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Science Fiction Advisory Council

Inspiration lies at the heart of innovation: it challenges the norm, and guides ideas previously thought impossible toward reality. Science fiction is one source of such inspiration, allowing for the conception of great advancements in potential futures. Motivated by these concepts, XPRIZE, in partnership with ANA, Japan’s 5-star airline, has assembled a group of visionary storytellers who will lend their expertise in honing our vision of the future: we present to you the Science Fiction Advisory Council. Explore the below image to learn more about our advisors. Best viewed on larger screens.

Ada Palmer

Ada Palmer is a cultural and intellectual historian focusing on radical thought and the recovery of the classics in early modern Europe, especially in the Italian Renaissance. She teaches at the University of Chicago, and specializes in the history of science, religion, heresy, freethought, atheism, censorship, books, printing, and on patronage and the networks of power and money that enabled cultural creation in early modern Europe. Her series Terra Ignota (beginning with Too Like the Lightning and Seven Surrenders) is a philosophical science fiction tale of global politics in the year 2454, set in a hard-won utopia built on technologically-generated abundance and borderless nations, and written in the style of an eighteenth-century philosophical novel like Candide. She is also a composer, writes the philosophy and travel blog ExUrbe.com, and publishes on anime/manga, working as a consultant for several anime and manga publishers.

Akiva Goldsman

Raised in Brooklyn Heights, New York, Akiva Goldsman received his bachelor's degree from Wesleyan University and attended the graduate fiction writing program at New York University. His feature writing credits include The Client, Batman Forever, A Time to Kill, Practical Magic, I, Robot, Cinderella Man, I Am Legend, The Da Vinci Code, Angels & Demons, Insurgent, The Fifth Wave, Rings and the upcoming The Dark Tower, scheduled for release in July 2017. He also wrote A Beautiful Mind, for which he won an Academy Award, Golden Globe, and Writers Guild of America Award.

Goldsman also served as executive producer on Paranormal Activity 2, 3, and 4. Under his Weed Road Pictures banner, Goldsman has produced Deep Blue Sea, Constantine, Mr. & Mrs. Smith, Hancock, Fair Game, Lone Survivor, and King Arthur: Legend of the Sword.

Goldsman has worked in television as a consulting producer, writer, and director on the television show Fringe, for which he garnered a Saturn Award and a Hugo Award nomination. Goldsman executive produced the Syfy miniseries Childhood's End, and serves as an executive producer on the WGN original drama series Underground, which is currently airing its second season, Star Trek: Discovery for CBS, and will serve as an executive producer and co-writer on the Warner Bros. Television and DC Entertainment live action drama series Titans, which will debut in 2018.

Goldsman's feature directorial debut Winter's Tale, starring Colin Farrell, Jessica Brown Findlay, Jennifer Connelly, Will Smith and Russell Crowe was released in February 2014. He most recently directed the sci-fi horror film Stephanie for Blumhouse Productions and Universal, and is set to direct the remake of Stephen King's Firestarter.

Alan Dean Foster

Alan Dean Foster is a sci-fi and fantasy writer, and is known for his prolific film script novelization. He ghost-wrote the original Star Wars novelization, and has the story credit for Star Trek: The Motion Picture. Foster won the 2008 Grand Master award for the International Association of Media Tie-in Writers.

Alastair Reynolds

Now an author specializing in hard science fiction and space opera, Alastair Reynolds was previously a scientist researching astronomy and astrophysics. His novel Chasm City won the 2001 BSFA for Best Novel, and he was nominated for the Arthur C. Clarke award for Revelation Space.

Allen Steele

Allen Steele is a multi-award winning science fiction author. He won the Locus Award for Orbital Decay, and the Hugo Award for the Emperor of Mars, among several others. Steele formerly served on the Board of Advisors for the Space Frontier Foundation, an organization formed to promote private sector involvement in space exploration.

A.M. Homes

A.M. Homes is the author of the novels, This Book Will Save Your Life, Music For Torching, The End of Alice, In a Country of Mothers, and Jack, as well as the short-story collections, Things You Should Know and The Safety of Objects, the best selling memoir, The Mistress's Daughter along with a travel memoir, Los Angeles: People, Places and The Castle on the Hill, and the artist's book Appendix A:

Her work has been translated into twenty-two languages and appears frequently in Art Forum, Harpers, Granta, McSweeney's, The New Yorker, The New York Times, and Zoetrope. She is a Contributing Editor to Vanity Fair, Bomb and Blind Spot. Several times a year she collaborates on book projects with artists—among them Eric Fischl, Rachel Whiteread, Cecily Brown, Bill Owens, Julie Speed, Michal Chelbin, Petah Coyne, Carroll Dunham, Catherine Opie and Todd Hido.

She has also created original television pilots for HBO, FX and CBS and was a writer/producer of the Showtime series The L Word. Additionally, Homes wrote the adaptation of her first novel JACK, for Showtime. Director Rose Troche's 2003 adaptation of The Safety of Objects marks the screen debut of Kristen Stewart. Other Homes novels currently in development include, In A Country of Mothers, Music for Torching and This Book Will Save Your Life.

Homes has been the recipient of numerous awards including Fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, NYFA, and The Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers at The New York Public Library, along with the Benjamin Franklin Award, and the Deutscher Jugendliteraturpreis.

She has been active on the Boards of Directors of Yaddo, The Fine Arts Work Center In Provincetown, The Writers Room, and PEN-where she chairs both the membership committee and the Writers Fund. Additionally, she serves on the Presidents Council for Poets and Writers.

Homes was born in Washington D.C., she now lives in New York City and teaches in the Creative Writing Program at Princeton

Andy Weir

Andy Weir is best known for his debut novel The Martian, a New York Times bestseller, which was adapted to film by Ridley Scott. Weir received the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer in 2016. His second novel, Artemis, will be released in November 2017.

Annalee Newitz

Annalee Newitz is a journalist, and author of both fiction and nonfiction. She has been published in Wired and Popular Science, served as editor-in-chief of io9, and is currently Tech Culture Editor at Ars Technica. Her book Scatter, Adapt, And Remember: How Humans Will Survive a Mass Extinction was nominated for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and her next novel Autonomous is coming out in September 2017. Newitz holds a PhD in English and American Studies from UC Berkeley.

Astrid Bear

Astrid Anderson Bear started reading SF at an early age, attended Apollo Moon launches in the press box at Cape Kennedy, and hopes to someday see this planet from above. She has served as an advisor to the Scout online community, is member of the advisory board of the Washington State Centennial Time Capsule, and a former board President of the Friends of the University of Washington Libraries. She is a fiber artist, and has a special interest in sustainable transportation.

Blake Crouch

Blake Crouch is an American novelist and screenwriter best known for The Wayward Pines Trilogy, which was adapted for television in 2015. He is now developing his novel Dark Matter into a screenplay for Sony Pictures.

Brenda Cooper

Brenda Cooper is a science fiction and fantasy author of both novels and short fiction. She also blogs on environmental and future topics, and her non-fiction has appeared in Slate and Crosscut. Her work has earned her two Endeavor Awards, among other nominations. Cooper is a technology professional, and serves as Chief Information Officer for the city of Kirkland, WA.

Bruce Sterling

Bruce Sterling is known for his work on the Mirrorshades anthology, which helped define the cyberpunk genre of science fiction. His other works have earned him multiple awards, including the Hugo Award for Bicycle Repairman, and the Campbell Award for Islands in the Net.

Bud Sparhawk

Bud Sparhawk has been a three-time novella finalist for SFWA's Nebula award and has appeared in two Year's Best anthologies. His short work was recently published in the Best Of Defending The Future and Man and Machine anthologies, both by eSpec Books. A collection of twenty of his "best" short stories published in the last decade was launched at Balticon17. His next novel Shattered Dreams will be released in late 2017. He has previously published two novels; Distant Seas and Vixen as well as two older collections; Sam Boone: Front to Back and Dancing with Dragons.

Catherine Asaro

Catherine Asaro's works have earned her a multitude of awards, including the Nebula Award, Reader's Choice Award, and the Prism Award. Her works deal in hard science fiction, drawing from her background in physics; Asaro earned a PhD in Chemical Physics from Harvard University.

Charles Stross

Charles Stross is an award-winning British Science Fiction writer. A former programmer and technical writer, he specializes in hard science fiction. Stross's works have won numerous awards, including the Hugo Award for novella The Concrete Jungle, and Locus Award for Accelerando. Stross has also been nominated for the Arthur C. Clarke Award.

Charles Yu

Charles Yu is a Taiwanese-American writer. He was a story editor for the HBO series, Westworld, and co-wrote one episode, and is currently on an upcoming HBO series created by Alan Ball. Yu has penned short story collections and a novel, How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe, which was runner up for the Campbell Memorial Award.

Charlie Jane Anders

Charlie Jane Anders is an American writer known for such works as All the Birds in the Sky and Six Months, Three Days. She and her partner, Annalee Newitz, co-founded the science fiction blog io9, and other magazine. Anders's work has earned her a Hugo Award, a Lambda Award, and a Nebula Award.

Cory Doctorow

Cory Doctorow is a science fiction author and blogger, currently serving as co-editor of Boing Boing. His works have earned him such awards as the Campbell Award for Best New Writer, Locus Award for Best Novelette, and Prometheus Award. In addition to his writing, Doctorow is an activist in favor of liberal copyright laws to allow free sharing of digital media.

Daniel H. Wilson

Daniel H. Wilson is a Cherokee citizen and author of the New York Times bestseller Robopocalypse, which is being adapted to film by director Steven Spielberg. His other novels include Robogenesis, Amped, and The Clockwork Dynasty. Wilson earned his PhD in robotics at Carnegie Mellon University. He lives in Portland, Oregon.

Darren Aronofsky

Academy Award®-nominated director, Darren Aronofsky, is the founder and head of the production company, Protozoa Pictures. He is currently in post-production on "mother!"" which he directed and produced. Starring Jennifer Lawrence, Javier Bardem, Ed Harris, Domhnall Gleeson, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Kristin Wiig, Paramount Pictures will release the film in the U.S. on October 13, 2017.

Aronofsky directed, wrote, and produced the acclaimed film, Noah, starring Russell Crowe, Anthony Hopkins, Jennifer Connelly, and Emma Watson. He was the director of the indie box office phenomenon, Black Swan, which won Natalie Portman the Academy Award for Best Actress and garnered four other Oscar nominations including Best Picture. In 2008, Aronofsky directed and produced The Wrestler, which made its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival and won the esteemed Golden Lion, making it only the third U.S. film in history to win this grand prize. The film earned Academy Award nominations for both Mickey Rourke and Marisa Tomei, and won Golden Globes for Rourke for his iconic performance and Bruce Springsteen for his original track The Wrestler.

Aronofsky's earlier credits include the acclaimed films: The Fountain, a science-fiction romance starring Hugh Jackman and Rachel Weisz which he wrote and directed; Requiem for a Dream which premiered at Cannes Film Festival and garnered Ellen Burstyn Golden Globe and Academy Award nominations for her unforgettable performance; and π for which Aronofsky won the Director's Award at the 1998 Sundance Film Festival and an Independent Spirit Award for Best First Screenplay.

David Brin

David Brin is an astrophysicist whose best-selling and Hugo award winning novels include The Postman, Earth, and recently Existence. Brin serves on advisory boards (e.g. NASA's Innovative and Advanced Concepts program) and speaks or consults on a wide range of topics. His nonfiction book about the information age - The Transparent Society - won the Freedom of Speech Award of the American Library Association.

David Goyer

David S. Goyer is a writer, director, and producer in film and television.  He is best known for co-writing the Dark Knight Trilogy, writing Man of Steel, and co-creating television shows such as Constantine and the upcoming series Krypton.  He is also the writer of Call of Duty: Black Ops and is working with xLab on a Star Wars VR project.

Don Hertzfeldt

Don Hertzfeldt is a two-time Academy Award nominee whose animated films include World of Tomorrow, It's Such a Beautiful Day, and Rejected. His work is often surrealistic and philosophical in nature. Hertzfeldt twice earned the Grand Jury Prize for Short Film at the Sundance Film Festival, the only filmmaker to do so.

Eileen Gunn

Eileen Gunn is the author of two story collections: Stable Strategies and Others and Questionable Practices. Her fiction has received the Nebula Award in the U.S. and the Sense of Gender Award in Japan, and been nominated for the Hugo, Philip K. Dick, and World Fantasy awards and short-listed for the James Tiptree, Jr. award. Gunn was the editor/publisher of the influential Infinite Matrix webzine, 2001-2008. She served on the board of directors of the Clarion West Writers Workshop for 22 years and currently serves on the board of the Locus Foundation.

Ernest Cline

Ernest Cline is best known for his novels Ready Player One and Armada. He co-wrote the screenplay for Ready Player One, which is being adapted to film by director Steven Spielberg.

Gale Anne Hurd

Gale Anne Hurd produced The Terminator, Aliens, The Abyss, Terminator 2: Judgment Day, and Alien Nation, among many other science fiction and horror films. In television, Hurd is an Executive Producer of AMC's The Walking Dead and Fear the Walking Dead, USA's Falling Water and Amazon's upcoming streaming series, Lore.

Greg Bear

Greg Bear is a storyteller with over thirty novels on his rap sheet, including Blood Music, Eon, Forge of God, Queen of Angels, Darwin's Radio, City at the End of Time, and most recently, the final volume of the War Dogs trilogy, Take Back the Sky. His newspaper and magazine articles have covered topics from film to biology to planetary science, including the Voyager missions to the outer planets. He has consulted with Hollywood masters, and served on space advisory committees and committees devoted to science and international politics. He was one of the pioneer founders of San Diego Comic-Con.

Gregory Benford

Gregory Benford is a science fiction author and astrophysicist. His best-known writing is the Galactic Center Saga novels and in 2017, The Berlin Project. His work has earned him two Nebulas and Campbell Award, along with 4 Hugo Award and 12 Nebula nominations. Benford's contributions to science in astrophysics and plasma physics earned him the Lord Prize in 1995 and the Asimov Prize in 2008. He is a Professor Emeritus at UC, Irvine, and an ongoing advisor for NASA, DARPA, and the CIA.

Hannu Rajaniemi

Hannu Rajaniemi is a Finnish author best known for his novel The Quantum Thief. Hannu holds a PhD in string theory from the University of Edinburgh. He co-founded a mathematics consultancy whose clients included UK Ministry of Defence and the European Space Agency. Currently, he works as a co-founder of HelixNano, a synthetic biology startup. He lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Hari Kunzru

Born in London, Hari Kunzru is the author of the novels The Impressionist, Transmission, My Revolutions and Gods Without Men, as well as a short story collection, Noise and a novella, Memory Palace. His novel White Tears will be published in spring 2017. He was a 2008 Cullman Fellow at the New York Public Library, a 2014 Guggenheim Fellow and a 2016 Fellow of the American Academy in Berlin. He lives in New York City.

Harry Kloor

An American scientist, science fiction film maker, and entrepreneur. Harry was the first and still only person in the world to earn two PhDs simultaneously in distinct academic disciplines - Physics and Chemistry. He is the CSO of AGI and Caricord, CEO of Jupiter 9 Productions, and was one of the founding members of XPRIZE and Singularity University. Kloor was a writer for Star Trek: Voyager, one of the writers and creators of Earth: Final Conflict, and feature writer for 20th Century Fox. In 2016, Kloor returned to XPRIZE, where as a Bold Innovator, he created the ANA Avatar XPRIZE, which will launch in 2017.

Hugh Howey

Hugh Howey is the New York Times bestselling author of Wool, Sand, and Beacon 23. He is also an avid sailor, and oversaw the construction of Wayfinder, a catamaran on which he is now circumnavigating the globe.

J Michael Straczynski

J Michael Straczynski is an is an American screenwriter, television producer and director, and comic book writer. He is the founder of Studio JMS, and is best known as the creator of the science fiction television series Babylon 5 and its spinoff Crusade , as well as the series Jeremiah, and Sense8. A prolific writer across a variety of media and former journalist, Straczynski is the author of the novels Blood Night, Othersyde, and Tribulations, the short fiction collection Straczynski Unplugged, and the nonfiction book The Complete Book of Scriptwriting. Straczynski's work has earned him numerous awards, including two Hugo Awards, the Eisner Award, and the Bradbury Award, among other wins and nominations.

John Clute

John Clute is an author and critic specializing in science fiction. He is a co-editor of The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction, which has won three Hugo Awards. He earned the Pilgrim Award for Lifetime Achievement in Science Fiction.

Justina Robson

Justina Robson is an English author whose writing deals in hard science fiction. Robson's work has been nominated for several notable literary awards; her first novel Silver Screen was nominated for the Arthur C. Clarke Award, the Philip K. Dick Award, and the British Science Fiction Award.

Kathleen Ann Goonan

Kathleen Ann Goonan is the author of seven critically acclaimed novels, including her groundbreaking Nanotech Quartet: New York Times Notable Book Queen City Jazz (for which she was featured as a "Shaman of Small" in Scientific American), Darrell Award winner Mississippi Blues, and Nebula Award finalists Crescent City Rhapsody and Light Music. In War Times won the John W. Campbell Award for Best Science Fiction Novel of 2007 and was the American Library Association's Best SF Novel of 2007. Her most recent novel is This Shared Dream. She has published over fifty stories in venues such as Discover Magazine, Asimov's, Omni, The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, and numerous Best of Year anthologies, some of which are collected in Angels and You Dogs. She has been a consultant for the Joint Services Small Arms Project, World Vision, and World Bank, and is presently a member of the School of Literature, Media, and Communication Advisory Board at Georgia Tech.

Karl Schroeder

Karl Schroeder is a Canadian science fiction author and futurist who is currently writing about blockchain technology, next-gen economics and the future of government. Karl is best known for novels such as the award-winning YA space opera Lockstep, but he uses narrative tools in his foresight work as well, blending fiction with rigorous futures research in "scenario fictions" for government and corporate clients. Examples of this approach include Crisis in Zefra and Crisis in Urlia, two short novels commissioned by the Canadian Defense Department as study and research tools.

Ken MacLeod

Ken MacLeod is a Scottish writer of science fiction. His works range from near-future social speculation to far-future space opera, and explore the possibilities both of intensifying and of transcending capitalism. MacLeod's work has earned him the Prometheus Award and the BSFA Award.

Kevin J. Anderson

Kevin J. Anderson is a prolific science fiction author known for such works as Resurrection, Inc., the Saga of Seven Suns, the Dune prequel series with Brian Herbert, and Clockwork Angels with legendary Rush drummer Neil Peart. 56 of his books have been on US and international bestseller lists, and he has over 23 million copies in print in 30 languages. Anderson's works have earned him nominations for the Hugo, Nebula, Locus, Bram Stoker, Shamus, and many other awards.

Larry Niven

Larry Niven is an American science fiction writer. He writes fiction at every length, and has penned speculative articles, speeches, TV scripts, graphic novels, and even political action in support of space conquest: SDI (Space Defense Initiative - or Star Wars) was drafted at his house. Niven often works with other writers; several of his most recent titles, including the forthcoming The Seascape Tattoo with Steven Barnes, are collaborative. While many of his works have earned acclaim, Niven is best known for Ringworld, which won the Hugo, Nebula, and Ditmar awards.

Lauren Beukes

Lauren Beukes is an award-winning, internationally best-selling novelist who also writes comics, screenplays, TV shows and journalism. Her novels, including The Shining Girls, Broken Monsters and Zoo City have been translated into 23 languages and are being developed for film and TV. Her fiction has been described as high-concept and genre-blending, with a social conscience that examines the fracture points of society and who we are.

She's won the Arthur C. Clarke Award, the University of Johannesburg prize, the August Derleth Award for Best Horror, the Strand Critics Choice Award for Best Mystery Novel, the RT Thriller of the Year and the Mbokodo Award.

Leigh Bardugo

Leigh Bardugo is the bestselling author of Six of Crows duology, the Shadow and Bone trilogy, Wonder Woman: Warbringer, The Language of Thorns, and the forthcoming Ninth House. Her short stories and essays have appeared in the Best of Tor.com, Slasher Girls & Monster Boys, Last Night a Superhero Saved My Life, Summer Days and Summer Nights and Best American Science Fiction & Fantasy. Six of Crows was selected as a New York Times notable book and was recently longlisted for the CILIP Carnegie medal.

Leigh was born in Jerusalem, grew up in Los Angeles, graduated from Yale University, and has worked in advertising, journalism, and briefly in makeup and special effects. These days, she lives and writes in Hollywood, where she can occasionally be heard singing with her band.

Mark Z. Danielewski

Mark Z. Danielewski was born in New York City and lives in Los Angeles. He is the author of the award-winning and bestselling novel House of Leaves, National Book Award finalist Only Revolutions, and The Fifty Year Sword, which was performed on Halloween three years in a row at REDCAT. All three novels have been translated into multiple languages.

In May 2015, Pantheon Books released The Familiar (Volume 1): One Rainy Day in May, the first installment of his 27-volume novel. The Familiar (Volume 5): Redwood, the Season One finale, will be released in October 2017.

As Javier Calvo wrote in O: “The Familiar is not only Mark Z. Danielewski’s best book since his acclaimed opera prima, House of Leaves; it’s even better, and also more accessible. Conceived as the book version of a long-running TV show, its . . . volumes tell the tale of a smart, fragile, and epileptic little girl who finds a cat that may or may not be magical. Their encounter sets off a chain reaction that starts with her immediate family and will probably reach almost every corner of the world. . .”

M.R. Carey

M.R. Carey is a novelist and screenwriter best known for his novel The Girl With All the Gifts and for the Felix Castor series. He has also written for Marvel and DC Comics on titles such as X-Men, Ultimate Fantastic Four and the Eisner-nominated series Lucifer and The Unwritten.

Madeline Ashby

Madeline Ashby is a science fiction writer and futurist. Her most recent novel, Company Town, was shortlisted for the Canada Reads competition, the Locus Award, and the Prix Aurora. She also pens "science fiction prototypes", shorter writings which capture creative and structured views of the future for organizations including the Institute for the Future, Intel Labs, Nesta, Data & Society, and the Atlantic Council. Ashby holds a Master's Degree in Strategic Foresight and Innovation from OCAD University in Toronto

Malinda Lo

Malinda Lo is the author of several young adult novels, including Ash, which was a finalist for several awards including the Lambda Literary Award, the William C. Morris Award, and the Andre Norton Award. She was awarded the Sarah Pettit Memorial Award for Excellence in LGBT Journalism by the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association for her work at AfterEllen. Lo earned master's degrees from Harvard and Stanford.

Margaret Atwood

Margaret Atwood is best known for her work as a novelist. Her novel The Handmaid's Tale won the first Arthur C. Clarke award in 1987. Her work has earned her numerous other awards, including the Nebula Award and the Prometheus Award. Atwood is also an accomplished poet, environmental activist, and inventor.

Marge Piercy

Marge Piercy has published 17 novels including He, She, and It and Gone Soldiers, 19 collections of poetry, most recently Made in Detroit, a memoir, a book of short stories and 4 nonfiction books. She has given readings, workshops & lectures in over 475 venues here and abroad. Piercy is active in feminist, environmental, anti-nuke, and anti-war causes.

Mike Resnick

Mike Resnick is a science fiction writer known for such works as Seven Views of Olduvai Gorge, The 43 Antarean Dynasties and Travels with my Cats. His writing has earned him 37 Hugo award nominations - a record for writers - and 5 wins. He is also first on the all-time list of Locus Award winners for short fiction. Resnick is currently the editor of Stellar Guild books and Galaxy's Edge magazine.

Nancy Kress

Nancy Kress's work typically deals in hard science fiction. Her best-known publication, Beggars in Spain, won the Hugo and Nebula Awards for Best Novella. Other notable works include After the Fall, Before the Fall, During the Fall, and Probability Space, winner of the John W. Campbell Memorial Award. In total, Kress has won six Nebula Awards and two Hugo Awards.

Naren Shankar

Naren Shankar is a television Writer-Producer (and occasional director) best known for his work on CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, which earned him two Primetime Emmy nominations, and Star Trek: The Next Generation. He is currently Executive Producer and Showrunner of the hit science fiction series The Expanse, based on the international best-selling novels by James S.A. Corey. A former engineer, Shankar received his BS, MS and PhD degrees in Applied Physics and Electrical Engineering from Cornell University.

Neil Gaiman

Neil Gaiman is an English author best known for The Sandman comic book series, and novels Stardust and Coraline. His work has earned him numerous awards, including the Hugo and Nebula awards. Gaiman is also an advocate, appearing in a video from the UNHCR to help raise awareness of the global refugee issue.

Nisi Shawl

Nisi Shawl is an African-American writer whose science fiction works often reflect real-world sociocultural factors such as race, gender, and sexual orientation. Shawl’s notable works include Everfair, Writing the Other, a guide for writers on accurately portraying characters of different demographics, and Filter House, for which she won the James Tiptree Jr. Award.

Nnedi Okorafor

Nnedi Okorafor is a Nigerian American writer of speculative fiction for both children and adults and a full professor at the University at Buffalo, New York. Her works include Who Fears Death, the Binti Trilogy, the Book of Phoenix, the Akata series and Lagoon. She is the winner of Hugo, Nebula, and World Fantasy Awards and her debut novel Zahrah the Windseeker won the prestigious Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature. She lives with her daughter Anyaugo and family in Illinois.

Paolo Bacigalupi

Paolo Bacigalupi is a science fiction and fantasy author. His stories explore often explore questions of sustainability, from drought and climate change, to social and political conflict, to technology's unexpected impacts. Bacigalupi has earned numerous awards and nominations; his debut novel The Windup Girl won the Hugo, Nebula, and Campbell awards in 2010.

Peter Watts

Peter Watts — described by the Globe & Mail as one of the best hard-SF authors alive— writes rigorous science fiction informed by his background as a marine biologist. His work is available in 20 languages, has appeared in two dozen best-of-year anthologies, and has acquired nearly 50 awards and nominations from a dozen countries. His debut novel Starfish was a NY Times Notable Book of the Year, while his 4th (Blindsight) is a required text in university courses ranging from neuropsychology to philosophy (perhaps the first time that a science fiction novel has been listed as a core text for a university science course). His 17 awards include the Hugo, the Shirley Jackson, the Seiun— and anomalously, an Environment Canada Trophy for environmental documentary. The creators of the acclaimed computer games Bioshock Two, SOMA, and EVE Online have all cited Watts's work as an influence.

Pierce Brown

Pierce Brown is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Red Rising, Golden Son, and Morning Star. His books have been translated into more than 30 languages. While trying to make it as a writer, Brown worked as a manager of social media at a startup tech company, toiled as a peon on the Disney lot at ABC Studios, did his time as an NBC page, and gave sleep deprivation a new meaning during his stint as an aide on a U.S. Senate campaign. He lives in Los Angeles, where he is at work on his next novel.

Robert J. Sawyer

Robert J. Sawyer, a Member of the Order of Canada, is the bestselling author of 23 hard science-fiction novels including Flashforward, basis for the ABC TV series. He has won the best-novel Hugo and Nebula Awards and holds two honorary doctorates. Rob has published in Science, and, as a futurist, has consulted with NASA, the SETI Institute, and many corporations.

Stephany Folsom

Stephany Folsom wrote on the upcoming film Thor: Ragnarok. Her script 1969 A Space Odyssey: Or How Kubrick Learned to Stop Worrying and Land on the Moon made the 2013 Black List and Hit List. She has written for Disney, Warner Brothers, 20th Century Fox, Tri-Star Pictures, Lucasfilm, and Legendary Pictures.

Tricia Sullivan

Tricia Sullivan won the Arthur C. Clarke Award for her novel Dreaming in Smoke. Her novels Maul, Lightborn, and Occupy Me were shortlisted for the same award, and her work has been translated into eight languages. She is a postgraduate student at the Astrophysics Research Institute in Liverpool.

Veronica Roth

Veronica Roth is an American novelist and short story writer known for her debut New York Times bestselling Divergent trilogy, consisting of Divergent, Insurgent, and Allegiant; and Four: A Divergent Collection. Divergent was the recipient of the Goodreads Favorite Book of 2011 and the 2012 winner for Best Young Adult Fantasy & Science Fiction

Victoria Aveyard

Victoria Aveyard is an author and screenwriter, born and raised in a small town in Western Massachusetts. Both her parents are public school teachers, as well as avid film, television, and literature fans. After graduating with degree in Writing for Film & Television from the University of Southern California's School of Cinematic Arts, Victoria began writing the manuscript that would become Red Queen. She has since published three #1 New York Times bestselling novels and two New York Times bestselling novellas in the series.

Zack Stentz

Zack Stentz is an American writer and producer. He is best known for cowriting X-Men: First Class, Thor, and Agent Cody Banks. He wrote and produced for the television series The Flash, Fringe and Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles.

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