News came that writer Julian May died on October 17, 2017. The cause of her death wasn’t disclosed.
In the late 1970s Julian May starting thinking about the ideas that eventually produced the works for which she’s best known, the Saga of Pliocene Exile and the Galactic Milieu Series. In fact, they’re two parts of the same series: the first one is set in the past and is told with tones typical of the fantasy genre, the second one is set after World War II in a story-arc that embraces a few centuries and is told with tones much more typical of science fiction.
Stephen Edwin King was born on September 21, 1947 in Portland, Maine, USA.
In 1974 Stephen King published his first novel, “Carrie”, which had little success with only 13,000 copies sold in its hardback edition but then surpassed the million copies sold in the first year in its paperback edition. The novel was adapted for cinema for the first time in 1976, followed by a king of sequel in 1999 and two further adaptations, one in 2002 and one in 2013.
On June 19, 1999, Stephen King was seriously injured after being hit by a minivan. The writer was forced to limit his activity for some time but over the years he still managed to publish various novels, including “Blaze” written in the 1970s but remained unpublished for a long time, which was published under the pen name Richard Bachman in 2007.
In recent years, Stephen King has resumed writing steadfastly, for example the Mr. Mercedes trilogy. In the first phase of his career he was snubbed but over time even critics got convinced by Stephen King’s works’ literary value so today he’s considered much more than the king of horror but simply a great writer.
Tanith Lee was born on September 19, 1947 in London, England.
Tanith Lee’s debut as a writer took place in 1968 with a very short story, of only 90 words, published in an anthology. For some years she wrote in her free time because her novels were regularly rejected by publishers. The first novel she managed to publish was “The Dragon Hoard” in 1971, a work for children. Only in 1975 she was able to publish “The Birthgrave”, the first book of the series of the same name, which gave her fame.
For years, Tanith Lee was a prolific writer, occasionally working as a screenwriter when she wrote two episodes of the TV show “Blake’s 7”. Over time, however, her ability to write for many hours a day and even night declined and was forced to progressively limit her activity.
The news came that yesterday the writer Jerry Pournelle died in his sleep at his home in Studio City, California.
His military experience, both at the front and in weapon development projects, also accompanied Jerry Pournelle’s career as a writer. Today, military science fiction has become an acknowledged subgenre that has its importance and its fans but in the past it had little consideration and Jerry Pournelle’s works were crucial to its development.
Jerry Pournelle was a complex person with a life spent working in many different fields so it’s a case where every label would be trivial and would only describe a small part of him. It’s thanks to all the experiences he accumulated that in his stories he created complex situations in which the characters ended up finding solutions to problems that were far from politically correct.
Robert Anson Heinlein was born on July 7, 1907 in Butler, Missouri. He was one of the greatest science fiction writers, one of the first writers to publish his works in publications more prestigious than pulp magazines, which at the time didn’t enjoy a great consideration. He was also at the center of several controversies, especially for the ideas contained in “Starship Troopers”.
He had the tendencty to develop some ideas quite to the extreme but in different novels there are different ideas so for example “Starship Troopers” was blamed for militarism or even fascism while “Stranger in a Strange Land” became a point of reference for hippies.
Sometimes Robert Heinlein preached the ideas contained in his works but when he focused on the story the results were really great. His wife Virginia founded the Heinlein Society in 1997 to take care of the author’s enormous legacy. Without him science fiction would be very different.