Cosmos was David Hartwell’s magazine. Losing David was a tragedy for his family, friends and the field in general.
I first met David sometime back in 1978 while interviewing him for a special edition of my Fanzine (Contact:SF) that featured interviews with all of the magazine editors at the time – Fairman, Bova, White, Scithers, Pierce (we never got to him) – all of said interviews lost to a (unknown at the time) tape recorder malfunction.
David was very close to North Eastern Fandom, having had a hand in assisting both Boskone and (the other one whose name escapes me but you’ll recognize it if I mention that it seems to be trying to turn itself into a commercial con) and there was a tremendous Celebration of Life event at Boskone that I think made everyone cry.
David was famous for his sartorial affectations and one of the ways we honored him was to keep his tradition of “odd” ties going. (He seemed to delight in clothing that clashed – stripes with plaids, odd color combos – they certainly made him easy to find at a con. If someone’s attire made your eyes water, it was probably David.)
We covered that on Amazing at the time and even designed a tie to donate in tribute. Here’s the tie (not the TOR logo in the background):
David consulted for numerous genre publishers, edited “Best of” anthologies and got his start in our field with bibliographic research, evidencing a quite deep knowledge of the field.
He edited the New York Review of Science Fiction, won Hugo and WFA awards (and others) and had a substantial impact on the genre.
Cosmos, on the other hand had an impressive launch, including fiction by some of the biggest names in the field, but it suffered from under-capitalization and distribution issues (so what else is new?). Interestingly, it produced exactly as many issues as its 1950s era namesake – four – though the latter was digest and the former was slick in format.