Poul Anderson, November 25, 1926 - July 31, 2001 Poul Anderson was born on November 25, 1926 in Bristol, Pennsylvania to parents Anton and Astrid. After his father's death, Poul's mother took them first to Denmark and then to Maryland and Minnesota. He earned his degree in Physics from the University of Minnesota, but chose instead to write stories for science fiction magazines, such as "Astounding." With his wife and his daughter, Anderson created The Society for Creative Anachronisms, a group where people can role play in medieval costumes, become the characters they'd like. It has gained national recognition. Anderson is considered a hard science fiction writer, meaning that his books have a basis in scientific fact. To attain this high level of scientific realism, Anderson spent many hours researching his topics with scientists and professors. He liked to write about individual liberty and free will, which was a well known theme in many of his books. He also like to incorporate his love of Norse mythology into his stories, sometimes causing his modern day characters to find themselves in fantastical worlds, such as in "Three Hearts and Three Lions," published in 1961. Anderson has written over a hundred books, his last novel, "Genesis" winning the John W. Campbell Award, one of the three major science fiction awards. He is a former president of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America and has won three Nebula awards and seven Hugo Awards. In 1997, Anderson was named a Grandmaster by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America and was also inducted into the Science Fiction Fantasy Hall of Fame. Poul Anderson died on July 31, 2001 at the age of 74.
Robert E. Howard was born in Peaster, Texas on January 22, 1906. At the beginning of his writing career, he primarily wrote pulp fiction and had numerous stories published in the pulp magazine Weird Tales including Spear and Fang, The Hyena, Wolfshead, Red Shadows, and The Shadow Kingdom. He created the character of Conan the Barbarian in the pages of Weird Tales. By 1936, almost all of his fiction writing was in the western genre and his first novel, A Gent from Bear Creek, was about to be published. He committed suicide on June 11, 1936 at the age of 30.