,” Barrett said. “And I’d like to say how much I admire the contributions of the small press, houses such as Subterranean Press and Golden Gryphon. I’m proud to say that a lot of what I feel is my best work is due to the editors of these presses.”

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