Dave Galanter, RIP

Dave Galanter with his wife Simantha Galanter at the Authors Day event at the Star Trek Set Tour in Ticonderoga, New York, June 2018

My first dealings with Dave Galanter were when I was doing freelance editorial work for Simon & Schuster. Throughout the first decade of the new millennium, the Star Trek editors would often hire me to line edit a manuscript, and one of the first ones I did was the Maximum Warp duology that Dave and Greg Brodeur wrote.

Dave and I started talking after that, mostly over AOL’s Instant Messenger. We would work together as editor and writer several more times: I edited the monthly Starfleet Corps of Engineers series from 2000-2007, and Dave and Greg wrote a novella for me entitled Ambush, and then Dave wrote another solo entitled Bitter Medicine, which was an important story in the evolution of the character of Dr. Elizabeth Lense. Dave wrote a great story about the Breen attack on Earth called “Eleven Hours Out” for the Tales of the Dominion War anthology I edited in 2004. In 2006, I put together a miniseries called Mere Anarchy in celebration of the 40th anniversary of Star Trek the original series, and Dave wrote the third installment, Shadows of the Indignant, which was a Kirk-and-McCoy buddy movie taking place before The Motion Picture with Kirk as an admiral and McCoy as a civilian doctor.

Dave was a smart, funny, brilliant person and also a most excellent writer. His style was effortless and readable in the best way. He always nailed the character voices — an important feature of writing tie-in fiction — and did a beautiful job of inhabiting the universe he was writing in.

My favorite memories of Dave are sitting around the bar at the Hunt Valley Inn in Maryland that hosts the Farpoint and Shore Leave convention, and of sitting around the diner across the street from the Star Trek Set Tour in Ticonderoga, New York, and just bullshitting with him. Dave was one of the funniest people I’ve ever known — and I know some funny-ass people, so I don’t say that lightly — but also one of the most insightful. He was a keen observer of the world, and while we didn’t always agree, he was great to argue with, because his arguments were always intelligent and backed up by considerable thought.

He’s spent his 2020 battling cancer and losing, and yesterday, he finally lost the war completely. The last message exchange we had was one where I told him I loved him, which is about the only thing I’m grateful for in this whole mess. He leaves behind a fantastic wife (Simantha), a wonderful brother (Josh), a delightful family (Josh’s wife and offspring, the latter of whom called him “Uncle Deet”), and a huge legion of friends and family and readers who will all miss his presence greatly.

Rest in peace, my friend.

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