Featured Author Guest: Walter Jon Williams

Walter Jon Williams is the author of thirty volumes of fiction, in addition to works in film, television, comics, and the gaming field.  He’s won awards, appeared on the bestseller lists of the Times and the New York Times, and is a world traveler, scuba diver, and a black belt in Kenpo Karate.

He began his career by writing historical fiction, the sea-adventure series Privateers & Gentlemen.  (These are now available as ebooks after being out of print for decades.)

He then began a new career as a science fiction writer.  The first novel to attract serious public attention was Hardwired, described by Roger Zelazny as “a tough, sleek juggernaut of a story, punctuated by strobe-light movements, coursing to the wail of jets and the twang of steel guitars.” 

He views science fiction as a kind of infinite playground in which he can move from one set of equipment to the next, from the slides to the monkey bars to the swings— which is a way of saying that he doesn’t just write the same sort of book over and over.  He’s written cyberpunk (Hardwired, Voice of the Whirlwind, Angel Station), near-future thrillers (This Is Not a Game, The Rift), classic space opera (Dread Empire’s Fall), “new” space opera (Aristoi), post-cyberpunk epic fantasy new weird (Metropolitan and City on Fire), and of course the world’s only gothic western science fiction police procedural (Days of Atonement).

He’s been nominated for numerous literary awards, and for a number of years was science fiction’s “Bull Goose Loser,” the person who had the most award nominations without having actually won anything.  But after winning Nebula Awards in 2011 and 2005, and he became Just Another Award-Winning Author.

He has also maintained a foot in the gaming industry, having written RPGs based on Privateers & Gentlemen and Hardwired, contributed to the alternate-reality game Last Call Poker, and written the dialog for the Electronic Arts game Spore.

In 2017 he was the Guest of Honor at the 75th World Science Fiction Convention, held in Helsinki.

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