Writers

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.

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.

Arthur C. Clarke in 2005 (Photo Amy Marash)

Arthur Charles Clarke was born on December 16, 1917 in Minehead, Somerset, England. He’s been a great science fiction writer and published novels that are among the greatest in the genre such as “Childhood’s End”, “Rendez-Vous with Rama” and “The Fountains of Paradise”. Together with Stanley Kubrick he developed the script for the movie “2001: A Space Odyssey”, of which he published an adaptation to a novel.