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.
Vernor Vinge (1944 - )Vernor Steffen Vinge was born in Wisconsin in 1944. He is a retired San Diego State University Professor of Mathematics, a computer scientist and science fiction author. He is best known for his two epic space operas A Fire Upon the Deep (1992) and A Deepness in the Sky (1999), both of which won the Hugo Award and were shortlisted for the Nebula. He is the winner of 5 Hugos, 4 Prometheus Awards and the John W. Campbell Memorial Award, among many others. In addition to his works of science fiction, Vinge authored the influential 1993 essay 'The Coming Technological Singularity', in which he argued 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.