|I was born in San Diego, California, on August 20th, 1951, to Wilma M. and Dale F. Bear. My father was in the navy, and by the time I was twelve years old, I had traveled with my parents to Japan, the Philippines and Alaska, as well as touring various parts of the United States.|
It was in Alaska, at age ten, that I completed my first short story. I had been writing for a year or so already. At age thirteen or fourteen I began submitting stories to the magazines, and at fifteen I sold my first short short to Robert Lowndes' FAMOUS SCIENCE FICTION. (It appeared when I was sixteen.) It took five years to sell my next story, but by the time I was twenty-three, I began selling regularly. My first novel, finished when I was nineteen, was completely rewritten and sold to Berkley some twelve or thirteen years later; the first novel I sold (HEGIRA, Dell) appeared in 1979.
In 1983 I was nominated for the Nebula Award for my short story, "Petra." In 1984, "Hardfought" and "Blood Music" won the Nebula Awards for best novella and novelette, respectively; "Blood Music" went on to win the Hugo Award. The novel version of that story, also called BLOOD MUSIC, won the Prix Apollo in France and was nominated for the Hugo and Nebula awards. In 1987, "Tangents" won the Hugo and Nebula awards for best short story. MOVING MARS (1993) won the 1994 Nebula for best novel. QUEEN OF ANGELS was an alternate selection of the Book of the Month Club.
My novels and short stories have been translated into twelve languages: Japanese, Russian, Czechoslovakian, French, Polish, Finnish, Swedish, Spanish, Portugeuse, Dutch, German, and Serbo-Croatian.
A short story, "Dead Run," was adapted by Alan Brennert for the second Twilight Zone television show. "The White Horse Child" appeared in 1993 as a CD-ROM multi-media presentation from EBOOK.
Occasional work as a freelance journalist has taken me to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, where I covered all the the Voyager planetary encounters for the San Diego Union. I've written numerous articles on film for the Los Angeles Times. Between 1979 and 1982 I reviewed books for the San Diego Union Book Review supplement.
I've also worked as a bookseller (my last formal job was at the late, lamented La Jolla bookstore, Mithras) and I frequently lectured for the San Diego City Schools, acting as a roving teacher and conducting short classes on ancient history, the history of science, and science fiction/fantasy.
As an illustrator, my artwork has appeared on GALAXY, FANTASY AND SCIENCE FICTION and VERTEX and books both hardcover and paperback. I was a founding member of ASFA, the Association of Science Fiction Artists. My last professional work of art was the cover of my own novel, PSYCHLONE, in reprint from Tor. I do very little artwork now, devoting myself almost exclusively to writing.
With my wife, Astrid, I co-edited the FORUM of the Science Fiction Writers of America for two years. For two years, I acted as chairman of the SFWA Grievance Committee, then served as Vice President of SFWA for a year, and President for two years (1988-1990). Between 1983 and 1990, I served on the Citizens Advisory Council on National Space Policy, a private group consisting of scientists, military specialists, space scientists and engineers, astronauts, and writers. I have consulted with Microsoft and other software companies, as well as WNET-13 New York, and served as science and speculations advisor for the pilot episode of the Amblin/Universal TV production "Earth 2."
In 1983, I married Astrid Anderson. Our son Erik was born in September 1986. Our second child, Alexandra, was born in January of 1990. All in all, we're quite a team.