Michael Bishop

(b. 1945)

Michael Lawson Bishop was born in Lincoln, Nebraska, and educated at the University of Georgia, BA (in English), 1967; MA, 1968. He was raised as an “air force brat” and later served in the U.S. Air Force (and taught English, USAF Academy Preparatory School), 1968-1972. He became a free-lance writer in 1974, after teaching English at the University of Georgia from 1972-1974. He quickly became noted for the intelligence and imagination of his short fiction, being nominated for several Hugo and Nebula awards.

First publication: “Pinon Fall” in Galaxy (October, 1970). First novel: A Funeral for the Eyes of Fire (Ballantine, 1975). First collection: Blooded on Arachne and Other Stories (Berkley, 1982).

Often referred to as “a writer’s writer,” Bishop is considered one of our finest “literary” authors, a premier humanist writer of SF who has also written poetry, reviews, and a screenplay. His writing about writing is very insightful, including the essay “On Reviewing and Being Reviewed” that appeared in the November, 1977, issue of the fanzine Shayol and his essay on Philip K. Dick, “In Pursuit of Ubik” published in the Summer, 1980, issue (#39) of Starship. In addition, Bishop is known in SF circles for a controversial article he wrote for Amazing, “Should SFWA Abolish the [Nebula Awards?” (May 1990 issue).

Hugo nominations:

His other books include And Strange at Ecbatan the Trees (1976) [also published as Beneath the Shattered Moons], A Little Knowledge (1977), Stolen Faces (1977), Catacomb Years (1979), Transfigurations (1979), Under Heaven’s Bridge (1981) [with Ian Watson], the horror novel Who Made Stevie Crye? (1984) [illustrated by J. K. Potter], the collection One Winter in Eden (1984) [Foreword by Thomas M. Disch], Ancient of Days (1985), Close Encounters with the Diety //(1986) [a short fiction collection], //The Secret Ascension (1987) [an alternate world story], Unicorn Mountain (1988) [a contemporary fantasy], Apartheid, Superstrings, and Mordecai Thurbana (1989), Emphatically Not SF, Almost (1990), and Count Geiger’s Blues (1992). Many of his stories are set in the American South; and the ones set in NUAtlanta, the domed city of Atlanta in the 21st Century, are among his most popular.

Several of his books have been finalists for World Fantasy Awards, including Brittle Innings [a slipstream novel in which Dr. Frankenstein’s monster turns up playing minor league baseball] in 1995 (Best Novel). A more recent book is Blue Kansas Sky (2000), a collection of four novellas, one original. A collection of previously uncollected stories, Brighten to Incandescence: 17 Stories, appeared in 2003 from Golden Gryphon Press. Another short fiction collection was At the City Limits of Fate (1996). Appearing in 2005 was the non-fiction work A Reverie for Mister Ray & Other Ambivalent Animadversions About Speculative Fiction.

He edited the anthology A Cross of Centuries, 25 Fantasies about Christ (2007). and has also written two mysteries with Paul De Filippo (as by Philip Lawson), two poetry collections, a screenplay, and the mainstream novel An Owl at the Crucifixion (1980).

Interviews with Bishop have been published in Locus, with “The Blessing and the Curse,” appearing in the November, 2004, issue. Bishop on his writing: “I never started out to be a science fiction writer. I had mainstream ambitions early on, but I never wanted to restrict myself to that, either. I wanted it all.”

GoHships:

Other Awards and Honors:

See also: http://www.sf-encyclopedia.com/entry/bishop_michael

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