Related to: 'Handwriting and Orion Plain and Simple'

Adam Roberts

Adam Roberts is commonly described as one of the UK's most important writers of SF. He is the author of numerous novels and literary parodies. He is Professor of 19th Century Literature at Royal Holloway, London University and has written a number of critical works on both SF and 19th Century poetry. He is a contributor to the SF ENCYCLOPEDIA.

Amy Cuddy

Amy Cuddy is a professor and researcher at Harvard Business School who studies how nonverbal behavior and snap judgements affect people. Her research has been published in top academic journals and covered by NPR, NEW YORK TIMES, WIRED, FAST COMPANY, and more. Cuddy has been named a 'Game Changer' by TIME, one of '50 Women Who Are Changing the World' by BUSINESS INSIDER, and a 'Young Global Leader' by the World Economic Forum. Her 2012 TEDTalk is the second most-viewed talk in TED's history. View her TED talk at http://www.ted.com/speakers/amy_cuddy

Brooke Magnanti

Brooke Magnanti received a Ph.D. in Forensic Pathology from the University of Sheffield, where she studied in the Medico Legal Centre and specialised in the identification of decomposed human remains. She later worked for the NHS in child health research and cancer epidemiology, before being revealed in 2009 as the anonymous author of the award-winning blog Belle de Jour and bestselling Secret Diary of a Call Girl series of books. She lives on the West Coast of Scotland with her husband and hardly ever sees dead people any more.

Dave Pelzer

Dave Pelzer is recognised as one of America's most effective and respected communicators addressing corporations, conventions and health/psychology/primary care workers. His unique accomplishments have garnered personal commendations from Ronald Reagan and George Bush. He was selected as torchbearer for the 1996 Olympic Torch relay. He has dedicated his life to helping others help themselves.

David Whitehouse

Dr David Whitehouse is a scientist, journalist and the author of five books, including THE SUN, THE MOON and JOURNEY TO THE CENTRE OF THE EARTH. He is a fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society and a regular broadcaster on science-related matters for the BBC and Sky News. Asteroid 4036 Whitehouse is named after him.Follow him on Twitter: @dr_david_w

Ernst Mayr

Ernst Mayr was born in Germany, in 1904. He was one of the main architects of the modern synthesis of genetic and evolutionary theory whose career spanned fields as diverse as ornithology, systematics, zoo-geography, evolutionary theory, and the philosophy and history of science. He wrote thirteen and published more than 700 scientific papers.

Gareth Williams

Gareth Williams is Emeritus Professor and former Dean of Medicine at the University of Bristol. His previous books for general readers are ANGEL OF DEATH: THE STORY OF SMALLPOX (shortlisted for the Wellcome Book Prize of 2010), PARALYSED WITH FEAR: THE STORY OF POLIO and A MONSTROUS COMMOTION: THE MYSTERIES OF LOCH NESS. He is a past president of the Anglo-French Medical Society and has an honorary doctorate from the University of Angers.

Ian Rankin

Born in the Kingdom of Fife in 1960, Ian Rankin graduated from the University of Edinburgh in 1982, and then spent three years writing novels when he was supposed to be working towards a PhD in Scottish Literature. His first Rebus novel was published in 1987, and the Rebus books are now translated into thirty-six languages and are bestsellers worldwide.Ian Rankin has been elected a Hawthornden Fellow, and is also a past winner of the Chandler-Fulbright Award. He is the recipient of four CWA Daggers including the prestigious Diamond Dagger in 2005. In 2004, Ian won America's celebrated Edgar Award. He has also been shortlisted for the Anthony Award in the USA, won Denmark's Palle Rosenkrantz Prize, the French Grand Prix du Roman Noir and the Deutscher Krimipreis. Ian Rankin is also the recipient of honorary degrees from the universities of Abertay, St Andrews, Edinburgh, Hull and the Open University.A contributor to BBC2's Newsnight Review, he also presented his own TV series, Ian Rankin's Evil Thoughts. Rankin is a No.1 bestseller in the UK and has received the OBE for services to literature, opting to receive the prize in his home city of Edinburgh, where he lives with his partner and two sons. www.ianrankin.net Twitter @Beathhigh

Ian Stewart

Ian Stewart was awarded the 1995 Michael Faraday Medal by the Royal Society for the year's most significant contribution to the public understanding of science. He is Professor of Mathematics and Director of the Mathematics Awareness Centre at the University of Warwick. Previous publications include DOES GOD PLAY DICE? and THE MAGICAL MAZE.

James Rollins

James Rollins is the author of several bestselling novels and series, including the SIGMA force series, a string of standalone thrillers and the novelisation of the cinema blockbuster INDIANA JONES AND THE KINGDOM OF THE CRYSTAL SKULL. His books are sold in more than 30 countries and have sold ten million copies worldwide. An amateur spelunker and scuba enthusiast, he also holds a doctorate in veterinary medicine. He currently lives and writes in Sacramento, California.www.jamesrollins.com

John Higgs

John Higgs is the author I HAVE AMERICA SURROUNDED: THE LIFE OF TIMOTHY LEARY, THE KLF: CHAOS, MAGIC AND THE BAND WHO BURNED A MILLION POUNDS and the novel THE BRANDY OF THE DAMNED. He lives in Brighton with his partner and their two children. www.johnhiggs.com@johnhiggs

Kate Nicholls

Kate was born in England in 1954 and raised in a theatrical family. Kate left home and school age sixteen, and supported herself working at numberless odd jobs, until she began a successful television and theatre career playing leading roles at the RSC and the National Theatre. In her thirties she read a book that changed her life and she gave up acting to study biology. Between 1976 and 1994, she had six children with whom she has travelled widely.

Katharine McMahon

Katharine McMahon studied English and Drama at Bristol University, has taught and trained extensively both in creative writing and within the criminal justice system, has served on The Sentencing Council and The Judicial Appointments Commission and currently works for the Royal Literary Fund developing projects that help writers use their unique skills in the community. She is the author of ten novels, including The Alchemist's Daughter and The Crimson Rooms, that focus on astonishing women and their ability to find a voice and make a mark, even at times and in societies when they are risking everything. The Rose of Sebastopol was a Richard & Judy pick and a Sunday Times bestseller.www.katharinemcmahon.com

Linwood Barclay

Linwood Barclay is the international bestselling author of many critically acclaimed novels, including NO SAFE HOUSE, A TAP ON THE WINDOW, TRUST YOUR EYES and the Richard & Judy 2008 Summer Read winner and number one bestseller, NO TIME FOR GOODBYE. He lives near Toronto with his wife.www.linwoodbarclay.com.

Matt Pritchett

Matthew Pritchett studied at St Martin's School of Art in London and first saw himself published in the New Statesman during one of its rare lapses from high seriousness. He has been the Daily Telegraph's front-page pocket cartoonist since 1988. He has won numerous awards, often multiple times, including the Cartoon Arts Trust Award, What the Papers Say Cartoonist of the Year and UK Press Gazette Cartoonist of the Year. In 2002 he received an MBE.

Maureen Lee

Maureen Lee was born in Liverpool and had numerous short stories published and a play professionally staged before her first novel was published. Her award-winning novels have earned her many fans. Her latest novel, The Leaving of Liverpool, was a Sunday Times top ten bestseller. She is an RNA winner, and writes full time. Maureen now lives in Colchester, Essex.To find out more, visit www.maureenlee.co.uk

Oliver Kamm

Oliver Kamm is a leader writer and columnist for The Times. He writes extensively on politics, public policy, foreign affairs, culture, science and other fields, including weekly columns on language and on the economy. He also contributes to Prospect, the Jewish Chronicle and other periodicals. His book Accidence Will Happen: The Non-Pedantic Guide to English was published by W&N in 2015.

Paul Kidby

Paul Kidby discovered Terry Pratchett's Discworld in 1993 and since then has devoted his working life to the place. He is the illustrator of THE PRATCHETT PORTFOLIO, TERRY PRATCHETT'S DISCWORLD COLOURING BOOK, the bestsellers THE LAST HERO and THE ART OF DISCWORLD, as well as the Discworld DIARIES, cards, T-shirts, maps, mugs and, of course, the covers.

Paul Torday

Paul Torday burst on to the literary scene in 2007 with his first novel, SALMON FISHING IN THE YEMEN, an immediate international bestseller that has been translated into 28 languages and has been made into a film starring Ewan McGregor, Kristin Scott Thomas and Emily Blunt. His subsequent novels, THE IRRESISTIBLE INHERITANCE OF WILBERFORCE, THE GIRL ON THE LANDING, THE HOPELESS LIFE OF CHARLIE SUMMERS, MORE THAN YOU CAN SAY, THE LEGACY OF HARTLEPOOL HALL and LIGHT SHINING IN THE FOREST, were all published to great critical acclaim. He was married with two sons by a previous marriage, had two stepsons, and lived close to the River North Tyne. He died at home in December 2013.

Philip Kazan

Philip Kazan is an informed historian, a passionate cook and a keen traveller. He brings real gusto and humanity to his writing. He blogs at https://philipkazan.wordpress.com/.