John Milo Ford

(April 10, 1957 – September 25, 2006)

Biography of John Milo Ford

John Milo "Mike" Ford (April 10, 1957 – September 25, 2006) was an American science fiction and fantasy writer, game designer, and poet.

Ford was regarded (and obituaries, tributes and memories describe him) as an extraordinarily intelligent, erudite and witty man. He was a popular contributor to several online discussions. He composed poems, often improvised, in both complicated forms and blank verse, notably Shakespearean pastiche; he also wrote pastiches and parodies of many other authors and styles. At Minicon and other science fiction conventions he would perform "Ask Dr. Mike", giving humorous answers to scientific and other questions in a lab coat before a whiteboard.

Ford was born in East Chicago, Indiana, and raised in Whiting, Indiana. In the mid-1970s he attended Indiana University Bloomington, where he was active in the IU science fiction club and Society for Creative Anachronism (using the name Miles Atherton de Grey); while there, he published his first short story "This, Too, We Reconcile" in the May 1976 Analog.

Ford left IU and moved to New York to work on the newly founded Isaac Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine, where, starting in mid-1978, he published poetry, fiction, articles, and game reviews. Although his last non-fiction appeared there in September 1981, he was tenth most frequent contributor for the 1977–2002 period. About 1990, he moved to Minneapolis. In addition to writing, he worked at various times as a hospital orderly, computer consultant, slush pile reader, and copy editor.

Ford suffered from complications related to diabetes since childhood and also had renal dysfunction which required dialysis and, in 2000, a kidney transplant, which improved his quality of life considerably. He was found dead from natural causes in his Minneapolis home on September 25, 2006, by his partner since the mid-1990s, Elise Matthesen. He was a prominent member of the Friends of the Minneapolis Public Library, which established a John M. Ford Book Endowment after his death with the donations to be used as interest-generating capital for yearly purchase of new books.

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