|Born in Kent, England to poor parents, H. G. Wells was apprenticed to a draper at age 14. Fired, he bounced from job to job, and at age 18 he went to college and became a pupil of scientist Thomas Henry Huxley, the greatest influence on his life. After two troubled marriages, Wells began publishing his novels and grew very wealthy; his first novel, THE TIME MACHINE, was followed by approximately a book a year. He was described by his paramour Rebecca West as "practically off his head, enormously vain, irascible, and in a fantasy world." He died in 1946, one month from his 80th birthday. His influence on other authors is incalculable.
|The son of a naval officer, Gregory Dale Bear had traveled widely around the Pacific Ocean by the time he was 12. He began writing stories very early, and by age 13, he was submitting stories to magazines. His first published story, "Destroyers", appeared in 1967. After graduating from San Diego State in 1969 with a B.A., Bear completed his first novel, which was finally published in the mid-'80s after extensive revisions. He was married in 1975, though it ended in divorce six years later. After more short-story publications, 1979's HIEGIRA became his first novel. Though a couple of earlier stories had attracted some notice from various award-nomination committees, it wasn't until 1983 that Bear's work was really noticed. That year saw the publication of "Blood Music", a complex tale of genetic engineering that won both the Hugo and Nebula awards. Expanded into a full-length novel in 1985, it marked an important point in the evolution of the science fiction sub-genre of "hard science." As John Clute writes in THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF SCIENCE FICTION: "It can be argued that the singular failure of almost all hard-sf writers to create noteworthy literature lies in their assumption that it is more difficult to understand - say - plasma physics than to understand human beings. The significance of G[reg] B[ear]'s...novels lies in the fact that his human beings are more difficult to describe than his physics." In 1983, Bear was married again, this time to Astrid Anderson, the daughter of another science fiction writer, Poul Anderson. Subsequent stories--award-winners like "Hardfaught" and "Tangents"--and Bear's next few novels, which included best sellers and award nominees such as EON, THE FORGE OF GOD, and ETERNITY, were capped by 1990's QUEEN OF ANGELS, a novel that bridged the gap between hard sf and cyberpunk. MOVING MARS (1994) and "/"--also known as SLANT--(1997) are both set in the same future as QUEEN OF ANGELS. 1998 saw the release of FOUNDATION AND CHAOS, book two in the Second Foundation series (the first is by Gregory Benford, the third by David Brin). The project expanded the universe described in Isaac Asimov's enormously influential original Foundation series. In addition to writing, Bear is an accomplished illustrator--some of his art graces the covers of his own books--and he has worked as a freelance journalist covering, among other things, the Voyager mission to Jupiter and Saturn.