Paul Levinson

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Paul Levinson
PL 3 - 300 dpi small cropped.jpg
Levinson in 2019
Born (1947-03-25) March 25, 1947 (age 73)
Occupationprofessor, writer, singer-songwriter

Paul Levinson (born March 25, 1947)[1] is an American author, singer-songwriter, and professor of communications and media studies at Fordham University in New York City. His novels, short fiction, and non-fiction works have been translated into sixteen languages.

Levinson has been interviewed more than 500 times on local, national and international television and radio as a commentator on media, popular culture, and science fiction.[2] He is frequently quoted in newspapers and magazines around the world and his op-eds have appeared in such major papers as The Atlanta Journal-Constitution,[3][4] New York's Newsday,[5] and The New York Sun.[6] He was interviewed in a short weekly spot early Sunday mornings on KNX-AM Radio in Los Angeles, from 2006 to 2008 on media-related news events and popular culture. He hosts four podcasts and maintains several blogs. In April 2009, The Chronicle of Higher Education named him one of Twitter's top ten "High Fliers".[7]

In 1985 he co-founded Connected Education, offering online courses for Masters credit.[8] He served as president of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America from 1998 to 2001.[9] He has been a professor of communication and media studies at Fordham University since 1998; he was chair of the department from 2002 to 2008. He previously taught at The New School, Fairleigh Dickinson University, Hofstra University, St. John's University, Polytechnic University of New York, Audrey Cohen College and the Western Behavioral Sciences Institute (WBSI). He has given lectures and keynote addresses at conferences at many universities including the London School of Economics, Harvard University, Baylor University, University of Copenhagen, New York University, the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania, and the University of Toronto and authored over 100 scholarly articles.[10]

Prior to his academic career, Levinson was a songwriter, singer and record producer in the late 1960s and early 1970s, with recordings by the Vogues, Donna Marie of the Archies, June Valli, Jimmy Clanton, and Ellie Greenwich. As a radio producer he worked with Murray the K and Wolfman Jack.[11] Levinson's work is influenced by Isaac Asimov, Thomas Jefferson, John Stuart Mill, Marshall McLuhan, Harold Innis, Karl Popper, Carl Sagan, and Donald T. Campbell.[12]


Paul Levinson graduated from Christopher Columbus High School in the Bronx, attended the City College of New York (CCNY) in the 1960s, and received a BA in journalism from New York University in 1975; an MA in Media Studies from The New School in 1976; and a PhD from New York University in media ecology in 1979. His doctoral dissertation, Human Replay: A Theory of the Evolution of Media (1979), was mentored by Neil Postman.[13]


Levinson writes science fiction, fantasy, and sf/mystery hybrids with philosophical undertones as well as non-fiction about the history and future of communications media, the First Amendment, the importance of space exploration, and popular culture themes.[9] His work has been translated into Chinese, Japanese, Korean, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Czech, Polish, Romanian, Macedonian, Croatian, Russian, Turkish, Persian, and Arabic.[14] His latest work is Touching the Face of the Cosmos: On the Intersection of Space Travel and Religion, an anthology of essays and science fiction stories which he edited with Michael Waltemathe, and including an interview he conducted with former astronaut and senator John Glenn and an essay by Guy Consolmagno, "The Pope's Astronomer".[15]

An acclaimed writer, Levinson has received multiple nominations for the Hugo, Nebula, Sturgeon, Prometheus, Edgar and Audie Awards. His novella Loose Ends was a 1998 finalist for a Hugo, a Sturgeon, and a Nebula. His novel The Silk Code won the Locus Award for Best First Novel of 1999.

The central character of The Silk Code, NYPD forensic detective Dr. Phil D'Amato, made his first appearance in Levinson's novelette, "The Chronology Protection Case", (published in Analog magazine, September 1995). D'Amato returned in "The Copyright Notice Case" novelette (Analog, April 1996), "The Mendelian Lamp Case" novelette (Analog, April 1997), and in subsequent novels The Consciousness Plague (2002), and The Pixel Eye (2003). An adaptation of Levinson's "The Chronology Protection Case" (radioplay by Mark Shanahan with Paul Levinson & Jay Kensinger) was nominated by the Mystery Writers of America for the Edgar Award for Best Play of 2002.

Levinson's next novel was The Plot To Save Socrates, a time travel story. Entertainment Weekly magazine called it "challenging fun".[16] His subsequent novel is Unburning Alexandria, a sequel to The Plot To Save Socrates. The first two chapters of Unburning Alexandria appeared as a novelette in the November 2008 issue of Analog Science Fiction and Fact,[17] and the expanded novel was published as an e-book in May 2013.[18] The next novel in the series, Chronica, was published in December 2014.[19]

Media commentator and public speaker[edit]

Paul Levinson is a frequent guest on local, national, and international cable and network television and public, commercial, and satellite radio programs.[11]

These have included:

Levinson has been quoted thousands of times in newspapers, magazines, and news services around the world. Some of these are: USA Today, The New York Times, The Washington Post, TIME, The Christian Science Monitor, U.S. News and World Report, Los Angeles Times, New York Post, New York Daily News, Newsday, Boston Globe, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Houston Chronicle, Hollywood Reporter, Billboard, Wired, Smithsonian Magazine, London Daily Mail, the Toronto Globe and Mail, the Associated Press, Reuters, and UPI.[20]

He has spoken at hundreds of science fiction conventions and international academic conferences and symposia, most recently at Heliosphere 2020, and including dozens of talks around the world to commemorate the centennial of Marshall McLuhan's birth and 50th anniversary of the publication of McLuhan's seminal work, Understanding Media. He frequently speaks on subjects ranging from time travel to fake news.

Songwriter, recording artist, and record producer[edit]

Selected bibliography[edit]


  • The Silk Code (1999) Tor Books ISBN 0-312-86823-5
  • Borrowed Tides (2001) Tor Books ISBN 0-312-84869-2
  • The Consciousness Plague (2002) Tor Books ISBN 0-7653-0098-2
  • The Pixel Eye (2003) Tor Books ISBN 0-7653-0556-9
  • The Plot To Save Socrates (2006) Tor Books ISBN 0-7653-0570-4
  • Unburning Alexandria (2013) JoSara Media ISBN 978-15617-80129
  • Chronica (2014) JoSara Media ISBN 978-1-56178-031-0

Non-fiction books[edit]

  • In Pursuit of Truth: Essays on the Philosophy of Karl Popper on the Occasion of his 80th Birthday (editor and contributor) with Forewords by Isaac Asimov and Helmut Schmidt (1982) Humanities Press ISBN 0-391-02609-7
  • Mind at Large: Knowing in the Technological Age (1988) JAI Press ISBN 0-89232-816-9
  • Electronic Chronicles: Columns of the Changes in our Time (1992) Anamnesis Press ISBN 0-9631203-3-6
  • Learning Cyberspace: Essays on the Evolution of Media and the New Education (1995) Anamnesis Press ISBN 0-9631203-9-5
  • The Soft Edge: A Natural History and Future of the Information Revolution (1997) Routledge ISBN 0-415-15785-4
  • Bestseller: Wired, Analog, and Digital Writings (1999) Pulpless ISBN 1-58445-033-9 [includes fiction and non-fiction]
  • Digital McLuhan: A Guide to the Information Millennium (1999) Routledge ISBN 0-415-19251-X
  • Realspace: The Fate of Physical Presence in the Digital Age, On and Off Planet (2003) Routledge ISBN 0-415-27743-4
  • Cellphone: The Story of the World's Most Mobile Medium (2004) Palgrave Macmillan ISBN 1-4039-6041-0
  • New New Media (2009/2012) Penguin/Pearson ISBN 0-205-67330-9; second, revised edition (2012) ISBN 0-205-86557-7
  • Touching the Face of the Cosmos: On the Intersection of Space Travel and Religion ed. Paul Levinson & Michael Waltemathe (2015/2016) Connected Editions/Fordham University Press ISBN 978-1-56178-042-6 [includes fiction and non-fiction]


  1. ^ "Levinson, Paul". Revised June 7, 2014. The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction ( Retrieved 20 July 2015. Entry by 'JC', John Clute.
  2. ^ Goldman, Norm (December 2007). "A conversation with well-known author Paul Levinson". Book Pleasures: Meet the Author. Knowledge Base. Archived from the original on July 8, 2011. Retrieved April 19, 2009.
  3. ^ Levinson, Paul (February 15, 2003). "Op-Ed: The FCC and Halftime". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. pp. Q2.
  4. ^ Levinson, Paul (October 12, 2003). "Op-Ed: Schwarzenegger and the fame game". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. pp. C1.
  5. ^ Levinson, Paul (April 13, 2009). "Is Spitzer fit to be a pundit?". Newsday. Retrieved April 19, 2009.
  6. ^ Levinson, Paul (September 27, 2006). "An important cable vote". The New York Sun. Retrieved April 19, 2009.
  7. ^ Young, Jeffrey R. (April 10, 2009). "Ten High Fliers on Twitter". The Chronicle of Higher Education. Vol.55, Issue 31. pp. A10. Retrieved April 19, 2009.
  8. ^ Withrow, Frank (June 1, 1997). "Technology in Education and the Next Twenty-Five Years – THE Journal". T.H.E. Journal. Retrieved January 21, 2014.
  9. ^ a b Gale Reference Team (2007). "Biography: Levinson, Paul (1947–)". Contemporary Authors Online. Thomson Gale.
  10. ^ "Managing the Frenzy: Translating Communication Skills to New Media". Communicators Forum. University of Minnesota. May 2000. Archived from the original on January 24, 2008. Retrieved April 19, 2009.
  11. ^ a b "Mevio: Personality-driven entertainment". Related information: Levinson News Clips. Mevio. Archived from the original on January 29, 2013. Retrieved April 19, 2009.
  12. ^ The Soft Edge (1997), pp, xvi–xvii
  13. ^ Levinson, Paul (February 1979). Human Replay: A Theory of the Evolution of Media. #79 18,852. 40/3. University Microfilms, Int.
  14. ^ Jandrić, Petar (2017). Learning in the Age of Digital Reason. Springer. p. 273. ISBN 9789463510776. Retrieved October 9, 2017.
  15. ^ Strate, Lance (December 18, 2015). "Interfacing With the Cosmos". Lance Strate's Blog Time Passing. Retrieved December 20, 2015.
  16. ^ Russo, Tom (February 24, 2006). "Book review: The Plot to Save Socrates". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved April 19, 2009.
  17. ^ Tomaino, Sam (September 27, 2008). "Review of Analog Science Fiction and Fact – November 2008 – Vol. CXXVIII No.11". SFRevu. Retrieved April 29, 2013.
  18. ^ Levinson, Paul. "Unburning Alexandria". Bookwire. ISBN 9781561780129. Retrieved April 29, 2013.
  19. ^ Levinson, Paul. "Chronica". Bookwire. ISBN 978-1-56178-031-0. Retrieved February 20, 2015.
  20. ^ "About Paul Levinson". Cybling. Archived from the original on February 18, 2007. Retrieved April 19, 2009.

External links[edit]