Ruth Nestvold

Photo by Derek Henthorn

Photo by Derek Henthorn

Ruth Nestvold was born in Washington and raised in Oregon, and now lives in Stuttgart, Germany. By day she works as a technical translator, by night as a science fiction, hyperfiction, and fantasy writer. Her first professional publication was “Latency Time,” published in Asimov’s Science Fiction in 2001. Since then, her short fiction has appeared in numerous publications, including Realms of Fantasy, Sci Fiction, Strange Horizons, Futurismic, and several year’s best anthologies. In 2004, her novella “Looking Through Lace” was short-listed for the Tiptree Award and nominated for the Sturgeon Award. The story in this anthology, “Mars: A Traveler’s Guide,” was a finalist for the 2008 Nebula Award for Best Short Story. She is also a regular contributor to the Internet Review of Science Fiction. Ruth was a graduate of Clarion West Writers Workshop in 1998. You can find Ruth at or listen to “Mars: A Traveler’s Guide” over on StarShipSofa’s Aural Delights No 73.

Benjamin Rosenbaum

Benjamin-RosenbaumBenjamin Rosenbaum gives himself many titles as to what his job is: Prosewright, Fictioneer, Genre Pirate; but whatever he goes by, his writing is something special. His stories have been finalists for the Hugo Award, the Nebula Award, the Theodore Sturgeon Award, the BSFA Award, and the World Fantasy Award. Born in New York but raised in Arlington, Virginia, he received degrees in computer science and religious studies from Brown University. He currently lives in Basel, Switzerland with his wife, Esther, and children, Aviva and Noah. Find out more about this Fictioneer over at or listen to “Ant King: A Californian Fariytale” on StarShipSofa’s Aural Delights No 42.

Joe R Lansdale

Joe-R-LansdaleJoe R Lansdale has written novels and stories in many genres, including Western, horror, science fiction, mystery, and suspense. He has also written for comics as well as Batman: The Animated Series. He is perhaps best known for his “Hap and Leonard” series of novels which feature two friends, Hap Collins and Leonard Pine, who live in the town of Laborde, Texas and find themselves solving a variety of often unpleasant crimes. Joe R. Lansdale is the winner of the British Fantasy Award, the American Horror Award, the Edgar Award, and seven Bram Stoker Awards. Check out more of Joe’s work at or listen to “Godzilla’s 12 Step Program” story on show No 52 of StarShipSofa’s Aural Delights.

Ken MacLeod

Ken-MacLeodKen MacLeod was born in Stornoway, Isle of Lewis, Scotland, on August 2, 1954. He is married with two children and lives in West Lothian. He has an honours and master’s degree in biological subjects and worked for some years in the IT industry. Since 1997 he has been a full-time writer, and is currently Writer in Residence at the ESRC Genomics Policy and Research Forum at Edinburgh University. He is the author of eleven novels, from The Star Fraction (1995) to The Night Sessions (2008), and many articles and short stories. His novels have received two BSFA awards and three Prometheus Awards, and several have been short-listed for the Clarke and Hugo Awards. Ken MacLeod’s weblog is The Early Days of a Better Nation at

Gene Wolfe

Gene-WolfeGene Wolfe was born in New York. While attending Texas A&M University, he published his first speculative fiction in The Commentator, a student literary journal. Wolfe’s best-known work is the multi-volume novel The Book of the New Sun.

Gene Wolfe is highly regarded by all in the genre and considered by many to be one of the best living science fiction authors. He has won the World Fantasy Award for Life Achievement and the Edward E. Smith Memorial Award, and he is a member of the Science Fiction Hall of Fame.

Alastair Reynolds

Alastair-ReynoldsAlastair Reynolds was born in 1966 (the same year as the Ed) in Wales. He specialises in dark hard science fiction and space opera. He spent his early years in Cornwall, and moved back to Wales before going to Newcastle, where he read Physics and Astronomy. In 1991, he moved to Noordwijk in the Netherlands, where he met his wife Josette. There, he worked for the European Space Research and Technology Centre, part of the European Space Agency, until 2004, when he left to pursue writing full time. He returned to Wales in 2008 and lives near Cardiff. He wrote his first four published science fiction short stories while still a graduate student. Al’s fiction has received two awards and several other nominations. His second novel, Chasm City, won the 2001 British Science Fiction Award for Best Novel. His short story “Weather” won the Japanese National Science Fiction Convention’s Seiun Award for Best Translated Short Fiction. His novels Absolution Gap and The Prefect have also been nominated for previous BSFA awards. Al’s been nominated for the Arthur C. Clarke Award three times, for his novels Revelation Space, Pushing Ice, and House of Suns. In June 2009, Al Reynolds signed a new deal, worth £1 million, with his British publishers for ten books to be published over the next ten years.

Spider Robinson

Photo by Greg McKinnon

Photo by Greg McKinnon

Spider Robinson made his first short-story sale in 1972 to Analog Science Fiction magazine. The story, “The Guy With The Eyes” (Analog February 1973), was set in a bar called Callahan’s Place; Spider would often write stories about the denizens of Callahan’s well into the 21st century. He sold several short-story sales to Analog, Galaxy Science Fiction magazine, and others, and worked as a book reviewer for Galaxy magazine during the mid-to-late 1970s. He has won many awards including the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer (1974), three Hugos, for By Any Other Name, Stardance (with his wife Jeanne Robinson), and Melancholy Elephants. He also won a Nebula for Stardance. In 2006, he became the only writer ever to collaborate on a novel with First GrandMaster of Science Fiction Robert A. Heinlein, posthumously completing Variable Star. Then he went on to win the 2008 the Robert A. Heinlein Award (Lifetime Achievement). Most of his 36 books are still in print, in 10 languages. As an audiobook reader of his own and others’ work, he has won the Earphones Award and been a finalist for the Audie, and his podcast Spider On The Web has appeared online weekly since September 2007. In 2001, he released Belaboring the Obvious, a CD featuring original music accompanied by guitar legend Amos Garrett. He has written songs in collaboration with David Crosby and with Todd Butler. Find out all about Spider at or listen to Spider read his own stories at StarShipSofa.

Lawrence Santoro

Larry-SantoroLawrence Santoro began writing darkly fantastic tales at age five. As associate producer of the syndicated television series, Hyde & Seeke, Larry wrote, directed and supervised production during the comedy/mystery show’s first season. In 2001, the Horror Writers Association nominated his novella “God Screamed and Screamed, Then I Ate Him” for a Bram Stoker Award. In 2002, his audio adaptation of Gene Wolfe’s “The Tree Is My Hat” garnered him his second Stoker nod. His Stoker-recommended “Catching” received Honorable Mention in Ellen Datlow’s 17th Annual Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror anthology in 2003. Next year, his story “So Many Tiny Mouths” was cited in the anthology’s 18th edition. His first novel, Just North of Nowhere, was published by Annihilation Press in 2007. His novella “At Angels Sixteen” appeared in 2008 in the anthology A Dark and Deadly Valley. Larry lives and works in Chicago and is currently working on a second novel, The Bright Dreams of Children.

Peter Watts

Peter-WattsPeter Watts ( is an uncomfortable hybrid of biologist and science-fiction author, known for pioneering the technique of appending extensive technical bibliographies onto his novels; this serves both to confer a veneer of credibility and to cover his ass against nitpickers. Described by the Globe & Mail as one of the best hard-SF authors alive, his debut novel (Starfish) was a NY Times Notable Book. His most recent (Blindsight)­ is a philosophical rumination on the nature of consciousness which, despite an unhealthy focus on space vampires, has become a required text in such diverse undergraduate courses as “The Philosophy of Mind” and “Introduction to Neuropsychology.” It­ made the final ballot for a whole shitload of genre awards, winning exactly none of them (although it has, for some reason, won at least two awards in Poland). This may reflect a certain critical divide regarding Watts’ work in general; his bipartite novel Behemoth, for example, was praised by Publisher’s Weekly as an “adrenaline-charged fusion of Clarke’s The Deep Range and Gibson’s Neuromancer” and “a major addition to 21st-century hard SF,” while being simultaneously decried by Kirkus as “utterly repellent” and “horrific porn.” (Watts happily embraces both views.) His work has been extensively translated, and both Watts and (more importantly) his cat have appeared in the prestigious journal Nature. Despite the foregoing (or perhaps because of it), the publishing industry does not appear to like him very much. The feeling grows increasingly mutual.

Elizabeth Bear

liz-bearElizabeth Bear is the winner of the 2005 John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer, the 2008 Hugo for “Tideline,” and the 2009 Hugo for “Shoggoths In Bloom,” which StarShipSofa has also narrated. Bear has had many jobs before settling down to be a full-time writer; these include working as a “media industry professional,” a stablehand, a fluff-page reporter, a maintainer of Microbiology procedure manuals for a 1,000-bed inner-city hospital, a typesetter and layout editor, a traffic manager for an import-export business, Emmanuel Labour, and “the girl who makes the donuts at The Whole Donut at three A.M.” Her first novel, Hammered, was published in January 2005 and was followed by Scardown in July and Worldwired in November of the same year. The trilogy features Canadian Master Warrant Officer Jenny Casey, who is also the main character in the short story Gone to Flowers. Hammered won the Locus Award for Best First Novel in 2006. The Chains That You Refuse, a collection of her short fiction was published May 2006. She is also a co-author of the ongoing Shadow Unit website/pseudo-TV series. Find out more about Elizabeth Bear at or at StarShipSofa.

Michael Moorcock

moorcockMichael Moorcock is one of Britain’s best-known and most respected novelists. He became editor of Tarzan Adventures in 1956, at the age of sixteen. He has also been the editor of the very influential magazine New Worlds on two occasions. His serialization of Norman Spinrad’s Bug Jack Barron was notorious for causing British MPs to condemn in Parliament the Arts Council’s funding of the magazine. He started winning awards in 1967 for his novella “Behold The Man” and has kept winning awards throughout his career. In 2008, he was awarded the SFWA Grand Master Award. In 2006, StarShipSofa flew over to Paris to video interview Michael Moorcock. You can find that interview on StarShipSofa’s YouTube Channel. The story “London Bone” was the first story StarShipSofa ran as part of her Aural Delights audio magazine. At present Michael Moorcock has had six stories narrated on StarShipSofa.

Jeffrey Ford

Photo by Scott Edelman

Photo by Scott Edelman

Jeffrey Ford’s most recent novels are The Portrait of Mrs. Charbuque, The Girl in the Glass, and The Shadow Year (all from Harper Collins). His short stories have been collected into two books from Golden Gryphon Press, The Fantasy Writer’s Assistant and The Empire of Ice Cream, and a third, The Drowned Life, has been published by Harper Collins. In ‘08 Golden Gryphon rereleased his trilogy, The Physiognomy, Memoranda, and The Beyond with new covers by John Picacio. Ford’s stories have appeared in a variety of magazines and anthologies, and his work has been awarded The World Fantasy Award, The Nebula, The Edgar Allan Poe Award, The Fountain Award, The Shirley Jackson Award, and Le Grand Prix de l’imaginaire. He lives in South Jersey with his wife and two sons and works as a professor of Writing and Literature at Brookdale Community College.

Michael Bishop

mike-bishopMichael Bishop was born in Lincoln, Nebraska. Because his father served in the United States Air Force, he spent his younger years as, yes, a “military brat.” Later, he attended the University of Georgia and in 1967 earned his B.A. with Phi Beta Kappa honors. In 1968, he earned a master’s degree in English with a thesis on the poetry of Dylan Thomas. His first fiction sale was “Piñon Fall,” published in Galaxy in 1969 for the grand sum of $100. He has since published 17 novels, 7 story collections, and a volume of poetry, and has edited or co-edited 7 anthologies, including, most recently, Passing for Human (PS Publishing) with Steven Utley. In 1996, Bishop became writer-in-residence at LaGrange College. Early on, Bishop and British author Ian Watson collaborated on a novel, Under Heaven’s Bridge, set in the universe of one of Bishop’s earlier works. Under the joint pseudonym Philip Lawson, he and Paul Di Filippo have also written two mystery novels, Would It Kill You to Smile? and Muskrat Courage. Bishop has twice won the Nebula: in 1981 for “The Quickening” (Best Novelette) and in 1982 for No Enemy But Time (Best Novel). His novel Unicorn Mountain received the Mythopoeic Fantasy Award in 1988, and he has also received four Locus Awards, including one for Best Fantasy Novel for Brittle Innings in 1994. Further, on many occasions, his work has appeared on the final Hugo ballot, and two of his stories, “The Door Gunner” and “Bears Discover Smut,” won the Southeastern Science Fiction Association Award for Best Short Fiction. In July 2009, “The Pile,” based on notes left behind by his late son, Jamie, received the Shirley Jackson Award for Best Short Story of 2008. (Jamie, a German instructor and a talented digital artist who did covers for several of his father’s books, died during the Virginia Tech massacre on April 16, 2007). Bishop’s collaboration with Steven Utley, “The City Quiet as Death,” was published in June 2009 on This piece has been touted as an moving commingling of magic realism, Lovecraftian horror, and science fiction. Find out more about Michael Bishop at

Gord Sellar

Gord-SellarGord Sellar was born in Malawi, grew up in Saskatchewan, and currently lives and works as a professor of English Language & Culture in South Korea. Since attending Clarion West in 2006, his work has appeared in such venues as Asimov’s SF, Interzone, Clarkesworld, Fantasy, and The Year’s Best SF Vol. 26, edited by Gardner Dozois, and in 2009 he was a nominee for the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer. You can check out more of Gord Sellar over at or listen to “Lester Young and the Jupiter’s Moons’ Blues” over at StarShipSofa’s Aural Delights No 71.

Ken Scholes

Ken-ScholesKen Scholes grew up in a trailer outside a smallish logging town not far from the base of Mount Rainier in the Pacific Northwest. After an unfortunate event involving feral llamas and tapioca pudding, Ken put away his typewriter to pursue other interests. Like many writers before him, he worked a number of jobs. After being a sailor, soldier, clergyman, and label-gun repairman, he eventually landed in nonprofit management. After eleven years as an Executive Director, Ken recently moved into public procurement for a government agency. He has a degree in History from Western Washington University. In 1997, Ken returned to writing and submitting speculative fiction. Ken made his first short fiction sale. More sales followed. In 2001, his short story “Edward Bear and the Very Long Walk” picked up scattered award recommendations and honorable mentions, including honorable mention in Gardner Dozois’s Year’s Best Science Fiction. His short story “Into the Blank Where Life is Hurled” won 3rd place in the 4th quarter of 2005 in the Writers of the Future contest. His novel Lamentation was published in 2009 and was based on a previous short story entitled “Of Metal Men and Scarlet Thread and Dancing with the Sunrise.” It is the first of five in the Psalms of Isaac saga. Book two, Canticle, from Tor will be released in October 2009. Ken lives with his wife and twin daughters just outside Portland, He invites readers to look him up at