John M. Ford

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East Chicago,
Birth Sign
East Chicago,

John M. Ford is hailed as America’s most witty and intellectual author. He was a frequent participant to various internet forums and wrote a large number of poems, mostly in blank verse. He also wrote a lot of parodies and lampoons of the works of numerous well-known authors during his lifetime. He was also a fixture at science fiction conferences, where he is renowned for his excellent humor, vivacious energy, and captivating aura, which drew a large following. His works are mainly classified as’science fiction’ or ‘fantasy,’ with ‘The Last Hot Time’ and ‘Growing Up Weightless’ being two of his most well-known works. Aside from these two books, he has written a number of reviews and short stories, including ‘Scrabble with God,’ ‘Street of Dreams,’ ‘This, Too, We Reconcile,’ and ‘Walkaway Clause.’ Although the setting and style of most of his novels varied, he did use the ‘Bildungsroman’ setting in a large number of them. He has contributed to the design of a number of games, including ‘The Yellow Clearance Black Box Blues’ and ‘Star Trek III,’ as well as creating Klingon manuals and RPG articles.

Childhood and Adolescence

John Milo ‘Mike’ Ford grew up in Whiting, Indiana, and was born in East Chicago, Indiana. In the 1970s, he was a student at Indiana University Bloomington and a member of the Society for Creative Anachronism and the Science Fiction Guild. In 1976, he published his debut short tale, ‘This, Too, We Reconcile,’ while still a student.

Career of John M. Ford

He dropped out of university and went to work for the ‘Isaac Asimov’s Science Fiction’ magazine in New York. His responsibilities included writing fiction, poetry, gaming reviews, and articles. His last contribution to the publication was in 1981. He also wrote ‘The Princess of the Air’ about this time. He co-wrote ‘On Writing Science Fiction’ with George H. Scithers and Darrell Schweitzer, which was published the same year.

In 1984, he wrote the Star Trek tie-in novel ‘The Final Reflection,’ and the following year, he penned the short story ‘Scrabble with God,’ which was later reissued. He also collaborated with Curtis Smith on the game ‘Double Paranoia,’ which was launched the following year.

In 1987, he published ‘How Much for Just the Planet?,’ another Star Trek tie-in fiction. The following year, he wrote ‘The Scholars of Night,’ a thriller with a Christopher Marlowe play. ‘Casting Fortune,’ a collection of stories set in the ‘Liavek shared world,’ was published in 1989, and it is one of his lesser-known works. In the same year, he wrote one of his most renowned poems, ‘Winter Solstice, Camelot Station,’ for which he received a prestigious award.

He created three issues of ‘Captain Confederacy,’ history comics, in the late 1980s, and wrote issue number ten of these comics. He came to Minneapolis in 1990, where he worked as a slush pie reader, copy editor, and computer consultant, among other  occupations. He wrote ‘Fugue State’ the same year.

He joined the ‘Friends of the Minneapolis Public Library’ in the 1990s and penned some of his most well-known works, such as ‘Growing up Weightless,’ ‘Timesteps,’ and ‘From the End of the Twentieth Century.’ For Ford aficionados, the year 2000 delivered a new surprise. He wrote ‘The Last Hot Time,’ an urban fantasy tale set in Illinois, which deviates from his usual literary style. He contributed to ‘The World of Robert Jordan’s, The Wheel of Time’ the following year.

He published ‘Heat of Fusion and Other Stories’ in 2004 and was nominated for a World Fantasy Award the following year. This book mostly consists of a collection of his well-known short stories and poetry.
He authored the Fourth Edition of the popular role-playing game ‘GURPS’ in 2005, which garnered him a prestigious award just before his death.

Major Projects of John M. Ford

He published ‘The Dragon Waiting: A Masque of History’ in 1983. Because it earned the prestigious ‘World Fantasy Award,’ it is considered one of his first important works. The book sold over 40,000 copies in print in 1995, with an additional 10,000 copies sold in international, foreign versions. ‘The Final Reflection,’ his debut Star Trek fiction, was published in 1984.

He emphasized the advancements of the Klingon language and ethos in this work. The novel was so well-received that it inspired the FASA Star Trek role-playing game. ‘Troy: The Movie,’ one of his longest and most admired poems, was released in 1994. This poem has been reprinted multiple times and is still considered one of his best works of poetry.

Achievements & Awards

For ‘The Dragon Waiting,’ he won the World Fantasy Award in the category of ‘Best Novel’ in 1984. For ‘Winter Solstice, Camelot Station,’ he won the Rhysling Award for ‘Long Poem’ in 1989. For ‘GURPS Time Travel,’ he earned the Origins Award for ‘Best Roleplaying Supplement’ in 1991.

In 1998, he received the Minnesota Book Award for ‘Fantasy and Science Fiction.’
In 2005, with ‘GURPS Infinite Worlds 4th Edition,’ he received the Origins Award for ‘Role-Playing Game Supplement of the Year.’

Personal History and Legacy

He was diagnosed with diabetes and renal failure at an early age, necessitating a kidney transplant and frequent dialysis. Elise Matthesen, his long-time partner, was the one who discovered him dead in Minneapolis. Following his death, a number of texts and obituaries about Ford were produced, some of which are still available online, such as the LiveJournal committee’s ‘The Society of the Preservation of Mike’ and Will Shetterley’s ‘An Introduction to John M. Ford.’

Estimated Net Worth

John M. Ford is one of the wealthiest poets and one of the most well-known. John M. Ford’s net worth is estimated to be $1.5 million, according to Wikipedia, Forbes, and Business Insider.


This well-known American author, poet, and game designer, best known for his novel ‘The Final Reflection,’ was a frequent at science conventions, where he donned a white lab coat and answered scientific and non-scientific inquiries as ‘Dr. Mike.’