Terry Bisson

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Terry Bisson, 2009

Terry Ballantine Bisson (born February 12, 1942) is an American science fiction and fantasy author best known for his short stories. Several of his works, including "Bears Discover Fire", have won top awards in the science fiction community, such as the Hugo and the Nebula.

He was born in Madisonville, Kentucky, and raised in Owensboro, Kentucky.[1]

While a student at Grinnell College (Iowa) in 1961, Bisson was one of a group of twelve students who traveled to Washington, D.C. during the Cuban Missile Crisis supporting U.S. President John F. Kennedy's "peace race". Kennedy invited the group into the White House (the first time protesters had ever been so recognized) and they met for several hours with McGeorge Bundy. The group received wide press coverage, and this event is regarded as the start of the student peace movement.[2]

After leaving Grinnell College, Bisson graduated from the University of Louisville in 1964. He lived "on and off" in New York City for most of the next four decades, moving to Oakland, California in 2002. He became a "working" writer in 1981. A self-identified member of the New Left, he operated Jacobin Books, a "revolutionary" mail-order book service, from 1985 to 1990, in partnership with Judy Jensen.[1]

Bisson's political views are evident in his 1988 alternative history novel Fire on the Mountain, with its outspoken praise of Revolutionary Socialism.

Bisson has been married three times. He and his first wife, Deirdre Holst, have three children. His second marriage was to Mary Corey. Bisson married his "longtime companion" Judy Jensen on December 24, 2004; the couple has one daughter, and Bisson acts as stepfather to Jensen's two children.[1][3]

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.

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.

In 1997, Bisson used Walter M. Miller, Jr.'s outline to complete the writing[4] of Saint Leibowitz and the Wild Horse Woman, an unfinished sequel to Miller's classic 1960 novel A Canticle for Leibowitz, after Miller's death[5] in 1996.


Incomplete – to be updated

  • Wyrldmaker (1981)
  • Talking Man (Arbor House, 1986)
  • Fire on the Mountain (Avon, 1988)
  • Bears Discover Fire, 1990
  • Voyage to the Red Planet (Morrow, 1990)
  • They're Made Out of Meat, 1991
  • Bears Discover Fire and Other Stories (1996)
  • Pirates of the Universe (Tor, 1996)
  • macs, 1997
  • The Fifth Element, film novelization (1997)
  • In the Upper Room and Other Likely Stories (2000)
  • The Pickup Artist (Tor, 2001)
  • Star Wars: Boba Fett: The Fight to Survive (2002)
  • I Saw the Light (2002) [reprinted in Year's Best SF 8 (2003)]
  • Greetings (Tachyon Publications, 2005)
  • Numbers Don't Lie (Tachyon Publications, 2005)
  • Farewell Atlantis (2009)
  • The Left Left Behind (2009)
  • TVA Baby (2011)
  • Any Day Now (2012)
  • Old Rugged Cross (Unknown)


  1. ^ a b c Bisson, Terry. "TERRY BISSON of the UNIVERSE: Life & Works". Retrieved 12 February 2012. 
  2. ^ Grinnell Magazine, Fall 2011: The Grinnell 14 Go to Washington
  3. ^ "People and Publishing," Locus, April 2005, p.8
  4. ^ Bisson, Terry (1997). "A CANTICLE FOR MILLER; or, How I Met Saint Leibowitz and the Wild Horse Woman but not Walter M. Miller, Jr.". Retrieved 4 July 2013. 
  5. ^ "Obituaries: Walter M. Miller, Jr.", Locus, February 1996, p.78

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