Scott Westerfeld

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Scott Westerfeld
Scott Westerfeld.jpg
Westerfeld at Utopiales 2010
Born (1963-05-05) May 5, 1963 (age 53)
Dallas, Texas, United States
Occupation Writer, composer, media designer
Nationality American
Period 1990s–present
Genre Young adult, science fiction
Spouse Justine Larbalestier

Scott David Westerfeld (born May 5, 1963) is an American writer of young adult fiction, best known as the author of the Uglies and the Leviathan series.


Westerfeld was born in Dallas, Texas.[1] As a child he moved to Connecticut for his father Lloyd's job as a computer programmer. He saw his dad working with planes, submarines, and the Apollo missions.

Westerfeld graduated from Vassar College with a B.A. in Philosophy in 1985.[2] He began composing music as a teenager[3] and composes music for modern dance.[4] In 2001, Westerfeld married the Australian author Justine Larbalestier.

He now divides his time between Sydney, Australia and New York City.[1] He has written 18 books, five adult novels and thirteen young adult novels.[5]


Westerfeld is well known for the Uglies series. He also wrote Afterworlds, as well as The Risen Empire and The Killing of Worlds, parts one and two of the same work, originally titled Succession, published in the UK in 2005 under the title The Risen Empire.

Westerfeld began his career writing novels for adults, but switched to YA literature with his Midnighters series. He has written four YA novels that take place in New York City: Peeps, The Last Days, So Yesterday, and Afterworlds. While The Last Days is not a sequel to Peeps, it follows a group of different characters in the same setting. So Yesterday is not related to these novels, but is often grouped with them because it is also set in New York City.

Westerfeld has written a graphic novel series called Shay's Story.[6] He has also written the Leviathan trilogy, consisting of Leviathan, Behemoth, Goliath, and The Manual of Aeronautics, an illustrated guide to the Leviathan series.

Several of his novels have been optioned for films. So Yesterday has been optioned to be made into a film by one of the producers of Fahrenheit 9/11 and Bowling for Columbine.[7] However, this option 'slowly died', as Scott Westerfeld wrote on his blog. The Uglies series was optioned in 2006 by Twentieth Century Fox as a possible film series.[8]


A major theme in Westerfeld's work is the idea of free thinking or questioning authority. In Uglies, the protagonist Tally rebels against her society's rules first with harmless pranks and eventually by leaving the city altogether. She finds a group of runaway uglies who refuse to conform to social norms that includes undergoing cosmetic surgery. Similarly, So Yesterday examines popularity and why certain trends are considered 'cool.' The novels praises innovators who think outside the box and come up with new fashion statements entirely on their own.

Another common theme in Westerfeld's novels is coming of age. Because Westerfeld writes primarily for young adult audiences, his protagonists are usually teenagers who find themselves over the course of the novel or series. Tally in Uglies, Cal in Peeps and Hunter in So Yesterday all struggle with finding where they belong until they come to terms with who they are.

Courage is another common theme in Westerfeld's work. His protagonists often face frightening or dangerous problems and have to rely on their own courage to overcome the problem. Often adults are not present during the time of crisis and the protagonist is left to his or her own devices. For example, Cal in Peeps is trained by adults on how to track down vampires, but he goes alone to actually catch them and must accomplish this task completely on his own.




Succession series[edit]

Both titles in this series were re-published in 2005 in one volume as The Risen Empire.

Young adults[edit]

  • So Yesterday (2004)
  • Afterworlds (2014)
  • Horizon (forthcoming, 2016)
  • The Spill Zone (graphic novel illustrated by Alex Puvilland) (forthcoming, 2017)

Leviathan series[edit]

  • Leviathan (illustrated by Keith Thompson) (October 6, 2009)
  • Behemoth (illustrated by Keith Thompson) (October 5, 2010)
  • Goliath (illustrated by Keith Thompson) (September 20, 2011)
Related works[edit]

Midnighters trilogy[edit]

Peeps series[edit]

  • Peeps (2005) (also known as Parasite Positive in Britain and V-Virus or Peeps in Canada)
  • The Last Days (2006)

Uglies series[edit]

Related works[edit]
  • Bogus to Bubbly: An Insider's Guide to the World of Uglies (supplement to the Leviathan series) (2008)
  • Uglies: Shay's Story (with Devin Grayson and Steven Cummings) (graphic novel) (2012)
  • Uglies: Cutters (with Devin Grayson and Steven Cummings) (graphic novel) (2012)

Uglies: Shay's Story and Uglies: Cutters are retellings of the Uglies series from Shay's point of view.

Zeroes trilogy[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Author Feature-Scott Westerfeld". Texas Library Association. Retrieved August 17, 2013. 
  2. ^ Kevin Stone (December 2006). "A Conversation With Scott Westerfeld". The SF Site. Retrieved August 17, 2013. 
  3. ^ "Scott Westerfeld: Music". Retrieved August 17, 2013. 
  4. ^ "Author Information: Scott Westerfeld". Internet Book List. Retrieved August 17, 2013. 
  5. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-10-24. Retrieved 2016-03-12. 
  6. ^ Westerfeld, Scott (2009). Leviathan. Simon Pulse. p. 448. ISBN 1416971734. 
  7. ^ "So Yesterday, the Movie". April 13, 2006. Retrieved March 18, 2012. 
  8. ^ Publishers Weekly, January 8, 2007.
  9. ^ "2006 Best Books for Young Adults with annotations". Young Adult Library Services Association. Retrieved August 17, 2013. 

External links[edit]