From The Editor

Sheila Williams

Welcome to Asimov’s Science Fiction!

Fulfilling a lifelong goal, I began my career with Asimov’s in 1982. I thought then, that it was the best magazine on Earth. I still do.

For ten years I had the privilege of working with Isaac Asimov. I’ve also worked with a pantheon of editors and authors publishing groundbreaking fiction. This has been a rewarding journey for me. As editor of the magazine, I invite you to enter our pages. Come along and enjoy the same excitement we feel when reading each new issue of Asimov’s. See you there!

- Sheila Williams


About the Editor

 Sheila Williams is the two-time Hugo Award winning Editor of Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine, which has won the prestigious Locus Award for Best Magazine in 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014.

Sheila’s interest in science fiction began in her early years in western Massachusetts, when her father read Edgar Rice Burroughs books to her as a child. By the time Sheila was in sixth grade, her parents found her a British anthology abroad called Adventure Stories for Girls, which she read no less than a dozen times. Sheila went on to graduate from Elmira College, New York, studying at the London School of Economics junior year, and received her Master's from Washington University in St. Louis. 

In addition to her editorial stewardship of the magazine, Sheila Williams is the editor/co-editor of more than two dozen best-selling science fiction anthologies. One of Sheila’s proudest accomplishments is co-founding, with Rick Wilber in 1993, the Dell Magazines Award for Undergraduate Excellence in Science Fiction and Fantasy Writing, co-sponsored by Dell Magazines and The International Association for the Fantastic in the Arts. The Award – with its cash prize, conference appearance, and in-depth consultation with Sheila and other established authors – encourages young writers and helps them form lasting relationships with other aspiring writers. Many of these finalists go on to become published authors.

This Month's Editorial

Monstrous by Sheila Williams

As a teenager growing up on the works of writers like Isaac Asimov, Ursula K. Le Guin, Samuel R. Delany, and Frank Herbert, I was dismayed that so many dramatizations of science fiction  equated the genre with horror. More specifically, it seemed that in the early seventies, most people equated SF films with mad scientists and monster movies. There was no shortage of these sorts of old movies showing up on late-night or Saturday afternoon TV. For every rerun of Star Trek about a misunderstood creature like the Horta, there seemed to be dozens of movies like It! The Terror from Beyond Space. In this 1958 film, a monstrous alien stows aboard a human spaceship and proceeds to murder and terrorize the crew. Some people think It! inspired 1979’s Alien.

Excellent movies such as Forbidden Planet did exist. That film was released in 1956 and includes a mad scientist, but it tries to offer a plausible explanation for his madness and for the movie’s monster. And besides, it’s loosely based on Shakespeare’s Tempest. Still the monster is pretty vicious, and the movie is categorized as “techno-horror.” In this subgenre, the monster/horror stems from the misuse of science and technology.


You can email Sheila Williams at See her 2014 interview with Fran Wilde here:

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