Aug 2 - 8, 2007 

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Stars in Their Eyes

Sci-Fi authors of New Mexico

By Interviews by Marisa Demarco, Thomas Gilchrist and Devin O’Leary

Perhaps it’s the high-desert altitude and horizon-to-horizon skyline that allow for unadulterated, year-round stargazing. Perhaps it’s the dense backdrop of scientific history that runs from Los Alamos in the north down through Sandia National Labs and off south into the Trinitite-littered ground of the first atomic bomb test at White Sands Missile Range. Maybe (just maybe) it has something to do with that infamous, oft-debated crash site outside of Roswell. Could that wayward extraterrestrial hit-and-run have left some inspirational layer of irradiated stardust buried in the hardened caliche of the New Mexico soil?

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Victor Milán

Noms de Plume: Robert Baron (post-nuke action), Richard Austin (post-nuke action), Keith Jarrod (Western), J.O. Hardin (Western), Jake Logan (Western), Mark Ellis (post-nuke action), S.L. Hunter (techno-thriller)

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Robert Vardeman

Noms de Plume: Victor Appleton (young adult science fiction), Cliff Garnett (action/adventure), F.J. Hale (fantasy), Edward S. Hudson (science fiction), Karl Lassiter (Westerns), Daniel Moran (fantasy)

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Steve Stirling

Noms de Plume: S.M. Stirling

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George R.R. Martin

By Marisa Demarco

Nom de Plume: none

Location: Santa Fe

Key Book Titles: Fevre Dream, The Armageddon Rag, the Wild Cards series, In A Song of Ice and Fire series: A Game of Thrones, A Clash of Kings, A Storm of Swords, A Feast for Crows, A Dance with Dragons (forthcoming)

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Melinda Snodgrass

Noms de Plume: None

Location: Near Lamy

Key Book Titles: Circuit, Circuit Breaker, Star Trek: Tears of the Singer, the Wild Cards series

Website: www.melindasnodgrass.com

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Steven Gould

Noms de Plume: None

Location: Albuquerque

Key Book Titles: Jumper, Reflex, Wildside, Helm, Blind Waves

Website: www.digitalnoir.com

Years in New Mexico: 13

What attracts writers to New Mexico?

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Walter Jon Williams

Noms de Plume: Jon Williams (historical fiction)

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Jane Lindskold

Noms de Plume: None

Location: Albuquerque

Key Book Titles: Brother to Dragons, Companion to Owls; Chronomaster; Smoke and Mirrors; Lord Demon (with Roger Zelazny); The Buried Pyramid, The Firekeeper Saga

Website: www.janelindskold.com

Years in New Mexico: 13

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Afterword:

These and many other New Mexico writers, including Daniel Abraham (A Shadow in Summer), Doug Beason (Assemblers of Infinity), Suzy McKee Charnas (The Vampire Tapestry), Stephen R. Donaldson (Lord Foul’s Bane), Terry England (Rewind), Laura J. Mixon (Glass Houses), John Maddox Roberts (SPQR), John J. Miller (Green Lantern: Book 1) and Sage Walker (Whiteout), will be at this year’s 39th annual Bubonicon science fiction and fantasy convention. The event will take place Aug. 24-26 at the Wyndam Airport Hotel in Albuquerque. Log on to www.bubonicon.com for a complete list of authors and events.

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Stellar Lights

New Mexico’s departed science fiction greats

By Scott Denning

In a field known for pioneering spirit, it is hard to find a better embodiment of that spirit than Jack Williamson (1908-2006), who arrived in New Mexico in 1915 aboard a covered wagon. This son of homesteaders first published in 1928 (in between hoboing trips around the U.S.) and his last work appeared in 2005, a career spanning eight decades. Ray Bradbury, Isaac Asimov and Carl Sagan all cite him as a major influence, but fame was no prerequisite to be welcome in the Portales home he helped design and build—Williamson was always ready to host visitors from around the world, many of them coming for the Williamson Lectureship Series, an annual event dedicated to scholarly discussions of science fiction. Among Williamson’s many awards was being named a Grand Master of Science Fiction by the Science Fiction Writers of America in 1975. Williamson is also credited with coining the terms “terraforming” and “genetic engineering,” as well as instigating some of the first discussions in fiction of antimatter. His short story “With Folded Hands,” later expanded into The Humanoids, introduced the idea of oppressively helpful robots with the directive “To serve and obey, and guard men from harm.” The Jack Williamson Science Fiction Library, at Eastern New Mexico University, where he taught for many years, is considered one of the finest collections on the subject in the world. A lifelong traveler, Williamson nonetheless chose Portales for his home, and the small shack he built to write in as a young man still stands today on the family ranch. The next Williamson Lectureship is planned for April 2008 to coincide with Williamson’s 100th birthday, details at enmu.edu.

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