Creator / Gregory Benford

Gregory Benford (1941- ) is an American astrophysicist who also happens to be a bestselling award-winning science fiction author.

His story "And The Sea Like Mirrors" was included in Harlan Ellison's anthology Again, Dangerous Visions.

His novels include:
  • Timescape
  • Against Infinity
  • Beyond Infinity (no relation)
  • The Stars in Shroud (also published as Deeper Than the Darkness)
  • The Galactic Center saga, consisting of:
    • In the Ocean of Night
    • Across the Sea of Suns
    • Great Sky River
    • Tides of Light
    • Furious Gulf
    • Sailing Bright Eternity
  • Two novels in the Man-Kzin Wars series with Larry Niven
  • Some books with co-author Gordon Eklund, including If the Stars are Gods
  • Foundation's Fear, an installment in the late Isaac Asimov's Foundation series
  • Beyond the Fall of Night, a not-very-well-received sequel to the late Arthur C. Clarke's Against the Fall of Night

Tropes in his works:

  • Centrifugal Gravity: The protagonists of Beyond Infinity spend a brief time trapped in a Tunnelworld after an encounter with some 4-dimensional aliens. It was a closed loop, so traveling in any direction for a long enough time would return you to your point of origin.
  • Extreme Omnivore: In Eater, the Eater of All Things is Exactly What It Says on the Tin; since it's a sapient black hole, this is natural enough.
  • Grandfather Paradox: Timescape describes a unique, quantum-mechanical approach to Grandfather Paradoxes. If a time-travelling signal were to prevent its own transmission, the signal and everything involved in triggering it would be in an indeterminate state where it neither does, nor doesn't, occur — like Schrödinger's Cat before the box is opened.
  • Human Popsicle: The short story "Doing Lennon" features a man who has himself cryogenically frozen in order to impersonate John Lennon in the future.
  • I Am One of Those, Too: In "Doing Lennon", a man from the twentieth century hatches a plan to live out his dreams of stardom by having himself frozen and upon being revived in the future, claiming to be John Lennon. The plan hits a snag when he meets another cryogenically-frozen person claiming to be Paul McCartney.
  • Living Gasbag: The Sunborn has strange alien gasbags discovered on Pluto, which show signs of intelligence.
  • Mechanical Evolution: The Galactic Center novels have "mechs" which evolved from self-replicating Von Neumann machines, after they were abandoned when their biological creators destroyed themselves.
  • Mechanical Lifeforms: The Galactic Center novels include "mechs" which are implied to have evolved from self replicating von neumann machines. Left to their own devices after their biological creators destroyed themselves, errors and changes have occured in their templates over the millenia until their original functions were replaced by sentient self-direction.
  • Or Was It a Dream?: Theshort story "Sleepstory" features a space pilot fighting a war on Ganymede who gets a little compressed downtime with a dream-guiding narrative system, telling a story about an engineer in Los Angeles trying to fix breaches in the dams that keep the Global Warming-afflicted seas from flooding the city ...or possibly the other way round.
  • Ramscoop: Gets a brief mention in The Stars in Shroud, although FTL jump-drive technology is the main means of interstellar travel in that universe.
  • Ring World Planet: The protagonists of Beyond Infinity spend a brief time trapped in a Tunnelworld after an encounter with some 4-dimensional aliens. It was a closed loop, so traveling in any direction for a long enough time would return you to your point of origin.
  • Starfish Aliens:
    • In The Sunborn humanity discovers strange alien gas-bags on Pluto when some of them start feeding off of the heat given off by their probe. Said alien gas-bags have sapient intelligence. And then a bunch of robotic drones descends on Pluto apparently eating said aliens. These robotic drones turn out to be the equivalent of microscopic instruments used by what is apparently an intelligent race of electromagnetic waves.
    • Against Infinity has an alien entity called the Aleph, which is even weirder.
  • Star Killing: In the Galactic Center series, it is implied that the mechs are the cause behind a number of recent novas.

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