Alan Brennert is a novelist, screenwriter, and playwright. He grew up in New Jersey but moved to California in 1973. His novel Moloka’i was a national bestseller and a One Book, One San Diego selection for 2012. It also received the Bookies Award, sponsored by the Contra Costa Library, for the 2006 Book Club Book of the Year. His next novel, Honolulu, won First Prize in Elle Magazine’s Literary Grand Prix for Fiction and was named one of the best books of 2009 by The Washington Post. Of his novel Palisades Park, People Magazine said: “Brennert writes his valentine to the New Jersey playground of his youth in Ragtime-style, mixing fact and fiction. It’s a memorable ride.”
Bradley Clayton Denton is an American science fiction author. He has also written other types of fiction, such as the black comedy of his novel Blackburn, about a sympathetic serial killer.
Mark Lawrence was born in Champagne-Urbanan, Illinois, to British parents but moved to the UK at the age of one. He went back to the US after taking a PhD in mathematics at Imperial College to work on a variety of research projects including the ‘Star Wars’ missile defence programme. Returning to the UK, he has worked mainly on image processing and decision/reasoning theory. He says he never had any ambition to be a writer so was very surprised when a half-hearted attempt to find an agent turned into a global publishing deal overnight. His first trilogy, THE BROKEN EMPIRE, has been universally acclaimed as a ground-breaking work of fantasy. Following The Broken Empire comes the bestselling RED QUEEN’S WAR trilogy. The BOOK OF THE ANCESTOR trilogy, in an entirely new setting, commences with RED SISTER in 2017. Mark is married, with four children, and lives in Bristol.
Charles Stross, a science fiction writer based in Edinburgh, Scotland, came on as a Wild Cards author in Knaves Over Queens. Stross’s story, “Police on my Back,” introduces a new character, the crime boss Pussyface. Pussyface is the ruthless leader of a gang of jewel thieves, and yes, he’s essentially a humanoid cat, complete with claws.
In addition to being a new member of the Wild Cards universe, Stross is an avid champion of the series. We’re likewise huge fans of his own series, which you can read more about below.
Born in 1964 in Leeds, England, Charles Stross started writing stories at age twelve, around the same time that he discovered George R. R. Martin’s work. He also was an avid player of D&D, so much so that as a teenager, he regularly contributed articles on gameplay to the well-known English gaming magazine White Dwarf. He’s responsible for creating several creatures that are still in use today, including the amphibian slaad, the death knight, the githyanki, and the githzerai, the names of which he took from Martin’s 1977 novel The Dying of the Light. A githyanki graces the cover of the 1981 first edition of the Fiend Folio, the edition where Stross’s creatures first appeared. While he gave up tabletop games sometime in his early twenties, he kept writing.
In the mid-eighties, Stross studied in Bradford and London, where he got degrees in pharmacy and computer science. Before becoming a sci-fi writer, he worked a host of jobs: he was a computer programmer, a freelance journalist, and a technical author for various start-ups in the early nineties, a time he refers to as the “startup death march” on his blog, antipope.org.
He published his first short story, “The Boys,” in Interzone in 1987, and after about a decade and a half, published a story collection, Toast: And Other Rusted Futures, with Cosmos Books, an imprint of the US publisher Wildside Press. A year later, in 2003, he published his first novel, Singularity Sky, with Ace Books—the first book in a trilogy that garnered Stross two Hugo nominations for Best Novel over the next few years.
After that, well. Charles Stross doesn’t mess around. From 2004 to 2014, Stross works were nominated or chosen nearly every year for career-making literary prizes. He won Locus Awards for Accelerando (2006), “Missile Gap” (2007), and “The Apocalypse Codex” (2013); a Prometheus Award for Glasshouse (2006); a Sidewise Award for the Merchant Princes series; and the 2019 European SF Society Hall of Fame Award for Best Author. He’s also a three-time winner of the Hugo Award for Best Novella, for “The Concrete Jungle” (2005), “Palimpsest” (2010), and “Equiod” (2014).
Charles Stross’s Series
Fans love Stross for his series, including the Laundry Files and Merchant Princes series. He’s spoken at many science fiction conventions in multiple countries, and he’s become a household name in the SFF community.
Here are brief descriptions of Charles Stross’s famous series.
The Eschaton Series
Stross’s first series was Eschaton, starting with his novel Singularity Sky. The book is about Earth in the distant future, where a sentient and all-powerful AI called the Eschaton has set off the Singularity, essentially causing a super-accelerated evolution in technology and society. Two humans, UN black ops agent Rachel Mansour and freelance engineer Martin Springfield, are working to thwart a society called the New Republic, which is as oppressive as it is Luddite; all advanced tech has been banned for civilians. A separate alien intelligence named the Festival starts dropping cell phones to people, in order to radicalize one of the New Republic’s colonial worlds. Springfield and Mansour are forced to time travel—a practice that is strictly forbidden by the Eschaton—to appease their respective handlers.
The Laundry Files
In 2004, Stross created the Laundry Files series. The series follows IT consultant Bob Howard, who happens to stumble upon ancient powers and gates to other dimensions while working on some particularly advanced computing issues. This type of advanced computing turns out to be actual magic, and Howard is quickly recruited by a mysterious British intelligence unit called The Laundry. The first book, The Atrocity Archives, follows Bob’s travails as a newly minted interdimensional spy. The whole series is shot through with workplace humor, Lovecraftian horror, and dry jokes about bureaucracy.
Rule 34 and the Halting State Trilogy
A few years later, in 2007, Stross wrote the first novel of what would have been the Halting State trilogy, Halting State. The novel focuses on a Scottish detective sergeant, Sue Smith, and her colleagues as they investigate a series of cyber-robberies in a popular multiplayer online role-playing game, Avalon Four, which operates similarly to the real-life game World of Warcraft. As they learn more about how the burglaries go down, they discover a much larger conspiracy: the government is surveilling people over the internet without their knowledge or consent, as part of some shady counterterrorism efforts.
The sequel, Rule 34, is told in rotating second-person POV, focusing on three storylines that eventually intersect. Edinburgh Police Inspector Kavanaugh investigates the gruesome murders of porn spammers and discovers that a string of similar killings is taking place in the rest of Europe. Anwar, a former identity thief, becomes Scottish honorary consul for a fictional Central Asian state. We also follow the Toymaker, who is the head of the criminal operation responsible for the murders. The same throughline of unethical government surveillance continues in this novel, only the information comes from the general public’s porn habits, as opposed to their gaming routines (hence the book’s title, which references rule #34 of the internet).
Unfortunately, the events of the Halting State trilogy proved eerily accurate, and Stross ended the series prematurely after Edward Snowden basically played out the real-life events of the third novel during his famous 2013 leaks regarding the NSA’s surveillance of citizens’ online lives. Stross wrote of the decision not to continue the series in a blog post: “‘Halting State’ wasn’t intended to be predictive when I started writing it in 2006. Trouble is, about the only parts that haven’t happened yet are Scottish Independence and the use of actual quantum computers for cracking public key encryption (and there’s a big fat question mark over the latter—what else are the NSA up to?)”
Merchant Princes Series
Merchant Princes is an alternate-history series that comes on like high fantasy (an investigative journalist discovers a locket that allows her to visit another timeline, where North America’s eastern seaboard is occupied by a high medieval civilization) and goes out like a paranoid technothriller (what if the post-9/11 US government discovered that the main drug-smuggling cartel shipping product into the USA actually came from a parallel universe?). The series continues in the Empire Games trilogy. Set in the same universe(s) about 17 years later, it takes the paratime intrigue into the near future.
Peadar O’Guilin grew up in Donegal on the beautiful West Coast of Ireland. His strange short stories have been appearing for years in speculative-fiction magazines and anthologies around the world. He has written a number of stories and novels. His first novel, The Inferior, was published to critical acclaim in 2007 and translations into nine languages including Japanese and Korean. Before writing novels, Ó Guilín wrote a number of plays and worked on a weekly print comic with the artist Laura Howell, Sneaky, the Cleverest Elephant in the World, aimed at kids.
The Times Educational Supplement called his first novel “a stark, dark tale, written with great energy and confidence and some arresting reflections on human nature
Peter Newman is an English author of fantasy novels and short stories, including the Gemmell Award-winning The Vagrant. He is also co-writer of the Hugo Award winning Tea and Jeopardy podcast
Emma Newman writes dark short stories and science fiction and urban fantasy novels. ‘Between Two Thorns’, the first book in Emma’s Split Worlds urban fantasy series, was shortlisted for the BFS Best Novel and Best Newcomer awards. The fifth and final novel in the series “All Good Things” will be published in 2017. The Split Worlds series is published by Diversion Books.
Emma’s first science-fiction novel, Planetfall, was published by Roc in November 2015. A second standalone novel set in the same universe, called ‘After Atlas’ is available now.
Emma is a professional audio book narrator and also co-writes and hosts the Hugo-nominated and Alfie winning podcast ‘Tea and Jeopardy‘ which involves tea, cake, mild peril and singing chickens. Her hobbies include dressmaking and role playing games.
….authors bio coming soon…
Daniel Abraham is the New York Times bestselling author of 24 novels including The Expanse series written with Ty Franck as James SA Corey. He has been nominated for the Nebula, World Fantasy, and Hugo awards, and has won the Locus and International Horror Guild awards. He is also a producer and screenwriter.
Saladin Ahmed been a finalist for the Nebula Award for Best Short Story, the Campbell Award for Best New Science Fiction or Fantasy Writer, and the Harper’s Pen Award for best Sword and Sorcery/Heroic Fantasy Short Story. His short fiction has appeared in magazines and podcasts including Strange Horizons, Orson Scott Card’s Intergalactic Medicine Show, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Apex Magazine, StarShipSofa and PodCastle, and has been translated into Portuguese, Czech, Dutch, and Romanian. His fantasy novel THRONE OF THE CRESCENT MOON is forthcoming from DAW Books in March 2012.
His poetry has earned fellowships from the University of Michigan, Brooklyn College, and the Bronx Council on the Arts, and has appeared in over a dozen journals and anthologies including Callaloo, The Brooklyn Review, Big City Lit, Inclined To Speak: An Anthology of Contemporary Arab American Poetry, and Abandon Automobile: Detroit City Poetry.
He also occasionally writes on video games and culture for The Escapist magazine.
Edward Bryant is a science fiction and horror writer sometimes associated with the Dangerous Visions series of anthologies that bolstered The New Wave.
His writing career began in 1968 with his attendance at the Clarion Workshop. By 1973, he had gained acclaim for stories with a conversational style that mask rather dark realities. At times these realities are downright apocalyptic, although in other cases the message is joyous and hopeful.
When Bryant moved to Denver in 1972, he founded the Northern Colorado Writers Workshop, which continues today, and has produced a number of notable writers, including Steve Rasnic Tem, Melanie Tem, John Dunning, Wil McCarthy, Bruce Holland Rogers, Dan Simmons, and Connie Willis. In addition, Bryant has facilitated a number of other writing workshops over the years for writers ranging in skill and experience from amateur to professional. Although generally known as a writer himself, Bryant’s greatest legacy may be the encouragement, instruction, and mentoring he has given to hundreds of other writers through the years.
Pat Cadigan is a science fiction, fantasy, and horror writer, three-time winner of the Locus Award, twice-winner of the Arthur C. Clarke Award, one-time winner of the Hugo Award. She is a recovering American living in North London with her husband, the Original Chris Fowler, and their cat, Gentleman Jynx.
Michael Cassutt is noted for his writing about the space program — not only articles in magazines such as Space World, but a massive biographical encyclopedia, Who’s Who in Space. Cassutt is the author of two previous mystery thrillers set within the space program, Missing Man and Red Moon. He lives in Los Angeles, CA.
Craig W. Chrissinger has been writing about TV, film and books since 1989 in various publications such as Starlog, Fangoria, Comics Scene, the Albuquerque Journal and Locus Magazine. For the Wild Cards series of books, he co-created Ratboy. He also is the co-chair of Bubonicon and edits the Albuquerque Science Fiction Society’s newsletter.
Writer Chris Claremont has encountered more success than most writers ever dream of. His stories have achieved best-seller status, won numerous awards, and are trend-setters for the industry. Although best known for his work on Marvel Comic’s X-Men series, he has written other seminal characters such as Batman and Superman; originated several creator-owned series; is published throughout the world in many different languages; authored nine novels. His papers are in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Columbia University, in New York. His work has touched millions.
Chris is especially proud of his creator-owed work, which includes Sovereign 7, a unique, otherworldly young adult comic series whose three-year run was published by DC Cmics; and the historic fantasies The Black Dragon and Marada, the She-Wolf (artist: John Bolton) and Wanderers: The Winter King (artist: Phillip Briones). Chris’s prose novels include the science fiction High Frontier Series (First Flight, Grounded!, Sundowner), the fantasy series Shadow Moon, Shadow Dawn, Shadow Star and the dark fantasy Dragon Moon.
Chris has just completed work on a dark fantasy prose novel, Wild Blood, and is beginning work on Silk Road, a thriller set on that fabled route.
Paul Cornell is a writer of SF/F in prose, television, and comics, one of only two writers to be Hugo Award–nominated for all three media. He’s written Doctor Who for the BBC, Elementary for CBS, Superman for DC, and Wolverine for Marvel. He writes the Shadow Police urban fantasy series for Tor, and the Witches of Lychford novellas for Tor.com. His forthcoming comics include Saucer State for IDW.
Arthur Byron Cover attended the Clarion Writer’s SF Workshop in New Orleans in 1971, and made his first professional short-story sale to Harlan Ellison’s The Last Dangerous Visions.
Cover’s short stories have appeared in Infinity Five, Alternities, The Alien Condition, Weird Heroes #6, The Year’s Best Horror #4 and #5, Wild Cards #5: Down & Dirty, and Pulphouse. He’s also written several comic books — most notably two issues of Daredevil (one of them with Ellison), and Space Clusters, a graphic novel from DC Comics illustrated by Alex Niño — plus several animation scripts, and reviews and articles for such august publications as The New York Review of Science Fiction.
Cover’s first novel, Autumn Angels, was the second of Harlan Ellison’s Discovery Series of new authors for Pyramid Books, and was nominated for a Nebula Award. The novel has been described as “a stylistic cross-breed of Ellison and Vonnegut, and as such both predates and bests Douglas Adams in creating a comic, literary fantasy.”
David Anthony Durham is a major contributor to the Wild Cards universe. His writing is featured in Wild Cards XXI: Fort Freak, Wild Cards XXII: Lowball, Wild Cards XXIII: High Stakes, and Wild Cards XXVI: Texas Hold ’Em. He has created the characters Bacho, DJ Tod, and Marcus Morgan, aka the Infamous Black Tongue, whose long tongue is the conduit for his powerful snake venom.
If you’re a Wild Cards reader, you’re already a fan of David Anthony Durham. Read on for his bio, and be sure to check out this illuminating Q&A with Ti Mikkel.
David Anthony Durham was born in New York City to parents of Caribbean ancestry. He grew up in Maryland, where he went to the University of Maryland, Baltimore, on a Creative Arts scholarship. During his time there, his short story “August Fury” won the 1990 Malcolm C. Braly Award for Fiction. Shortly after, another short story Durham wrote, “The Boy-Fish,” won the 1992 Zora Neale Hurston/Richard Wright Fiction Award and was published in Catalyst. In 1994, he received a full scholarship to the MFA program at the University of Maryland, College Park; while there, he wrote his first two novels, Cicada and August Fury. Both are serious and realist, centering on contemporary issues within African American families.
After graduating in 1996, Durham moved to the United Kingdom, where he published a few more short stories before moving again, this time to France, in 1999. There, he worked on Gabriel’s Story, a historical-fiction novel that follows black homesteaders and cowboys in the American West. Published by Doubleday in 2001, Gabriel’s Story was a New York Times Notable Book, a Los Angeles Times Best of 2001 pick, and a Booklist Editor’s Choice. It won the 2001 First Novel Award from the American Library Association’s Black Caucus, the 2002 Alex Award, and the 2002 Legacy Award in the Debut Fiction category.
In 2002, Durham also published an original story in Gumbo: A Celebration of African American Writing, which marked the debut of the Hurston/Wright Legacy Awards for Published Black Writers. All advances and royalties from the book went directly to the Hurston/Wright Foundation. Durham won one of those awards the following year, when he also taught an advanced novel workshop at the Zora Neale Hurston/Richard Wright Foundation Writer’s Week.
After Gabriel’s Story, Durham wrote Walk Through Darkness, a Summer Reading Pick from the Washington Post, an Editor’s Choice for Summer Reading from the Wall Street Journal, a New York Times Notable Book, and one of the San Francisco Chronicle’s Best Books of 2002. He wrote another historical-fiction novel, Pride of Carthage, before venturing into fantasy and science fiction.
The Acacia Trilogy
Durham’s fourth novel, Acacia: The War with the Mein, was the first in the Acacia Trilogy, an epic fantasy series set in an alternate world. The land of Acacia is a powerful and seemingly peaceful empire whose ruler, Leodan Akaran, loves his four children dearly and does his best to keep from them Acacia’s hidden legacy of drug trafficking, slavery, and oppression. However, the Mein, a race exiled ages ago to the icy north, has other plans and sends an assassin to kill Leodan, while also unleashing surprise attacks across the empire. On his deathbed, Leodan puts into play a plan to allow his children to escape, each to their separate destiny. And so his children begin a quest to avenge their father’s death and restore the Acacian empire—this time on the basis of universal freedom.
In 2009, the year of the publication of the sequel to The War with the Mein, Acacia: The Other Lands, David Anthony Durham received the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer. In 2012, he finished out the trilogy with Acacia: The Sacred Band.
Durham returned to historical fiction for his seventh novel, The Risen, which focuses on the Spartacus slave rebellion against the Roman Republic. His next novel, The Shadow Prince, is a middle-grade fantasy novel set in ancient Egypt. It will be published by Tu Books in 2021. Several of his books are in development as feature films.
Teachings on Writing
In addition to writing fiction, Durham has taught at many programs and universities, including Cal State University, where he was the 2003 Distinguished Visiting Writer before becoming an associate professor. He has also been the MacLean Distinguished Visiting Writer at Colorado College and has taught at Hampshire College, the University of Maryland, and the University of Massachusetts. He currently teaches popular fiction for the Stonecoast MFA program at the University of Southern Maine and for the University of Nevada, Reno.
Science fiction writer Ty Franck is best known as the co-author of the series The Expanse, but he’s also a key member of the Wild Cards universe. He was in a writing group with Wild Cards co-creator Melinda Snodgrass, who knew that George R. R. Martin needed an assistant. She mentioned to George that he should hire Ty, and they started working together—Ty helping out with clerical stuff and even building George a new computer to work on, George helping Ty out with the business side of writing as The Expanse grew bigger.
Franck has also written for the Wild Cards universe, in Wild Cards XXI: Fort Freak. He created the characters Baba Yaga, Horrorshow, and Tinkerbill, and he has conducted author Q&As for WildcardsWorld.com.
The Origins of The Expanse
Under the pen name James S. A. Corey, Franck and Daniel Abraham have earned many accolades for The Expanse, the best-selling series of science fiction novels and stories that’s now a popular show on Amazon.
Franck first started getting into science fiction when he was around ten years old. His aunt had bought him a collection of sci-fi books from a garage sale that included Alfred Bester’s The Stars My Destination. It was Franck’s favorite, and he reread it often.
Bester became a major influence on Franck’s work. In an interview with Lightspeed Magazine, Franck said that the setting of The Stars My Destination helped form the framework for the role-playing game that would eventually become the space adventure series The Expanse:
I just became obsessed with the idea of this fully populated solar system, which is the setting of that book—with people living on Mars, with people living on the moon, people living on the various moons of the outer planets. That just stuck in my head and stayed in there for decades, and so when I was coming up with a setting for gaming, that’s the thing that bubbled up.
James SA Corey Meet Each Other
A couple of decades ago, Franck was developing an MMO role-playing game that never ended up coming together because the people who commissioned it ran out of resources before it could be produced. Not wanting all that world building to go to waste, Franck turned it into a pen-and-paper RPG instead.
Franck had moved to New Mexico from Portland, Oregon, and was in a regular gaming group with George R. R. Martin, Melinda Snodgrass, Ian Tregillis, and Daniel Abraham. One day, Franck asked Abraham to play the RPG he’d created. The way the two authors tell it, Franck had amassed so many details about the universe of the game that he kept them in a giant three-ring binder full of notes. “When he [Abraham] found out that those were the notes about the solar system they were gaming in, that’s when he decided to ask me if I would write the book with him because he hates worldbuilding, and I had a giant three-ring binder filled with worldbuilding that we could use,” Franck told Lightspeed.
Franck and Abraham soon got to work writing the first book in the Expanse series, Leviathan Wakes, which follows the crew of a ship called the Rocinante. Because, as Franck says, “games are terrible books,” the material he had developed for the role-playing game had to undergo a lot of changes. But the game’s concept, and the world in which the game took place, remained pretty similar. The series is set two centuries in the future and centers on the three existing factions in the universe—Earth, Mars, and the outer planets—and the escalating tensions between them.
Orbit Books published Leviathan Wakes in 2011; the following year, it won the Hugo Award for Best Novel. The sequel, Caliban’s War, was published in 2012, followed by a third book, Abaddon’s Gate, in 2013. The fourth novel in the series, Cibola Burn, was released in 2014.
The Expanse: The TV Series
Also in 2014, The Expanse was picked up for television by Syfy, with Iron Man writers Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby attached to the project. Syfy did not renew the series after three seasons, but it had become massively popular and had a huge fandom, so much so that thousands of fans petitioned Amazon and Netflix to renew it, using the hashtag #SaveTheExpanse. Amazon picked up the fourth season in 2018.
Seasons three and four both have 100% fresh ratings on Rotten Tomatoes. Calling it “as stunning and complex as before” on Salon.com, Melanie McFarland wrote, “‘The Expanse’ is a fading breed of science fiction TV series, a sweeping operatic saga that takes its realism seriously while filtering universal themes about the human condition and mankind’s higher and baser traits into a fascinating speculative tale.”
The fifth season of the show will focus on the events of the fifth novel in the series, Nemesis Games. Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck are currently at work on the series’ ninth novel.
Honor Among Thieves
Around the same time that The Expanse was picked up for television, Abraham and Franck were asked to write Honor Among Thieves, a novel in the Star Wars Legends series. The events in Honor Among Thieves, which was published by Del Rey in 2014, take place before those of Star Wars: Episode V, The Empire Strikes Back. Honor Among Thieves was the last novel in the Star Wars Legends series to be released before the series was removed from the official Star Wars canon.
Max Gladstone writes books and games—most notably the Craft Sequence, tales of wizards in pinstriped suits and gods with shareholders’ committees. Campbell Award nominee 2013, 2014.
Leanne C. Harper is an American science fiction writer.
Marko Kloos is the author of the Frontlines series of military Science Fiction and a member of George R.R. Martin’s Wild Cards consortium.
Born and raised in Germany, Marko now lives in New Hampshire with his wife and two children. Their compound, Castle Frostbite, is patrolled by a roving pack of dachshunds.
Stephen Leigh has been writing science fiction since he was in grade school. His first professional sale was in 1975 (to Ben Bova, then the editor of Analog Science Fiction Magazine) and has been publishing regularly ever since then, both with short fiction and novels. His first novel, SLOW FALL TO DAWN, was published in 1981 he also has one pen name under S.L. Farrell.
He has been nominated for and won several awards for his fiction over the years. He’s written several stories for the WILD CARDS shared world universe (edited by George RR Martin). He has written and published the occasional poems and non-fiction pieces, as well.
David D. Levine is the multi-award-winning author of the Regency interplanetary airship adventure novel Arabella of Mars (Tor 2016) and more than fifty science fiction and fantasy stories. His story “Tk’Tk’Tk” won the 2006 Hugo Award for Best Short Story, his story “Nucleon” won the James White Award, and he has been shortlisted for awards including the Hugo, Nebula, Campbell, Sturgeon, and Locus. His stories have appeared in Asimov’s, Analog, F&SF, Realms of Fantasy, Tor.com, numerous anthologies and websites, and multiple Year’s Best anthologies, as well as his collection Space Magic from Wheatland Press, which won the Endeavour Award for the best SF or Fantasy book by a Pacific Northwest writer.
David is a contributor to George R. R. Martin’s bestselling shared-world series Wild Cards. He is also a member of Book View Cafe, a writer-owned publishing cooperative, and Oregon Science Fiction Conventions Inc., a non-profit organization which produces OryCon and other SF conventions. He has narrated podcasts for Escape Pod, PodCastle, and StarShipSofa and the audiobook of Space Magic, and his video production “Dr. Talon’s Letter to the Editor” was a finalist for the Parsec Award. In 2010 he spent two weeks at the Mars Desert Research Station, a simulated Mars base in the Utah desert.
George R.R. Martin is the author of the Song of Ice and Fire series. Martin’s present home is Santa Fe, New Mexico. He is a member of Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America (he was South-Central Regional Director 1977-1979, and Vice President 1996-1998), and of Writers’ Guild of America, West.
I’ve been a professional writer of science fiction, fantasy, and other adventure tales my whole adult life – as in, forty years now and counting. I’ve also done time as a cowboy, semi-pro actor, computer support tech, and Albuquerque’s most popular all-night progressive rock DJ.
I’ve published over 100 novels, including the Prometheus Award-winning The Cybernetic Samurai, its sequel Cybernetic Shogun, CLD: Collective Landing Detachment, and numerous short stories. I’m a founding member of the Wild Cards shared-world project, which has a movie in the works.
My work appearing in 2015 includes the novella “The Seeker: A Poison in the Blood,” in S. M. Stirling’s anthology The Change: Tales of Downfall and Rebirth (June 15th), based on his best-selling Emberverse series, and what is as of now the last-ever novel in the Deathlands action/adventure series, currently entitled Wrath Child.
Born and raised in central New York. A professional librarian, she lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico with six cats, one husband, and two chihuahuas.
John Jos. Miller has published nine novels, and more than 20 short stories and 6 comic book scripts. He also wrote GURPS Wild Cards, a supplement for the GURPS role-playing system published in 1989, and two Wild Cards world books and histories from Green Ronin.
Laura J. Mixon is a chemical and environmental engineer better known as a science fiction writer. She writes about the impact of technology and environmental changes on personal identity and social structures. Her work has been the focus of academic studies on the intersection of technology, feminism, and gender. She has also experimented with interactive storytelling, in collaboration with renowned game designer Chris Crawford. She is married to SF writer Steven Gould (Jumper), with whom she collaborated on the novel Greenwar. In 2011, she began publishing under the pen name Morgan J. Locke. Under that name, she is one of the writers for the group blog Eat Our Brains.
Mary Anne Mohanraj is author of Bodies in Motion (HarperCollins), The Stars Change (Circlet Press) and twelve other titles. Bodies in Motion was a finalist for the Asian American Book Awards, a USA Today Notable Book, and has been translated into six languages. The Stars Change is a science fiction novella, and finalist for the Lambda, Rainbow, and Bisexual Book Awards. Previous titles include Aqua Erotica, Wet, Kathryn in the City, The Classics Professor, The Best of Strange Horizons, Without a Map, The Poet’s Journey, and A Taste of Serendib (a Sri Lankan cookbook). Mohanraj founded the Hugo-nominated magazine Strange Horizons and was Guest of Honor at WisCon 2010. She serves as Executive Director of the Speculative Literature Foundation (speclit.org), has taught at the Clarion SF/F workshop, and is Clinical Associate Professor of English at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Kevin Andrew Murphy is an American novelist and game writer from Northern California. He is a graduate of University of California at Santa Cruz and has a Master of Arts from University of Southern California. He has written gamebooks for Steve Jackson Games and White Wolf. He is one of the contributors to the Wild Cards book series edited by George R. R. Martin. His first solo novel, Penny Dreadful was released in 2007. He is also the designer of several fonts on the theme of witchcraft for Scriptorium Fonts.
An attending participant of American Fandom since the late 60’s Parris has been a member of the Wild Cards universe since it’s inception. She has contributed not only characters but endless moral support to the Wild Cards Universe since its inception in the late 80’s.
Born on the East Coast and a world traveler from the start Parris met George RR Martin during a convention in the 70’s and after a short courtship of only thirty years they officially married during RenoVation, the 69th World Science Fiction and Fantasy Convention in 2011. Parris is an entrepreneur and maker of magic, she has been responsible for many of George’s early production lines before the world wide introduction to her husbands series and it’s subsequent adaptation. A huckster and long time fan-ish volunteer she has inspired many as a constant representative of the community providing Miracle memberships to fans in need and boundless charitable donations to help that community thrive.
Still her husbands first and ever trusted “beta reader” they both live in lovely Santa Fe New Mexico with their three cats, Gráinne, Caligula and Asha.
Steve Perrin is one of the founding members of comics fandom, entering on the heels of Roy Thomas and Jerry Bails and being a prolific contributor to several fanzines in the early Silver Age where some of his stories rubbed shoulders with those from George R.R Martin. From there, Steve went on to write the award-winning role playing game RuneQuest and, most significant to this discussion, Superworld. and is still very active in the gaming community, currently doing projects for Chaosium, Checker Book Publishing Group (Superhero 2044 3rd ed), Vigilance Press, and Fainting Goat Games. He also writes stories for Heroic Publications’ line of comic books featuring the members of the League of Champions.
Cherie Priest is the author of 20 books and novellas, most recently The Family Plot, I Am Princess X, Chapelwood, and the Philip K. Dick Award nominee Maplecroft. She is perhaps best known for the steampunk pulp adventures of the Clockwork Century, beginning with Boneshaker.
Her works have been nominated for the Hugo and Nebula awards for science fiction, and have won the Locus Award (among others) – and over the years, they’ve been translated into nine languages in eleven countries. Cherie lives in Chattanooga, TN, with her husband and a menagerie of exceedingly photogenic pets.
Christopher Rowe is currently hard at work on Sarah Across America, an unusual fantasy novel about maps and megafauna, among sundry short stories. His first novel, Sandstorm, fulfilled his childhood dream of writing a D&D novel and was published by Wizards of the Coast. He has also published a couple of dozen stories, and been a finalist for the Hugo, Nebula, World Fantasy and Theodore Sturgeon Awards. He doesn’t blog nearly often enough. If you want to catch him more regularly, he’s frequently time-wasting at Facebook.
Diana Rowland worked as a bartender, a blackjack dealer, a pit boss, a street cop, a detective, a computer forensics specialist, a crime scene investigator, and a morgue assistant, which means that she’s seen a lot of weird crap. She won the marksmanship award in her Police Academy class, has a black belt in Hapkido, has handled numerous dead bodies in various states of decomposition, and can’t rollerblade to save her life.
Lewis Shiner created Fortunato, The Astronomer, Kid Dinosaur, and Veronica. In addition to five Wild Cards short stories, he contributed to the mosaic novel Jokers Wild. His seven novels include the World Fantasy Award-winning Glimpses, Nebula nominees Frontera and Deserted Cities of the Heart, and Black and White, an LA Times top 10 suspense novel of the year.
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Walton “Bud” Simons was born in Austin, Texas, attended local schools, and graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in Radio-TV-Film. His life changed forever when, at a very young age, he got his hands on Famous Monsters of Filmland #13. The magazine, edited by the legendary Forrest J. Ackerman, opened his eyes to a world he’d hardly imagined while attending Catholic school. He devoured any issue of FM he could get his hands on and was soon reading Richard Matheson, Robert Heinlein, and especially Ray Bradbury.
He initially had no interest in writing, but after attending a Turkey City writers’ conference Bud decided to see if he had any talent and began tried his hand at creating his own stories. He earned a few publishing credits, including stories for DC Comics in World’s Finest and House of Mystery. When George R.R. Martin and his fellow New Mexico writers began searching for potential authors for Wild Cards they invited Lew Shiner, who in turn recommended Bud. He wrote his first Wild Cards story “If Looks Could Kill,” for Aces High, and the rest, as they say, is alternate history.
Bud currently resides in his native Austin with his wife, Gilda, and more cats than you can count.
Melinda Snodgrass studied opera at the Conservatory of Vienna in Austria, graduated from U.N.M. with a degree in history, and went on to Law School. She practiced for three years, and discovered that while she loved the law she hated lawyers so she began writing science fiction novels.
In 1988 she accepted a job on Star Trek: TNG, and began her Hollywood career where she has worked on staff on numerous shows — Reasonable Doubts, Profiler, and has written numerous television pilots and feature films. Presently she is the Executive Producer on the upcoming Wild Cards series for UPC.
In the prose world she writes for the book series and co-edits Wild Cards with George R. R. Martin. She has finished the second book in her five book Space Opera series for Titan Books and is working on book 3. Book 1— The High Ground was published in July. The three books in the EDGE series — THE EDGE OF REASON, THE EDGE OF DARKNESS and THE EDGE OF DAWN are currently available from Tor Books.
For fun she rides her dressage horses, plays video games and spends a lot of time in the gym.
Caroline Spector has been an editor and writer in the science fiction, fantasy and gaming fields for the last twenty-five years.
Caroline has had stories in the Wild Cards collections, Inside Straight, Busted Flush, and Suicide Kings. Most recently, she appeared in the Wild Cards braided mosaic novel High Stakes and has other Wild Cards projects coming soon.
Her Wild Cards novella, Lies My Mother Told Me appeared in Dangerous Women edited by George R. R. Martin and Gardner Dozois
Before joining the Wild Cards consortium, Caroline authored computer game hint books and also published three novels — Scars, Little Treasures, and Worlds Without End — editions of which have been published in English, French, German, and Hungarian.
Ian Tregillis is the son of a bearded mountebank and a discredited tarot card reader. He was born and raised in the Minnesota Territory, to which his parents had fled after escaping the wrath of a Flemish prince. (The full story, he’s told, involves a freighter full of taconite ore and a stolen horse.) He has a Ph.D. in physics from the University of Minnesota for his research on radio galaxies and quasars.
Tregillis is the author of seven critically acclaimed novels, including the Milkweed Triptych (BITTER SEEDS, THE COLDEST WAR, and NECESSARY EVIL), SOMETHING MORE THAN NIGHT, and the Alchemy Wars trilogy (THE MECHANICAL, THE RISING, and THE LIBERATION). His short fiction has been published in venues including The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, Tor.com, Apex Magazine, Subterranean Press Magazine, The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year (edited by Jonathan Strahan), Best New Horror (edited by Stephen Jones), and Popular Science. And, of course, a very long running shared-world superhero series edited by a guy named George.
He and his wife live in New Mexico, where he consorts with writers, scientists, and other rogues.
Carrie Vaughn isn’t just a Wild Cards author. She’s also a fan, almost from the very beginning. The Wild Cards series helped get her through high school. She still has the letter George R. R. Martin wrote to her in reply to her fan mail back in 1993.
These days, Carrie is best known for her New York Times–bestselling series of novels about a werewolf named Kitty Norville, who hosts a talk radio show for the supernaturally disadvantaged. The fourteenth installment of the Kitty Norville series, Kitty Saves the World, was published in 2015 by Tor Books.
Carrie’s recent books include a near-Earth space opera, Martians Abroad, from Tor, a post-apocalyptic murder mystery, Bannerless, and its sequel The Wild Dead, both from John Joseph Adams Books. She’s written several other contemporary fantasy and young adult novels, as well as upwards of a hundred short stories. Her short fiction has appeared in publications such as Asimov’s Science Fiction, Realms of Fantasy, Lightspeed Magazine, and Tor.com, and in numerous anthologies and “year’s best” lists.
Carrie’s involvement in Wild Cards began with her high school love for the series. It kicked into high gear when she met George R. R. Martin, Melinda Snodgrass, and other Wild Cards authors at an Albuquerque Bubonicon in the early 2000s. By the time a few more Bubonicons had passed, she was an official member of the Wild Cards world. You can read more about Carrie’s Wild Cards origin story in this Q&A—also a great place to find out about her writing habits, hobbies, and advice for other writers.
Carrie’s stories “That Game We Played During the War” and “Amaryllis” were finalists for the Hugo Award. She’s won the WSFA Small Press Award (“Amaryllis”), Philip K. Dick Award (Bannerless), RT Reviewer Choice Award (Kitty and the Midnight Hour), and Colorado Book Award for Genre Fiction (Amaryllis and Other Stories). Carrie earned her B.A. from Occidental College and a master’s in English from the University of Colorado, Boulder. She graduated from the Odyssey Fantasy Writing Workshop in 1998, and returned as a writer-in-residence in 2009.
An Air Force brat, Carrie survived her nomadic childhood and managed to put down roots in Boulder, Colorado, where she lives with a fluffy attack dog.
Howard Waldrop is a science fiction author who works primarily in short fiction. Waldrop’s stories combine elements such as alternate history, American popular culture, the American South, old movies, classical mythology, and rock ‘n’ roll music.
Sage Walker is a fiction writer and ex-ER doctor based in New Mexico. She won on the Locus Award for her first novel, Whiteout.
Her newest work is entitled Man in the Tree, and is expected in fall or winter of 2017 from Tor Books.
Bob Wayne was born in Fort Worth, Texas and learned to read from 1950s comic books. A comics and science fiction convention dealer in the 1970s, he opened a retail store in the 1980s. He worked at DC Comics from 1987 to 2015, rising to the position of Senior Vice President – Sales. In addition to his participation in Wild Cards, his published work includes stories in Scary Tales (Charlton Comics) and Secret Origins (DC), as well as contributions to The Comics Journal, Lone Star Book Review and MAD Magazine. He’s the co-author (with Lewis Shiner) of DC’s Time Masters, one of the precursors to the Legends of Tomorrow television series. He’s currently a business consultant in the publishing industry and serves on the Advisory Board of the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund. He remains grateful that his mother never threw away any of his comics.
Chip Wideman is a long-time resident of New Mexico and a veteran of the U.S. Navy, and for many years Walter Jon Williams’ next-door neighbor. In the early 1980s he was a member of the same role-playing group as WJW, Vic Milan, John Miller, Gail Gertsner Miller, Melinda M. Snodgrass, George R.R. Martin, and Parris, fighting night gaunts, shuggoths, and cultists in Call of Cthulhu and adenturing across a blasted post holocaust landscape in Morrow Project. One of the original players in the SuperWorld campaign that gave birth to Wild Cards, he created Toad Man, Crypt Kicker, and the Lama, all of whom eventuallymade it into the Wild Cards universe, as well as Professor Psycho and others who did not. Chip lives in Albuquerque, with his cats.
Walter Jon Williams is an award-winning author who has been on the best-seller lists of the New York Times and Times of London. He is the author of more than thirty novels and volumes of short fiction. Walter has been a part of the Wild Cards universe from book one.
His first novel to attract serious public attention was Hardwired (1986), described by Roger Zelazny as “a tough, sleek juggernaut of a story, punctuated by strobe-light movements, coursing to the wail of jets and the twang of steel guitars.” In 2001, he won a Nebula Award for his novelette “Daddy’s World,” and he won again in 2005 for “The Green Leopard Plague.”
Walter’s subject matter has an unusually wide range and includes the glittering surfaces of Hardwired, the opulent tapestries of Aristoi, and the pensive young Mary Shelley of the novella “Wall, Stone, Craft,” which was nominated for a Hugo, Nebula, and a World Fantasy Award. He has written everything from near-future thrillers (This Is Not a Game) to post-cyberpunk epic fantasy (City on Fire, Metropolitan), historical adventure (Privateers and Gentlemen series), Star Wars fiction (The New Jedi Order: Destiny’s Way), and a gothic western science fiction police procedural (Days of Atonement). Among his recent works are The Accidental War and Impersonations, both far-future space opera thrillers set in his popular Praxis universe (first introduced in the Dread Empire’s Fall trilogy). He is at work on the Quillifier fantasy series, the first book of which came out in 2017.
Walter has also written for comics, film, and television and has worked in the gaming field. He was a writer for the alternate reality game Last Call Poker and scripted the mega-hit Electronic Arts game Spore.
Walter’s role in the Wild Cards world goes back to the late ’70s, when he would play RPGs with George R. R. Martin, Melinda Snodgrass, and other science fiction writers. From there, a decades-long collaboration evolved. For a deep dive into the Wild Cards characters he’s created and the plots he’s developed, check out his Q&A with Ti Mikkel.
Originally from Minnesota, Walter now lives in New Mexico.
William F. Wu is a Chinese-American science fiction author. He published his first story in 1977. Since then, Wu has written thirteen published novels, one scholarly work, and a collection of short stories. His more than fifty published short stories have been nominated for the Hugo Award twice individually and once as a member of the Wild Cards group of anthology writers; his work has been nominated for the Nebula Award twice and once for the World Fantasy Award. He has written novels using the Three Laws of Robotics invented by Isaac Asimov, including two entries in the Robot City series and the entire Robots in Time series.
Roger Zelazny made his name with a group of novellas which demonstrated just how intense an emotional charge could be generated by the stock imagery of sf; the most famous of these is A Rose for Ecclesiastes in which a poet struggles to convince dying and sterile Martians that life is worth continuing. Zelazny continued to write excellent short stories throughout his career. Most of his novels deal, one way or another, with tricksters and mythology, often with rogues who become gods, like Sam in Lord of Light, who reinvents Buddhism as a vehicle for political subversion on a colony planet.
He won the Nebula award three times (out of 14 nominations) and the Hugo award six times (out of 14 nominations). His papers are housed at the Albin O. Khun Library of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC).
Just a bunch of us who work on the social media side of the Wild Cards consortium.