Happy birthday Alan Dean Foster!

Alan Dean Foster in 2007
Alan Dean Foster in 2007

Alan Dean Foster (photo ©Elf) was born on November 18, 1946 in New York City, New York, USA.

Alan Dean Foster earned a degree in political science from UCLA and after working as a copywriter for a while began his career as a writer. After writing a few short stories, in 1972 he published his first novel, “The Tar-Aiym Krang”. It’s set in Humanx Commonwealth, formed by humans and the insectoid Thranx, the fictional universe to which in which he set most of his works. It’s also the first to have Philip Lynx, also known as Flinx, and his minidrag Pip as its protagonists.

In subsequent years, Alan Dean Foster wrote a long series of sequels to his first novel which form the Pip and Flinx adventures but also expanded the Humanx Commonwealth series with other subcycles set in that fictional universe. In 1974 he started the Icerigger trilogy with the novel of the same title and in 1999 he started a trilogy about the Commonwealth Foundation with “Phylogenesis”.

In the ’70s, Alan Dean Foster has also started working in the field of literary works connected to movies and TV shows with “novelization” and original stories. He has written several stories based on the “Star Trek” animated series, in part adaptations of episodes and some stories which started from episodes to continue in original stories. In recent years he also wrote the novelization of the first two reboot movies.

In the case of “Star Wars”, Alan Dean Foster was among the authors of the original movie’s novelization though it was credited only to George Lucas. He also wrote some original stories and this year the novelization of the movie “The Force Awakens”. Among the many novelization he wrote, there are also those of “Dark Star”, the first three movies in the Alien saga, that of the movie “Alien Nation” and that of the movie “Terminator Salvation”.

Generally Alan Dean Foster writes science fiction but in 1981 he began the fantasy series Spellsinger with the novel of the same title, where a student named Jonathan Thomas Meriweather, also known as Jon-Tom, is transported into a magical universe where he can use the songs to create spells. The series consists of a total of eight novels.

In 1991, Alan Dean Foster started the Damned trilogy with the novel “A Call to Arms” in which humanity gets involved in an interstellar war. The other novels are “The False Mirror” of 1992 and “The Spoils of War” of 1993.

In 1998, Alan Dean Foster started another trilogy, this time of the fantasy genre, known as “Journeys of the Catechist” which includes the novels “Carnivores of Light and Darkness”, “Into the Thinking Kingdoms” of 1999 and “A Triumph of Souls” of 2000.

Among the most recent novels by Alan Dean Foster there are those of the Tipping Point Trilogy: “The Human Blend” of 2010, “Body, Inc.” of 2012 and “The Sum of Her Parts” of 2012.

Alan Dean Foster is a writer who for many years has been very prolific but still generally managed to offer good quality works. In his choice of themes he also showed a remarkable variety mixing for example space opera and ecology with elements also taken from other genres.

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