Harry Norman Turtledove is an American novelist who has produced works in several genres including alternate history, historical fiction, fantasy and science fiction. Turtledove has been dubbed “The Master of Alternate History”. Within that genre he is known both for creating original alternate history scenarios such as survival of the Byzantine Empire or an alien invasion in the middle of the Second World War and for giving a fresh and original treatment to themes previously dealt with by many others, such as the victory of the South in the American Civil War and of Nazi Germany in the Second World War. His novels have been credited with bringing alternate history into the mainstream. His style of alternate history has a strong military theme with scenes of combat happening throughout many of his works.
Roger Joseph Zelazny was an American writer of fantasy and science fiction short stories and novels, best known for his The Chronicles of Amber series. He won the Nebula award three times (out of 14 nominations) and the Hugo award six times (also out of 14 nominations), including two Hugos for novels: the serialized novel …And Call Me Conrad (1965; subsequently published under the title This Immortal, 1966) and then the novel Lord of Light (1967). The ostracod Sclerocypris zelaznyi was named after him. Roger Zelazny was born in Euclid, Ohio, the only child of Polish immigrant Joseph Frank Zelazny and Irish-American Josephine Flora Sweet. In high school, he became the editor of the school newspaper and joined the Creative Writing Club. In the fall of 1955, he began attending Western Reserve University and graduated with a B.A. in English in 1959. He was accepted to Columbia University in New York and specialized in Elizabethan and Jacobean drama, graduating with an M.A. in 1962. His M.A. thesis was entitled Two traditions and Cyril Tourneur: an examination of morality and humor comedy conventions in The Revenger’s Tragedy. Between 1962 and 1969 he worked for the U.S. Social Security Administration in Cleveland, Ohio and then in Baltimore, Maryland spending his evenings writing science fiction. He deliberately progressed from short-shorts to novelettes to novellas and finally to novel-length works by 1965. On May 1, 1969, he quit to become a full-time writer, and thereafter concentrated on writing novels in order to maintain his income. During this period, he was an active and vocal member of the Baltimore Science Fiction Society, whose members included writers Jack Chalker and Joe and Jack Haldeman among others.
Sir Terence David John “Terry” Pratchett is an English novelist, known for his frequently comical work in the fantasy genre. He is best known for his popular and long-running Discworld series of comic fantasy novels. Pratchett’s first novel, The Carpet People, was published in 1971, and since his first Discworld novel (The Colour of Magic) was published in 1983, he has written two books a year on average. His latest Discworld book, Snuff is the third-fastest-selling novel since records began in the United Kingdom selling 55,000 copies in the first three days. Pratchett was the UK’s best-selling author of the 1990s, and as of August 2010 had sold over 65 million books worldwide in thirty-seven languages. He is currently the second most-read writer in the UK, and seventh most-read non-US author in the US. Pratchett was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) “for services to literature” in 1998.
Peter Soyer Beagle is an American author of novels, nonfiction, and screenplays, especially fantasy fiction. His best-known work is The Last Unicorn (1968), a fantasy novel he wrote in his twenties, which Locus subscribers voted the number five “All-Time Best Fantasy Novel” in 1987. During the last twenty-five years he has won several literary awards including a World Fantasy Award for Life Achievement in 2011. In 2005 Beagle published a coda to The Last Unicorn, a novelette entitled Two Hearts, and began work on a full-novel sequel. Two Hearts won the most prestigious annual awards, the Hugo Award for Best Novelette in 2006 and the parallel Nebula Award in 2007. It was also nominated as a short fiction finalist for the World Fantasy Award. Beagle also received a special Inkpot Award in 2006 for Outstanding Achievement in Science Fiction and Fantasy, and in 2007 the inaugural WSFA Small Press Award for “El Regalo”, published in The Line Between (Tachyon Publications). IDW Publishing released a six-issue comic book adaptation of The Last Unicorn beginning in April 2010. The collected hardcover edition was released in January 2011, premiering at #2 on the New York Times Hardcover Graphic Novel bestseller list. It will be followed by an adaptation of A Fine and Private Place.
Elizabeth Moon is an American science fiction and fantasy author. Her novel The Speed of Dark won the 2003 Nebula Award. Moon began writing professionally in her mid-thirties and had a newspaper column in a county weekly newspaper. In 1986 she published her first science fiction in the monthly magazine Analog and the anthology series Sword and Sorceress. Her stories appeared regularly in Analog the next few years. Her first novel The Sheepfarmer’s Daughter (1988) won the Compton Crook Award and inaugurated the Paksennarrion series. Most of her work has military science fiction themes, although biology, politics and personal relationships also feature strongly. The Serrano Legacy is a space opera. Her Nebula-winning novel The Speed of Dark (2003) is a near-future story told from the viewpoint of an autistic computer programmer, inspired by her own autistic son Michael.
Monte Cook is a professional table-top role-playing game designer and writer. Cook has been a professional game designer since 1988, working primarily on role-playing games. Much of his early work was for Iron Crown Enterprises as an editor and writer for the Rolemaster and Champions lines. Cook worked for Iron Crown Enterprises for four years; two as a freelancer and two as a full-time designer. During this period, he attracted fan and critical attention with the popular multi-genre setting Dark Space. Cook began working for TSR in 1992 as a freelancer, “writing a whole slew of stuff for the old Marvel game that never came out because the game got canceled”. Joining the TSR team, Cook designed Dungeons & Dragons modules such as Labyrinth of Madness (1995) and A Paladin in Hell (1998), and dozens of supplements to the Planescape line including The Planewalker’s Handbook (1996) and Dead Gods (1998). Cook also designed the conspiracy game Dark•Matter (1999).
Philip José Farmer was an American author, principally known for his award-winning science fiction and fantasy novels and short stories. Farmer is best known for his sequences of novels, especially the World of Tiers (1965–93) and Riverworld (1971–83) series. He is noted for the pioneering use of sexual and religious themes in his work, his fascination for, and reworking of, the lore of celebrated pulp heroes, and occasional tongue-in-cheek pseudonymous works written as if by fictional characters. Farmer often mixed real and classic fictional characters and worlds and real and fake authors as epitomized by his Wold Newton family group of books. These tie all classic fictional characters together as real people and blood relatives resulting from an alien conspiracy. Such works as The Other Log of Phileas Fogg (1973) and Doc Savage: His Apocalyptic Life (1973) are early examples of literary mashup. Literary critic Leslie Fiedler compared Farmer to Ray Bradbury as both being “provincial American eccentrics” … who… “strain at the classic limits of the [science fiction] form”, but found Farmer distinctive in that he “manages to be at once naive and sophisticated in his odd blending of theology, pornography, and adventure”.