For a great part of his life, he suffered from the effects of asthma. He died of complications from severe asthma.
Character as an author
John Clute has characterized Dickson as a "gregarious, engaging, genial, successful man of letters", who had not been an introvert. Clute considers Dickson a science fiction romantic. The early Canadian years are not thought to have exerted an all-too strong influence onto the author's work. Nevertheless, Clute stresses in connection to Dickson that science fiction welcomes "images of heightened solitude, romantically vague, limitless landscapes, and an anguished submission to afflatus", due to its origin in Gothic fiction.
Clute points out that Dickson, like Poul Anderson, with whom he collaborated in the Hoka series, "[tends] to infuse an austere Nordic pathos into wooded, rural midwestern American settings". His works often have (misogynistic) mercenaries as their protagonists and deal with aliens that are "less deracinated and more lovable than humans" (Clute). They "are inclined to take on a heightened, sagalike complexion" (Clute), particularly through the insertion of lyric poetry that is sometimes rather inferior.
^ abcJohn Clute: Gordon R. Dickson (1923–). In: Richard Bleiler (ed.): Science Fiction Writers. Critical Studies of the Major Authors from the Early Nineteenth Century to the Present Day. Charles Scribner’s Sons, New York 1982, p. 345
^ abGordon R. Dickson at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database (ISFDB). Retrieved 2013-04-22. Select a title to see its linked publication history and general information. Select a particular edition (title) for more data at that level, such as a front cover image or linked contents.
^ abcdefJohn Clute: Gordon R. Dickson (1923–). In: Richard Bleiler (ed.): Science Fiction Writers. Critical Studies of the Major Authors from the Early Nineteenth Century to the Present Day. Charles Scribner’s Sons, New York 1982, p. 346