Gregory Benford (born January 30, 1941) is an American science fiction author and astrophysicist who is on the faculty of the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of California, Irvine. He is also a contributing editor of Reason magazine.
As a science fiction author, Benford is perhaps best known for the Galactic Center Saga novels, beginning with In the Ocean of Night (1977). This series postulates a galaxy in which sentient organic life is in constant warfare with sentient electromechanical life.
Benford was born in Mobile, Alabama. He received a Bachelor of Science in physics in 1963 from University of Oklahoma in Norman, Oklahoma, followed by a Master of Science from the University of California, San Diego in 1965, and a doctorate there in 1967. That same year he married Joan Abbe. Benford modeled characters in several of his novels after her, most prominently the heroine of Artifact. She died in 2002.
Benford has an identical twin brother, Jim Benford, with whom he has collaborated on science fiction stories. Both got their start in science fiction fandom, with Gregory co-editor of the science fiction fanzine Void.
Benford tends to write hard science fiction which incorporates the research he is doing as a practical scientist. He has worked on several collaborations with authors including William Rotsler, David Brin and Gordon Eklund. His time-travel novel Timescape (1980) won both the Nebula Award and the John W. Campbell Memorial Award. A scientific procedural, the novel eventually loaned its title to a line of science fiction published by Pocket Books. In the late 1990s, he wrote Foundation's Fear, one of an authorized sequel trilogy to Isaac Asimov's Foundation series. Other novels published in that period include several near-future science thrillers: Cosm (1998), The Martian Race (1999) and Eater (2000).
Benford has also served as an editor of numerous alternate history anthologies as well as collections of Hugo Award winners.
He has been nominated for four Hugo Awards (for two short stories and two novellas) and 12 Nebula Awards (in all categories). In addition to Timescape, he won the Nebula for the novelette "If the Stars Are Gods" (with Eklund).
Benford was a guest of honour at Aussiecon Three, the 1999 Worldcon. He remains a regular contributor to science fiction fanzines, such as Apparatchik.
Space Opera stories
Galactic Center Saga?
- In the Ocean of Night? (1977)
- Across the Sea of Suns? (1984)
- Great Sky River? (1987)
- Tides of Light? (1989)
- Furious Gulf? (1994)
- Sailing Bright Eternity? (1996)
- Foundation's Fear? (1997)
- The Trojan Cat (with Mark O. Martin, short story published in Man-Kzin Wars VI) (1994)
- A Darker Geometry (with Mark O. Martin) (short story published in Man-Kzin Wars VII, 1995) (expanded to novel in 1996)