I had the pleasure of leading a panel at San Diego ComicFest today. The topic was:
Here are my awesome panelists, front from left to right: Eric Shanower, Shelley Moore Thomas, and PJ Haarsma.
Attending a different panel, I got to meet some of the titans of science fiction: Greg Bear, Jerry Pournelle, Larry Niven, and Vernor Vinge. The fact that they all have receeding hairlines is very encouraging to me personally, as I’m well on my way to emulating them, in that regard at least. Got Jerry and Larry to sign my copy of Inferno. #winning
Greg Bear – “Gregory Bear is an American science fiction and mainstream author. His work has covered themes of galactic conflict (Forge of God books), artificial universes (The Way series), consciousness and cultural practices (Queen of Angels), and accelerated evolution (Blood Music, Darwin’s Radio, and Darwin’s Children). His most recent work is the Forerunner Trilogy, written in the Halo universe. Greg Bear has written 44 books in total. He has received many accolades, including five Nebula Awards and two Hugo Awards.” And, if that wasn’t enough, he’s the son-in-law of scifi legend Poul Anderson.
Jerry Pournelle – “Jerry Pournelle is an American science fiction writer, essayist and journalist who contributed for many years to the computer magazine Byte. Pournelle served as President of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America in 1973. In 1985, Footfall, in which Robert A. Heinlein was a thinly veiled minor character, reached the number one spot on The New York Times bestseller list. Another bestseller, Lucifer’s Hammer (1977), reached number two. Both novels were written with Larry Niven.
From the beginning, Pournelle’s work has engaged strong military themes. Several books are centered on a fictional mercenary infantry force known as Falkenberg’s Legion. There are strong parallels between these stories and the Childe Cycle mercenary stories by Gordon R. Dickson, as well as Heinlein’s Starship Troopers, although Pournelle’s work takes far fewer technological leaps than either of these. Pournelle was one of the few close friends of H. Beam Piper and was granted by Piper the rights to produce stories set in Piper’s Terro-Human Future History.”
Larry Niven – “Laurence Niven is an American science fiction author. His best-known work is Ringworld (1970), which received Hugo, Locus, Ditmar, and Nebula awards. His work is primarily hard science fiction, using big science concepts and theoretical physics. It also often includes elements of detective fiction and adventure stories. His fantasy includes the series The Magic Goes Away, rational fantasy dealing with magic as a non-renewable resource. The original release of Magic: The Gathering paid homage to Larry Niven on a card called “Nevinyrral’s Disk,” with Nevinyrral being “Larry Niven” spelled backwards.”
Vernor Vinge – “Vernor Vinge is a retired San Diego State University (SDSU) Professor of Mathematics, computer scientist, and science fiction author. He is best known for his Hugo Award-winning novels and novellas A Fire Upon the Deep (1992), A Deepness in the Sky (1999), Rainbows End (2006), Fast Times at Fairmont High (2002) and The Cookie Monster (2004), as well as for his 1984 novel The Peace War and his 1993 essay “The Coming Technological Singularity”, in which he argues that the creation of superhuman artificial intelligence will mark the point at which “the human era will be ended,” such that no current models of reality are sufficient to predict beyond it.”