Andrew Jefferson Offutt (August 16, 1934 – April 30, 2013) was an American science fiction and fantasy author. He wrote as Andrew J. Offutt, A. J. Offutt, and Andy Offutt. His normal byline, andrew j. offutt, has all his name in lower-case letters. He also wrote erotica under seventeen different pseudonyms, principally John Cleve, John Denis, Jeff Morehead, and Turk Winter. He is the father of novelist Chris Offutt and professor Jeff Offutt.
The Sword of Skelos (1979), one of Offutt's contributions to the Conan The Barbarian saga, included a short, facetious biographical note: "Andrew J. Offutt is the recently "tired and re-tired", as he puts it, president of the Science Fiction Writers of America. He loves heroic fantasy though at 6' 1" he is built for speed, not combat. Kentuckian Offutt has a number of other books in and out of print, and has been a helpless fan of Robert E. Howard since birth. Now he calls himself the Steve Garvey among writers; "Surely it's every boy's dream to grow up—but not too much—and get to write about Conan". Offutt researches with gusto, both in and out of books, having—briefly and painfully, he says—worn chainmail and helm and wielded sword. He is also tired of aged, bald, ugly, sexless mages and squeaky females in heroic fantasy."
Offutt was born in a log cabin in rural Kentucky. He was married for more than 50 years to Jodie McCabe Offutt of Lexington, Kentucky. They had four children: writer Chris Offutt; Jeff Offutt, Professor of Software Engineering at George Mason University; Scotty Hyde, copy editor for the Park City Daily News in Bowling Green, Kentucky; and Melissa Offutt, a sales executive for Sprint in San Diego. Offutt also had five grandchildren, Sam, Steffi, James, Joyce, and Andrew.
Offutt began publishing in 1954 with the story "And Gone Tomorrow" in the magazine If. Despite this early sale, he did not consider his professional life to have begun until he sold the story "Blacksword" to Galaxy in 1959. His first true science fiction novel was Evil Is Live Spelled Backwards in 1970. Offutt disliked the title of this book, calling it "embarrassingly amateur".
Offutt wrote numerous novels and short stories, including several in the "Thieves World" series edited by Robert Lynn Asprin and Lynn Abbey, which feature his best known character, the thief, Hanse, also known as Shadowspawn (and, later, Chance). His "Iron Lords" series, likewise, was popular. Offutt also wrote two series of books based on characters by Robert E. Howard. There was a series on Howard's best known character, Conan, and another one on the less known Cormac mac Art—an Irish Viking active in King Arthur's time. In fact, Offutt wrote about him far more extensively than did Howard himself.
As "John Cleve", Offutt also wrote the 19-book erotic science fiction series "Spaceways", over half of which were collaborations.
As an editor Offutt produced a series of five anthologies entitled Swords Against Darkness, which included the first professional sale by Charles de Lint. From 1976 to 1978 he served as president of the Science Fiction Writers of America (SFWA).
Offutt wrote at least 420 pornographic/erotic works under seventeen different pen-names and house-names, including Opal Andrews, "Anonymous," Joe Brown, John Cleve, Camille Colben, Jack Cory, Jeremy Crebb, P. N. Dedeaux, John Denis, Jeff Douglas, Farrah Fawkes, Baxter Giles, Alan Marshall, Jeff Morehead, J. (John) X. Williams, Turk Winter, and Jeff Woodson. The first was Bondage Babes, published under the name Alan Marshall by Greenleaf in 1968; the first appearance of his principal pen name, John Cleve, was on Slave of the Sudan in 1969.
According to his son Chris Offutt he came to regard Cleve as more a separate persona than a pen name, and his other aliases as Cleve's pen names, not his own. As "Cleve" he published more than 130 works of erotica before the market for erotica dried up about 1985; afterwards, turning to self-publishing, he issued 260 more as Turk Winter (an early "Cleve" pen name) over the next twenty-five years. Thirty more remained unpublished at the time of his death. So prolific was Offutt in this area that in summing up his writing career his son Chris wrote that he "came to understand that my father had passed as a science-fiction writer while actually pursuing a 50-year career as a pornographer."