Walter Jon Williams is an American ScienceFiction writer, generally known for ''not'' having a signature-style. He has written everything from {{Cyberpunk}} (and PostCyberpunk) to Comedy of Manners; from SpaceOpera to PoliceProcedural. All available evidence suggests that Williams does not like being pigeonholed. (His fondness for games has caused some to try to pigeonhole him as a gamer, but a survey of his work will reveal that this is an incomplete description at best.)

Among his better known works are the early {{Cyberpunk}} novel, ''Literature/{{Hardwired}}'', the PostCyberpunk novel ''{{Literature/Aristoi}}'', the humorous Drake Maijstral series (''The Crown Jewels'', ''House of Shards'' and ''Rock of Ages''), the epic ''Literature/DreadEmpiresFall'' series (''The Praxis'', ''The Sundering'', and ''The Conventions of War''), and, most recently, the Dagmar Shaw thrillers (''This is Not a Game'', ''Deep State'', and ''The Fourth Wall''). He has also written a novel in the ''Franchise/StarWars'' ExpandedUniverse, ''The New Jedi Order: Destiny's Way'', and the straight-up historical ''Privateers and Gentlemen'' series. He was also a frequent contributor to Creator/GeorgeRRMartin's ''Literature/WildCards'' series.

Two of his early works, ''Knight Moves'' and ''Hardwired'', were homages to Creator/RogerZelazny's works, ''This Immortal'' and ''Literature/DamnationAlley'', respectively.

Not to be confused with [[Series/MrBill the other Walter Williams.]]
!! Tropes in his works:
* AlternateRealityGame: The protagonist of ''This Is Not A Game'' is a professional ARG writer; the book begins with her being trapped in Indonesia during rioting and enlisting the help of the people who play her [=ARG=]s to get her out.
* ArcWords: In ''This Is Not A Game'', the frequent [[TitleDrop Title Drops]] are this.
* BenevolentAlienInvasion: Played with in the ''Drake Maijstral'' books, where the aliens did not really disturb Earth very much bar imposing their own formal culture and ideas of monarchy upon it. Humanity still didn't take this very well and kicked them off-planet before the beginning of the first novel, becoming the first and only race to accomplish this. The protagonist Drake Maijstral is the descendant of those who opposed the revolt, and honestly doesn't much care either way.
* BlindJump: In ''Literature/AngelStation'', FTL travel is achived by using captured black holes (contained within each ship) to open a tear in space-time. Proper calculations are necessary to "ride out the wave" to the proper destination. The protagonists, Ubu Roy and Beautiful Maria, make a random jump, hoping to find a system that will have "catchable" black holes to sell. A similar jump puts a LivingShip (also looking to capture and sell singularities) in the same system, resulting in the events of the book.
* BrainUploading: Played for extreme horror in the short story "Daddy's World".
* BrotherSisterIncest: In ''Literature/AngelStation'', Beautiful Maria (yes, that is her full name) and Ubu Roy are not genetic siblings, as they were both genetically engineered by their "father" from scratch. This is most evident by Ubu's [[MultiArmedAndDangerous four arms]] and Maria's {{technopath}}y. However, they have been raised as brother and sister, so their feelings for each other are no different than if they had biological ties. That said, they have no problem screwing each other whenever they feel like it (it gets pretty graphic at times), although this can be justified by the fact that (after [[spoiler:their "father's" suicide]]) it's just the two of them on long voyages and that their "father" used hormones to boost their growth, which made them all the more horny. They don't see a problem with this, probably because they have limited exposure to other people and they don't really advertise this.
* CyberneticsWillEatYourSoul: ''Hardwired'' plays a variation of this trope; a person who replaces too much of their brain-matter with implants becomes "white-brained", detached from the world and other people, obsessed with mathematical abstractions, and losing much of their emotions in the process. However, it only happens to those who are inclined towards abstract thinking to begin with - those who use their cybernetic implants to intereact with physical objects like vehicles, and expand their abilities in the realms of physical talent like martial arts rarely suffer from these effects.
* DividedStatesOfAmerica: ''Hardwired'' has a heavily balkanized territory formerly known as the USA, in which Hovertank jockeys make a fortune flying contraband across fortified state borders.
* FixingTheGame: In ''Literature/AngelStation'', the protagonists are down-on-their-luck [[SiblingTeam brother and sister]] named Ubu Roy and Beautiful Maria (that is her full name). Maria is an "electronic witch", genetically-engineered with an ability to manipulate electrons with telekinesis. As a way of making money while they look for a contract, she plays a game (with a decent payout) that simulates navigating a ship through a field of black holes. Using her ability, she's able to win consistently by intercepting and altering computer signals before they appear on the screen. Ubu then suggests going for a big score and cheating at the roulette at a big casino on the titular space station. By that point, all casino games are electronic in nature, so Maria feels she has a good chance. She ends up winning a lot, but both are then taken to a back room, where it's revealed that the casino monitors all machines and detects any attempts at hacking them. Their only curiosity is the fact that Maria doesn't appear to have any equipment with her. They start beating on both of them. Even when Maria admits her ability, the [[CassandraTruth casino owners don't believe her]]. They are thrown out the back of the casino badly beaten and without their winnings.
* FutureImperfect: In ''The Crown Jewels'', Drake Majistral watches a movie in which the two main characters are UsefulNotes/JesseJames and Music/ElvisPresley.
-->Majistral liked Westerns better than other forms of genre entertainment. He wondered why Creator/{{Shakespeare}} hadn't written any.
* GenderBender: In ''Hardwired'', the rich elite often transfer their consciousness to a younger body to extend their lives. The book introduces one who used to be an elderly man but got himself transferred to a young, female body to live his sexual fantasies of submission and vulnerability. S/He gets what s/he asked for and more when [[spoiler:Sarah, one of the protagonists seduces, and then murders him/her.]]
* GentlemanThief: The ''Drake Maijstral'' series is entirely based on this trope. Drake is an "allowed burglar", which is actually a legal profession in the far future galactic empire. You may legally ply burglary as your trade if ''and only if'' you are a ''gentleman'' thief. You must always behave as a gentleman (or woman). Violence is forbidden. When you steal something, it doesn't become yours for 24 hours, and if you do get caught during that time, you must surrender politely or risk losing your license. And the thing you stole must stay under your control or that of a subordinate for the full 24 hours--no hiding it in a drainpipe and hoping nobody finds it. You are also expected to steal ''classy'' things. Which is not to say that you ''can't'' steal cash from a bank vault. But if that's ''all'' you steal, you may be in trouble. Allowed burglars are literally judged on style.
* HealingSpring: ''Implied Spaces'' features pools that can both heal and resurrect people. The "water" is actually a silvery, computer-linked nanotech soup.
* IdiosyncraticEpisodeNaming: Each chapter of ''This Is Not a Game'' is titled "This Is Not a(n) _____" or "This is not the ______".
* InformationWantsToBeFree: The short-story, "The Green Leopard Plague" [[ (available here)]], features this regarding hunger; [[FramingDevice the main character uncovers the history]] of how the invention of photosynthesis in humans to combat hunger was suppressed by regimes who used it as a weapon.
* KillerGameMaster: ''This Is Not a Game'' characterizes each of four friends by their habits when acting as [=DMs=]. The most antisocial one has every NPC betray the players, and often sets them up to betray each other. The main character eventually realizes that [[spoiler:he expects everyone to betray everyone else in real life as well, and hence betrays them first]].
* KissOfDeath: ''Hardwired'' features "The Weasel", a mechanical weapon that shoots out of your mouth.
* LeeroyJenkins: [[ShoutOut Namechecked]] in ''Implied Spaces'': when Grax the Troll's battle cry turns out to be "Grax the Troll!!!!", the protagonist's cat remarks, "Not exactly 'Leeroy Jenkins', but I suppose it will do.".
* LivingShip: Beloved in ''Literature/AngelStation'' is a member of a race of living ships, who use genetically-engineered servants to maintain them and do various tasks like load cargo, the most prominent of which is General Volitional Twelve, who is sent to study humans and act as her envoy. At the end of the novel, Beloved's trade (high quality drugs for computers) with the newly-discovered human siblings Ubu Roy and Beautiful Maria results in prosperity for both sides, although it is hinted that Beloved's "people's" exposure to humans will eventually lead to their demise.
* MultiArmedAndDangerous: Ubu Roy in ''Literature/AngelStation'' has four muscular arms by virtue of having been [[GeneticEngineeringIsTheNewNuke genetically engineered]].
* NotAGame: The appropriately titled ''This Is Not a Game'', about an AlternateRealityGame producer using her forums and players to get her out of a burning Jakarta, has the forum admins constantly reminding the players that this one is Not a Game.
* NotQuiteDead: In ''Hardwired'', one character, Reno, is killed when his home is the target of a missile attack. He later makes a series of telephone calls to the hero. Turns out that he was a wirehead and was "jacked into the net" when the missiles struck. He spends pretty much the rest of the book as a disembodied mind, wandering around the equivalent of the Internet, looking at everyone's most secret files.
* NoWarpingZone: In ''Literature/AngelStation'', ships entering or exiting a jump must do so far away from planets, as the process releases deadly radiation. The protagonists are forced to jump fairly close to an inhabited moon, realizing they're committing a heinous crime.
* OhCrapThereAreFanficsOfUs: ''This Is Not A Game'' (part of the Dagmar Shaw series) is an original-fiction example. The protagonist is stranded in Indonesia when its currency collapses, causing rioting. She enlists the help of a bunch of alternate reality gamers to get her out, not all of whom believe it's really happening. As a gag gift, one of her friends later presents her with a bound copy of the Fan Fiction some of these gamers wrote about her.
* OurWormholesAreDifferent: While the word "wormhole" is never used in ''Literature/AngelStation'', all ships use captured black holes in order to perform FTL jumps. This requires precise calculations, which are done perfectly by one of the protagonists, because she's a "witch", a genetically-engineered girl with the ability to see and alter electron motion. Opening a "tunnel" creates in a massive radiation wave that can damage anything for thousands of miles, meaning jumps have to be made far away from planets or other ships. It is also revealed that [[spoiler:aliens use the same method]]. Apparently, any ship can be equipped with devices for capturing black holes. Why they don't get torn to shreds by gravity is never brought up.
* PatchWorkMap: ''Implied Spaces'' takes place in a world where technology is advanced enough that every rich kid can design his own little world. Most of them try for patchwork maps. The main character is a scholar studying what happens on the borders between the patches, when the physical realities of these constructed worlds start to act. These borders are the "implied spaces".
* PocketDimension: The future human civilization of ''Implied Spaces'' uses pocket dimensions maintained by vast post-human artificial intelligences as living space.
* PortalPool: In ''Implied Spaces'', ''Pools of Life'' are pretty much equivalent to 'save points' in games - you can enter a pool to have a snapshot of your memories stored and/or your body plan altered and/or have yourself deconstructed then reassembled at another location [[spoiler: with or without your consent]].
* PossessionBurnout: In ''Metropolitan'', the Iceman causes this to his hosts.
* RealMoneyTrade: One character of ''This Is Not a Game'' makes most of his income by gold farming and ganking -- while at his official phone support job.
* SexByProxy: ''Aristoi'', which is set in a future where everybody has wireless internet connections in their heads, has a science-fictional example.
* WhiteCollarCrime: ''Hardwired'' is rife with this. It's pretty violent, though; one episode of corporate sabotage involves murdering an executive to get access to the company's intranet.