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.
Roger Joseph Zelazny was born on May 13, 1937 in Euclid, Ohio, USA. Initially, his career as a writer was part time writing short fiction and only in 1965 a cut version of his novel “.. . And Call Me Conrad ” was published in “The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction”. In 1966 the novel was published as an integral version as a book with the title “This Immortal”. The novel won the Hugo Award.
In 1965 Roger Zelazny also published the novella “He Who Shapes”, winner of the Nebula Award, which was expanded into the novel “The Dream Master” in 1966. In 1967 Roger Zelazny published the novel “Lord of Light”, who won the Hugo Award.
In 1970 Roger Zelazny published the first book of his fantasy cycle of the Chronicles of Amber “Nine Princes in Amber”. The first five books, published in the 1970s, describe the adventures of Prince Corwin of Amber and are for this reason also called the Corwin series.
Roger Zelazny died on June 14, 1995 because of a cancer that also caused him kidney failure. Some works were published posthumously such as “Psycoshop” in 1998, a novel started by Alfred Bester.
Robert Albert Bloch was born on April 5, 1917 in Chicago, Illinois, USA.
In 1934, Bloch published the story “Lilies” on the semi-professional magazine “Marvel Tales”. After a few months, he started publishing his stories on “Weird Tales” as well. His first stories were strongly influenced by H.P. Lovecraft, so much that a part of them was set in the fictional universe of the so-called “Cthulhu Mythos”. Lovecraft’s death deeply marked Bloch, who gradually shifted his efforts toward different stories and also into science fiction.
In the ’50s, the Robert Bloch’s activity continued both in the literary field and in radio and was further expanded when he started working for television productions. The skills he had acquired in moving from one genre to another was seen in 1959, when he won the Hugo Award for the best science fiction short story with “That Hell-Bound Train” and he published the thriller / horror novel “Psycho”, which won the Edgar Allan Poe Award. The novel gave him great fame among the general public following its adaptation into the famous movie directed by Alfred Hitchcock.
Robert Bloch died on September 23, 1994. He left a legacy of dozens of novels, screenplays and short stories of various genres. During his life he received many important awards that show the importance of this author in the field of literature, cinema and television.
George Alec Effinger was born on January 10, 1947 in Cleveland, Ohio, USA. The greatest successes came for George Alec Effinger in the ’80s, particularly the Marîd Audran series, with the protagonist who operates in the Budayeen, a district in a Middle Eastern city heavily inspired by the New Orleans French Quarter with plenty of transsexuals, transvestites and more. The stories also have strong cyberpunk influences with characters that have cybernetic implants of various kinds.
Throughout his life George Alec Effinger suffered serious health problems that in the ’90s became too serious for him to continue with his work as a writer. The growth of medical costs led him at one point to his inability to pay for the cures. One of the gastric ulcers he suffered from caused an internal bleeding which caused his death on April 27, 2002.
Yesterday the actress Carrie Fisher passed away. On December 23, during a flight from London to Los Angeles she suffered a heart attack. CPR performed on site allowed to take her to hospital, where her conditions got stabilized. Unfortunately, after four days she passed away.
Carrie Frances Fisher was born on October 21, 1956 in Beverly Hills, California, USA, the daughter of singer Eddie Fisher and actress Debbie Reynolds. Her parents divorced when she was only two years old and both of them remarried not long after.
An actress, a writer and screenwriter, Carrie Fisher will be remember mostly for playing Princess Leia in the Star Wars saga.