Blogs about fantasy

The ANA Avatar XPRIZE website's home page

Peter Diamandis, Executive Chairman of XPRIZE, announced the start of a new initiative called ANA Avatar XPRIZE with the aim of developing avatars. A competition that will last four years with a prize of $10 millions offering teams all over the world the chance to develop robotic systems that can’t only move but also transmit visual and auditory sensations interacting with the environment and other people like if the user was on site.

Edward Hamilton Waldo, this is his birth name, was born on February 26, 1918 in New York, USA. His parents divorced when he was still a child, his mother remarried to William Sturgeon and he took his surname also changing his personal name, hence becoming legally Theodore Sturgeon.

In 1950 Theodore Sturgeon published his first novel, “The Dreaming Jewels”, also known as “The Synthetic Man”, first in the magazine “Fantastic Adventures” and later in a revised version as a book. In 1953 Theodore Sturgeon published his second novel, “More Than Human”, obtained fixing-up three previously published stories. These are the novels considered his masterpieces, in which he develops at best some elements typical of his works with misfit protagonists.

Theodore Sturgeon lived for several years in Springfield, Oregon, where he died on May 8, 1985 of pulmonary fibrosis. He left a mark in the field of science fiction with stories in which he explores his characters’ humanity in various ways. He’s also known for the law that bears his name that states that Ninety percent of [science fiction] is crud, but then, ninety percent of everything is crud”.

Philip J. Farmer in 2002

Philip José Farmer was born on January 26, 1918 in Terre Haute, Indiana, USA. He’s famous especially for his science fiction cycles such as the World of Tiers and Riverworld and for other works that were controversial due to their sex and religion themes.

In the last phase of his career, Philip J. Farmer lost much of his innovative and iconoclastic strength but at that point certain taboos had been eliminated from the world of science fiction and part of the merit is his. The author died on February 25, 2009 leaving an important legacy and not only in the field of science fiction and fantasy.

Ursula Le Guin in 2008

The writer Ursula Le Guin passed away on Monday. The causes of her death were not revealed but her health deteriorated over the past year. She was an extraordinary writer, famous in the fantasy genre for the Earthsea Cycle and in the science fiction genre for her Hainish Cycle.

Ursula Le Guin has been an extraordinary writer for her ability to create realistic worlds even in her fantasy stories with characters of great depth. The influence of her father, an anthropologist, led her to develop stories in which her worlds’ cultures with their social and political complexities were very important. Her points of view with a genuine feminism and sometimes anarchist, went far beyond so many science fiction and fantasy clichés. She was really an important writer far beyond any genre label.

Nancy Kress between Delia Sherman and Ellen Datlow

Nancy Anne Koningisor – this is her birth name – was born on January 20, 1948 in Buffalo, New York, USA. Nancy Kress’s career as a writer started in 1976, initially writing short fiction. Her first novels were fantasy but she obtained her biggest success with her science fiction works, from the Beggars series to the most recent novels and short fiction.

Throughout her career, Nancy Kress showed how the division between hard and soft science fiction can be difficult writing many stories based on scientific concepts, often genetic engineering, using them to tell the consequences of the society of their developments. It’s one of the skills that made her a writer of great value appreciated by the public.