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Kim Stanley Robinson    

Bestselling & Award-Winning Science Fiction Writer

Kim Stanley Robinson was born in Waukegan, Illinois, but moved to Orange County, California, when he was two. As a child he loved to play in the orange groves stretching out for miles around his home, so when suburban sprawl began to encroach and the groves were torn out and paved over, the rapid change of modern life hit him close to home. It was not until college that he would stumble on new wave science fiction and find in it an expression of that very sense of rapid change that had made such an impression on him growing up. At that point he became committed to science fiction as the best realism for our time.

Robinson has since become one of the most well-known and respected science fiction writers in the world, with a reality-based approach in the spirit of Isaac Asimov that has made him a social thinker speaking “for the future and from the future”. His work has received 11 major awards from the science fiction field, and has been translated into 23 languages. His Mars trilogy (Red Mars, Green Mars, and Blue Mars) was an international bestseller, and continues to be one of the most widely read works of science fiction, a benchmark in discussions of humanity in space. His environmentalist work closer to home was the basis for him being named one of Time magazine’s “Heroes of the Environment” in 2008. He has worked with the U.S. National Science Foundation, and was part of their Antarctic Artists and Writers program in 1995, when he spent two months in Antarctica courtesy of NSF. He was part of the Sequoia Parks Foundations’ artist program in 2008. His articles and stories have been published in Nature, The New York Times, Newsweek, U.S. News and World Report, The Washington Post, The New Scientist, and Wired. He was the guest of Honor at the 68th World Science Fiction Convention, in Melbourne, 2010. His most recent novel, 2312, was a New York Times bestseller.

Robinson has lectured at over a hundred institutions over the last 25 years, in North America, Europe, Australia, and Antarctica, on a wide variety of subjects. He has advisory board or guest lecturing affiliations with the University of California at Davis’s Science and Technology Studies program; the University of California at San Diego’s Muir College, Sixth College, Environmental and Sustainability Institute, and Arthur C. Clarke Center for the Imagination; Georgia Institute of Technology’s Science, Culture and Technology program; the Planetary Society; the Mars Institute; the Clarion Science Fiction Workshop Foundation; and the Sequoia Parks Foundation. He has given commencement addresses at University of California, San Diego’s Sixth College, and the University of California, Berkeley’s English Department.

Because of the intensively researched nature of Robinson’s fiction, and the integrated nature of his various interests, ranging from the physical and human sciences to sustainability issues, political economy, urban design, utopia, space, and future history, he has over time built the capacity to speak on a wide variety of subjects, with the emphasis often on what the future may hold for these subjects. He does not repeat talks, and crafts them to match the invitations he accepts. Topics he can speak about include: California, its history and future, especially the Sierra Nevada; Antarctica, its history and future; Mars and the solar system, especially their human potential; Galileo and the scientific revolution; utopia, in both real-world urban design and in literature; climate change and sustainability issues; science and society; post-capitalism; and literary talks on fiction, nature writing, writing techniques, and writers such as George Orwell, Virginia Woolf, Marcel Proust, Emerson, Thoreau, Melville, John Muir, Kenneth Rexroth, Gary Snyder, and Ursula K. Le Guin.

Robinson has a B.A. and a Ph.D. in literature from University of California, San Diego, and an M.A. in English from Boston University. He taught literature at the University of California, Davis, before becoming a full-time writer and parent.

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