Greg Bear Biography

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(Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults)

Greg Bear was born in San Diego, California on August 20, 1951. He grew up in many different areas of the world because his father was a Navy man who served assignments in Japan and the Philippines, as well as postings to naval bases on the Gulf Coast, East Coast, and West Coast of the mainland United States. His childhood experiences in diverse lands may account for the sensitivity to different cultures displayed in his fiction. It is difficult for young children to make friends when moving about frequently, and Bear's passion for reading may have its origin in lonely hours when he was young. He is an eclectic reader of science, history, and fiction.

His ambition to be a writer seems to have begun early, perhaps when he was eight years old, and Bear was writing in hopes of publication by the time he was a teenager. This precocious feat was achieved at fifteen when he sold a short story to Famous Science Fiction. Despite his early good fortune Bear, like many young writers, found it difficult to publish other works. His second professional publication did not appear until he was in his early twenties, but he then attracted critical attention as one of science fiction's most promising young talents. In the years since he has retained the respect of critics with his taut narratives and imaginative settings.

To supplement his income as a novelist, Bear worked as a journalist, contributing to Southern California newspapers during the 1970s and early 1980s. Bear is widely admired by his science fiction peers, and he has served in various posts for the Science Fiction Writers of America, including president from 1988 to 1990. The Science Fiction Writers of America have given Bear three Nebula awards: for best 1983 novella, Hardfought; for best 1983 novelette, "Blood Music"; and for best 1986 short story, "Tangents". The World Science Fiction Convention has twice given Bear its annual Hugo award: for best 1984 novelette, "Blood Music" and for best 1987 short story, "Tangents."

"Through reading science fiction, I became interested in other forms of literature, in astronomy and the sciences, in history and philosophy," Bear says in his preface to his short story collection The Wind from a Burning Woman . The...

(The entire section is 547 words.)