The novelist once said that science fiction is a branch of children's literature -- an assertion he largely stands by today. Nonetheless, he makes a concerted effort to write for adults, using the genre to satirize serious topics. His newest book for young readers is called The Brave Little Toaster Goes to Mars.
Samuel Delany's new memoir is called The Motion of Light in Water. Delany sees himself as part of newer, left-of-center generation of science fiction writers. He joins Fresh Air to talk about his position in the margins as a genre writer and a black gay man, his dyslexia, and his perspective on the AIDS epidemic.
Author William Gibson is credited with creating the cyberpunk genre, which dispenses with nationalistic ideas of the future, and instead posits a world where multinational corporations rule and nation-states have eroded. His newest novel is called Mona Lisa Overdrive.
Douglas Adams' new, metaphysical novel follows detective Dirk Gently's investigation into an explosion at a London airport. His book A Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy spawned a radio show, several sequels and a computer game.
Science Fiction writer William Gibson. He's part of a small group of writers whose work is known as "cyberpunk" which combines the science of communication and control theory -- cybernetics -- with punk, an anti-social rebel or hoodlum. Gibson's first novel, "Neuromancer, was the first novel to win Science Fiction's triple crown: the Hugo, Nebula, and Philip K. Dick awards.
Science fiction writer Octavia Butler. Because she is black and female, she's considered an atypical science fiction writer. She's won the Hugo and Nebula Awards, science fiction's two most prestigious awards. Butler often describes her work as "speculative fiction" rather than science fiction. She says, "Science fiction, extrasensory perception, and black people are judged by the worst elements they produce." Her main characters are usually black women, and the fictional world they inhabit are racially diverse. Butler has written nine novels.
Writer Vernor Vinge. The author of 16 books of science fiction, he gained a cult following for his early role in writing about cyber-culture and the Internet. His new book “Across Realtime,” (Orion Audio) came out earlier this year. He talks about the difficulty of writing science fiction when technology out dates itself as rapidly as it does. He teaches computer science at San Diego State.
Science fiction novelist Douglas Adams has recently released a sequel to his book A Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. He has also garnered acclaim for the original novel's BBC Radio adaptation, which he also writes.