Terry Ballantine Bisson (born February 12, 1942, Owensboro, Kentucky) is an American science fiction and fantasy author, who wrote the young-reader books Boba Fett: The Fight to Survive and Boba Fett: Crossfire in the Young Boba Fett series. He is best known for his short stories, including "Bears Discover Fire" (1990), which won both the Hugo and Nebula awards.
In the 1960s, early in his career, Bisson collaborated on several comic-book stories with Clark Dimond, and he edited Major Publications' black-and-white horror-comics magazine Web of Horror, leaving before the fourth issue.
A distinctive characteristic of many of Bisson's short stories is that they consist only of dialogue, with a total absence of bridging text. The reader is encouraged to visualize the characters, the setting and situation without the aid of any descriptive narration. A notable example of Bisson's "dialogue only" technique is his 1991 story "They're Made Out of Meat." This story consists entirely of a discussion between two alien intelligences discussing whether it would be wise to grant the human race membership in some sort of galactic federation. The aliens (whose physiologies are never disclosed) ultimately decide that humans, being entirely organic creatures, are simply too disgusting to be accepted. Shortly after its original publication, this story was reprinted in the "Readings" section of Harper's magazine, an extremely rare honor for a science-fiction story.
Bisson has also written several novels, including Fire on the Mountain (1988), Voyage to the Red Planet (1990), Pirates of the Universe (1996), and The Pickup Artist (2001). In 1996, he wrote two three-part comic-book adaptations of Nine Princes in Amber and The Guns of Avalon, the first two books in Roger Zelazny's "Amber" series. Bisson also finished the writing of Walter Miller's novel Saint Leibowitz and the Wild Horse Woman, the sequel to the classic A Canticle for Leibowitz, which was left unfinished after Miller's death.
A popular urban legend among science fiction fans is that Gardner Dozois, editor of Asimov's Science Fiction, told Bisson to add "bears discovering fire or something" to the story of that name so that it could be considered a science fiction story, though Dozois has denied this.
Star Wars bibliographyEdit
- Terry Bisson on Wikipedia
- Terry Bisson Story Showcase, which includes an autobiography
- "They're Made Out of Meat," a 1991 short story by Bisson at his website
- Author profile at Infinity Plus, with link to "England Underway" (short story)
- Profile by Michael Swanwick, written for the 1996 Philcon program book
- September 2000 article about Bisson