by George Slusser
University of Illinois Press, 2014
Cloth: 978-0-252-03822-8 | eISBN: 978-0-252-09603-7 | Paper: 978-0-252-07980-1
Library of Congress Classification PS3552.E542Z87 2014
Dewey Decimal Classification 813.54

Gregory Benford is perhaps best known as the author of Benford's law of controversy: "Passion is inversely proportional to the amount of real information available." That maxim is a quotation from Timescape, Benford's Nebula and Campbell Award-winning 1980 novel, which established his work as an exemplar of "hard science fiction," dedicated to working out the consequences of modern science rather than substituting pseudoscience for fantasy.

Like many other current science fiction writers, Benford has tackled the major genres: space travel, time travel, technology running amok, prolonged longevity, searing apocalyptic cosmic events, and alien life, which he theorizes to be more likely viral than intelligent. An astrophysicist by training and profession, Benford has published more than twenty novels, over one hundred short stories, some fifty essays, and myriad articles that display both his scientific rigor as well as a recognition of literary traditions.

In this study, George Slusser explores the extraordinary, seemingly inexhaustible display of creative energy in Gregory Benford's life and work. Presenting Benford's ideas on science and the writing of science fiction, the volume addresses the writer's literary production and his place in contemporary science fiction. By identifying direct sources and making parallels with other works and writers, Slusser reveals the vast scope of Benford's knowledge, both of literature and of the major scientific and philosophical issues of our time. Slusser also discusses Benford's numerous scientific articles and nonfiction books and includes a new interview with Benford.