Happy birthday Robert Charles Wilson!

Robert Charles Wilson in 2010
Robert Charles Wilson in 2010

Robert Charles Wilson (photo ©seventorches) was born on December 15, 1953 in Whittier, California, USA. When he was still a child, his family moved to Toronto, Canada, and since then he lived almost always in that country, so much as to become a citizen in 2007.

Robert Charles Wilson has published his first story in the February 1975 issue of the magazine “Analog” as Bob Chuck Wilson. For about a decade, he published short fiction only then he started writing novels as well.

In 1986, Robert Charles Wilson published his first novel, “A Hidden Place”, that brought him immediately to the attention of readers and critics. It shows the typical characteristics of this author, with a considerable development of the characters and their psychology. As often happened in his later novels as well, the protagonists are misfits.

This novel earned the author the label of new Sturgeon. There are actually various similarities between Wilson and the great master of the past but he wasn’t the only source of inspiration for the then young writer. In his first novel, and in his subsequent ones, Wilson was inspired by various authors of both science fiction and mainstream.

Almost as if he wanted to get away from easy labels, in 1987 Robert Charles Wilson published the novel “Memory Wire”, a story that contains elements of cyberpunk but mixed with other elements concerning alien artifacts.

In 1988, Robert Charles Wilson published the novel “Gypsies”, apparently a juvenile but it includes dystopian elements later found in other novels. Wilson also offered intriguing scientific speculations, such as in his later novels “The Divide” in 1990 and “A Bridge of Years” in 1991.

In the ’90s Robert Charles Wilson offered even more successful novels with great quality sometimes reinventing classic themes such as parallel universes and dystopia in “Mysterium” (1994), winner of the Philip K. Dick Award. A similar basic concept is also used in “Darwinia” (1998), which won the Prix Aurora Award.

In 1999, Robert Charles Wilson published “Bios”, a novel that combines space exploration and genetic engineering. The protagonist of the story is even more a misfit than normal for this author as she’s genetically modified to be adapted to the environment of the planet Isis.

In 2001, Robert Charles Wilson won the John W. Campbell Memorial with the novel “The Chronoliths”. Here the author returns to a story of the near future, in which a series of monoliths start appearing in various parts of the world, sent from the future.

In 2003, Robert Charles Wilson won the Prix Aurora Award for the novel “Blind Lake”, in which a scienctific installation that is observing sentient life on an alien planet is suddenly quarantined.

In 2005, the extraordinary Spin series starts with “Spin”, which won the Hugo Award. Its success around the world earned the novel the Geffen Award in Israel, the Kurd-Laßwitz-Preis in Germany and the Seiun Award in Japan. In 2007 “Axis“, its first sequel, was published.

In 2009, Robert Charles Wilson published the novel “Julian Comstock: A Story of 22nd-Century America”, which expands the 2006 novella “Julian: A Christmas Story” and won the Philip K. Dick Award.

In 2011, Robert Charles Wilson published the novel “Vortex“, the second sequel to “Spin” that closes the trilogy.

A few weeks ago, Robert Charles Wilson published the novel “Burning Paradise”. It’s another story of the near future but it’s not ours because it’s a ucronia set in a world that is at peace since 1918.

Robert Charles Wilson is married and he and his wife Sharry have two sons, Paul and Devon. He’s not a particularly prolific writer but the quality of his novels is really impressive so they are a must-have for science fiction fans hoping that he’ll offers quite some more.

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