Jack Vance (1916-2013)John Holbrook Vance was born in 1916 and studied mining, engineering and journalism at the University of California. During the Second World War he served in the merchant navy and was torpedoed twice. He started contributing stories to the pulp magazines in the mid 1940s and published his first book, The Dying Earth, in 1950. Among his many books are The Dragon Masters, for which he won his first Hugo Award, Big Planet, The Anome, and the Lyonesse sequence. He has won the Hugo, Nebula and World Fantasy Awards, amongst others, and in 1997 was named a Grand Master by the Science Fiction Writers of America.
Born in 1922, Kurt Vonnegut (1922-2007) was a prisoner of war in Dresden, Germany, during the saturation bombing which devastated the city near the end of the Second World War, an experience which formed the basis for the novel which made him a world-wide bestseller, Slaughterhouse-Five.