Who’s Walter?

I’m Walter Jon Williams, and I’m the author of something like forty volumes of fiction, in addition to works in film, television, comics, and the gaming field.  I’ve won awards, I’ve appeared on the bestseller lists of the Times and the New York Times, and I’m a world traveler, scuba diver, and a black belt in Kenpo Karate.

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

After the market for historicals died, I 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.”  (And let me just say that when you get a blurb like that, you point to it whenever possible.)

I view science fiction as a kind of infinite playground in which I 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 I don’t just write the same sort of book over and over.  I’ve 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).

As you might guess, some of my books escape easy categorization.

I’m also a reasonably prolific writer of short fiction, including contributions to George RR Martin’s Wild Cards project.

I’ve 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 then I won Nebula Awards in 2011 and 2005, and I became Just Another Award-Winning Author.

In addition to fiction, I’ve written a number of films for Hollywood.  (For a host of complex reasons, none of them got made, though I was paid.)  The only of my Hollywood works which you can actually view is an episode of the TV series “Andromeda,” in which a few of my better lines survived despite rewrites caused by epic casting problems.

I’ve 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.

For the last couple years, I’ve been involved in making all my out-of-print books available, at least as ebooks.

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

I have new works appearing all the time, so don’t forget to check here for updates!

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