H.G. Wells was born in Bromley, England, the son of an unsuccessful merchant. After a limited education, he was apprenticed to a dry-goods merchant, but soon found he wanted something more out of life. He read widely and got a position as a student assistant in a secondary school, eventually winning a scholarship to the College of Science in South Kensington, where he studied biology under the British biologist and educator, Thomas Henry Huxley. After graduating, Wells took several different teaching positions and began writing for magazines. When his stories began to sell, he left teaching to write full time. Wells's first major novel, The Time Machine (1895), launched his career as a writer, and he began to produce a steady stream of science-fiction tales, short stories, realistic novels, and books of sociology, history, science, and biography, producing one or more books a year. Much of Wells's work is forward-looking, peering into the future of prophesy social and scientific developments, sometimes with amazing accuracy. Along with French writer Jules Verne, Wells is credited with popularizing science fiction, and such novels as The Time Machine and The War of the Worlds (1898) are still widely read. Many of Wells's stories are based on his own experiences. The History of Mr. Polly (1910) draws on the life of Wells's father. Kipps (1905) uses Wells's experience as an apprentice, and Love and Mr. Lewisham (1900) draws on Wells's experiences as a school teacher. Wells also wrote stories showing how the world could be a better place. One such story is A Modern Utopia (1905). As a writer, Wells's range was exceptionally wide and his imagination extremely fertile. While time may have caught up with him (many of the things he predicted have already come to pass), he remains an interesting writer because of his ability to tell a lively tale.
Neil Gaiman, 1960 - Neil Gaiman was born in 1960 in Portchester, England. He worked as a journalist and freelance writer for a time, before deciding to try his hand at comic books. Some of his work has appeared in publications such as "Time Out," "The Sunday Times," "Punch" and "The Observer." Gaiman's first comic endeavor was the graphic novel series "The Sandman." It is what Gaiman is most famous for and the series has won every major industry award, including the 1991 World Fantasy Award for best short story, making it the first comic ever to win a literary award. "The Sandman" series has outsold both "Batman" and "Superman" comics, selling over a million copies a year. The collections have sold over 750,000 copies in both paperback and hardcover and Warner Bothers has optioned the rights to Sandman. Gaiman is the co-originator and co-editor of The Utterly Comic Relief, an organization which raises money to maintain First Amendment Rights for comic book creators. In 1991, the organization raised over 45,000 pounds for the Comic Relief Charity. Gaiman has also co-authored a book with Terry Pratchet called "Good Omens" and wrote "Ghastly Beyond Belief" in 1985 and "Don't Panic" in 1987. He has edited a book of poetry entitled "Now We Are Sick" and his essays have appeared in such publications as "Horror: 100 Best Books and 100 Great Detectives." Gaiman's latest project has been the development of "Neverwhere," originally a television series for the BBC, it has now been expanded into a novel and is being made into a movie created by Jim Henson Productions. He has also delved into children's books, writing "The Day I Swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish" which was selected by "Newsweek" as one of the Best Children's Book of 1997. His last publications have been "Smoke and Mirrors" in 1998 and "Stardust," an anthology of short stories in, 1999. When not writing, Gaiman is constantly involved in fighting for the rights of literary writers of all kinds so that the First Amendment shall always be allowed for those who choose to write.