JSOOnline (Milwaukee): Remembering Martin H. Greenberg, the Green Bay Packager
Martin H. Greenberg edited and organized so many collections and anthologies of science fiction, fantasy, mystery and other writing, he was sometimes called the Green Bay Packager.
Greenberg, a retired University of Wisconsin-Green Bay professor, died June 25 at age 70. While still teaching at the university, he began a sideline of editing anthologies and packaging books, working with some of the biggest names in popular fiction, including Isaac Asimov, Tom Clancy, Stephen King and Sue Grafton.
"He helped publish more than 2,500 books, including novels, anthologies, and nonfiction works," according to a statement in the obituary that his family published in the Green Bay Press Gazette.
In a 2001 article, the Journal Sentinel's Dave Tianen described the range of Greenberg's many entertaining fiction collections:
"The books Greenberg has published cover an enormous range of topics and interests. A sampling of titles includes 'Alien Pregnant By Elvis,' 'Election Day 2084: Science Fiction Stories About the Future of Politics,' 'Single White Vampire Seeks Same,' 'Weird Tales from Shakespeare' and 'Sherlock Holmes in Orbit'."
As anthologist and book packager, Greenberg might conceive the concept for a collection, seek stories that fit the concept, negotiate the necessary permissions with the authors and other rights holders, and see the book through to publication. He often worked with co-editors, some of whom were big-name writers in their fields. According to a Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America post, Greenberg and Asimov edited more than 120 anthologies together.
In his academic career, Greenberg was a political scientist with a specialty in terrorism and national security.
Surprisingly, for a guy who was involved in so many books it would take a supercomputer to compile his bibliography, Greenberg told Tianen he worried about coming up dry:
"I was always scared I'd run out of ideas. A lot of it is simply reading the news, trying to stay a little bit attuned to pop culture. My youngest daughter, Madeline (14 in 2001), tries to make her old father hip. She's a reader and she loves science fiction conventions."
"The most remarkable thing about Marty," writer and frequent collaborator Mike Resnick posted on Facebook, "is that he sold over 2,000 anthologies and packed some 700 novels without making a single enemy along the way."