This year, we are delighted to welcome to the Literary Festival two popular and highly-regarded writers, who are also long-term residents of Second Life!
Sharon Lee and Steve Miller are perhaps best known for their Liaden Universe® works, and they are recognised as pioneers in the sub-genre of science fiction romance – stories that contain all the action, adventure and sense of wonder of traditional space opera, with the addition of romantic relationships.
Over the course of their partnership, Lee and Miller have written thirty-two novels, twenty-three in their original space opera setting, the Liaden Universe®, where honor, wit, and true love are potent weapons against villainy. There are more than 300,000 Liaden Universe® novels in print; Liaden titles regularly place in the top ten bestsellers in Locus Magazine, the trade paper of the speculative fiction genres; twelve titles have been national bestsellers.
Liaden Universe® novels have twice won the Prism Award for Best Futuristic Romance, reader and editor choice awards from Romantic Times, as well as the Hal Clement Award for Best YA Science Fiction Novel, proving the appeal of the series to a wide range of readers.
The series covers a considerable time period, some thousands of years in all, although the main timeline extends across only a few generations. The central stories primarily concern Clan Korval, a leading house in Liaden society. Although primarily science fiction, there are interwoven elements of what many would consider fantasy in the Universe.
And cats. There are lots of cats.
In addition, Sharon Lee has published three novels in the urban fantasy genre, the Carousel Trilogy (also known as the Archer Beach Trilogy).
They were pioneers in the eBook movement, using desktop publishing for their BPLAN Virtuals imprint back in the late 1980s and early 90s, and later were also mainstays of Embiid Publishing’s eBooks years before Kindle and Nook entered the fray. For many years, they have been part of Baen Books.
Sharon Lee also served three years at the first full-time executive director of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, and went on to be elected vice-president, and president of that organization. She has been a Nebula Award jurist.
Steve Miller was the founding curator of the University of Maryland’s Science Fiction Research Collection. He has been a jurist for the Philip K. Dick Award.
In 2012, Sharon and Steve were jointly awarded the E.E. “Doc” Smith Memorial Award for Imaginative Fiction (aka the “Skylark” Award), given annually by the New England Science Fiction Association to someone who has contributed significantly to science fiction, both through work in the field and by exemplifying the personal qualities which made the late “Doc” Smith well-loved by those who knew him. Previous recipients include George R.R. Martin, Anne McCaffrey, and Sir Terry Pratchett.
Sharon Lee and Steve Miller met in a college writing course in 1978; they married in 1980. In 1988, they moved from their native Maryland to Maine, where they may still be found, in a sun-filled house in a small Central Maine town. Their household currently includes three Maine Coons – Belle, Trooper and Sprite.
Sharon and Steve will be appearing twice at the LitFest, both times in the Dragon’s Dreams Theatre Cave on Líng xiāo lóng 灵霄龙.
Tuesday April 27th 3 – 4pm SLT
Interview with Sharon Lee and Steve Miller
Sharon and Steve will talk to Saffia Widdershins about their lives, their work and the challenging of worldbuilding in a universe that stretches for millennium. We may also talk about cats.
There will be gifts for attendees.
Friday April 30th 1 – 2pm SLT
Reading by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller
Sharon and Steve will read from their works set in the Liaden Universe® and, if there’s time, take audience questions.
There will be gifts for attendees.