Douglas Adams came to world-wide prominence with the BBC Radio series The Hitch Hiker¿s Guide to the Galaxy, which subsequently became the bestselling novel, a television series, a stage play, a computer game, audio cassettes, CD-roms and a towel, and was followed by the last two books in the original trilogy, The Restaurant at the End of the Universe and Life, The Universe and Everything, then a number of other fiction and non-fiction books. Douglas Adams died in 2001.
Bernhard Aichner was born in 1972 and lives in Innsbruck/Austria, where he works as an author and photographer. Aichner writes novels, audio plays and stage plays and has been awarded several literature prizes and scholarships for his works.
Joan Aiken, English-born daughter of American poet Conrad Aiken, began her writing career in the 1950s. Working for Argosy magazine as a copy editor but also as the anonymous author of articles and stories to fill up their pages, she was adept at inventing a wealth of characters and fantastic situations, and went on to produce hundreds of stories for Good Housekeeping, Vogue, Vanity Fair and many other magazines. Some of those early stories became novels, such as The Silence of Herondale, first published fifty years ago in 1964. Although her first agent famously told her to stick to short stories, saying she would never be able to sustain a full-length novel, Joan Aiken went on to win the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize for The Whispering Mountain, and the Edgar Alan Poe award for her adult novel Night Fall. Her best known children's novel, The Wolves of Willoughby Chase, was acclaimed by Time magazine as 'a genuine small masterpiece'. In 1999 she was awarded an MBE for her services to children's literature, and although best known as a children's writer, Joan Aiken wrote many adult novels, both modern and historical, with her trademark wit and verve. Many have a similar gothic flavour to her children's writing, and were much admired by readers and critics alike. As she said 'The only difference I can see is that children's books have happier endings than those for adults.' You have been warned . . .
Ray Aldridge was born in 1948. He has published a three-volume series, The Emancipator, featuring ex-slave investigator Ruiz Aw. The volume titles are The Pharaoh Contract, The Emperor of Everything and The Orpheus Machine. Short stories by Aldridge appeared in Full Spectrum 4 (1993) and The Best from Fantasy and Science Fiction: A 40th Anniversary Anthology. Among his shorter works are Steel Dogs (1989), Gate of Faces (1991), a Nebula Best Novelette nominee (1992) and The Beauty Addict (1993), a Nebula Best Novella nominee (1994).
Poul Anderson (1926-2001) was born in Pennsylvania of Scandinavian stock. He started publishing science fiction in 1947 and became one the great figures in the genre, serving as President of the Science Fiction Writers of America, winning multiple Hugo and Nebula awards, and was named a SFWA Grand Master. He collaborated regularly with wife, Karen, and their daughter is married to noted SF writer Greg Bear. Poul Anderson died in July 2001.
Piers Anthony has written dozens of bestselling science fiction and fantasy novels. Perhaps best-known for his long-running MAGIC OF XANTH series, many of which appeared on the New York Times Bestseller List, he has also had great success with THE INCARNATIONS OF IMMORTALITY series and the CLUSTER series as well as BIO OF A SPACE TYRANT and others.
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1859 -1930) was a Scottish physician and writer, most noted for his stories about the detective Sherlock Holmes, which are generally considered a major innovation in the field of crime fiction, and for the adventures of Professor Challenger. He was a prolific writer whose other works include science fiction stories, historical novels, plays and romances, poetry, and non-fiction.
Isaac Asimov (1920 - 1992)Isaac Asimov was one of the most famous, honoured and widely read science fiction authors of all time. Born in Russia but raised in the USA, his career as an SF writer began in 1939 with 'Marooned Off Vesta', in Amazing Stories. His output was prolific by any standards - in a career spanning five decades, he wrote more than four hundred books, won six Hugos, two Nebulas and the SFWA Grand Master Award, among many others, and provided pleasure and insight to millions of readers. He died in 1992 at the age of 72.