Writers

William Gibson in 2007

William Ford Gibson was born on March 17, 1948 in Conway, South Carolina, USA. In 1984 he published “Neuromancer”, which won the Hugo, Nebula and Philip K. Dick Awards, launched his career for good and had considerable influence in the field. The novel also incorporates some themes already existing in science fiction but because of the way in which he develops them marked in particular the cyberpunk movement.

With his very visual style, William Gibson marked a period in the history of science fiction with an influence that went even beyond that genre. His descriptions of Western society, which in various ways proved to be apt in certain negative developments, made him important regardless of genre labels, inspiring subsequent productions in various media.

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”.

Jules Verne circa 1878

Jules Gabriel Verne was born on February 8, 1828 in Nantes, France. In the course of his activity as a writer, Jules Verne produced works of various genres but only in 1863 he published the novel “Five weeks in a balloon” (“Cinq semaines en ballon”). The author put together various adventurous elements that characterized his production that put together a sense of wonderful and detailed technical-scientific descriptions.

At the beginning of the 20th century Jules Verne suffered from some serious health problems, including diabetes. Together with his family he had moved to Amiens, where he died on March 24, 1905. Some of his works were published posthumously. For years he was considered above all an author of works for kids and his merits were particularly appreciated by fans of science fiction, a genre that started developing in its modern meaning in the following decades. This author’s importance was fully recognized only with the passage of time.

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.