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The science-fiction writer Stephen Baxter will be one of our plenary speakers at the conference. His novel The Light of Other Days (2000) was based on a synopsis by Arthur C. Clarke in which information may be sent instantaneously between any point in the space-time continuum via wormholes. Stephen later collaborated with Clarke on the Time Odyssey trilogy (Time’s Eye (2003), Sunstorm (2005) and Firstborn (2008)), an orthoquel to the Space Odyssey novels in which godlike aliens are destroying sentient species in order to preserve the universe. More recently The Medusa Chronicle (2016), with Alastair Reynolds, is a sequel to Clarke’s “A Meeting with Medusa” (1971).

Stephen was born in Liverpool, England, 13 November 1957 and now lives in Northumberland. He has degrees in mathematics, from Cambridge University, in engineering, from Southampton University, and in business administration, from Henley Management College. He has taught maths and physics and worked for several years in information technology. He is a Chartered Engineer and Fellow of the British Interplanetary Society.

His professional sf debut was “The Xeelee Flower” in Interzone (Spring 1987) as by S. M. Baxter, a story that was to form part of his Xeelee Sequence of future history (1991-). In 1991 he applied to become a cosmonaut and visit Mir, but lost out to Helen Sharman. He consoled himself with writing an alternate history trilogy about NASA (1996-98); other alternate histories by Stephen include Anti-Ice (1993), his Mammoth trilogy (1999-2001), his Manifold trilogy (1999-2001) and the Northland Trilogy (2010-12).

Baxter has also collaborated on a series with Terry Pratchett, The Long Earth (2012-16) and written two novels for shared world Young Adult series The Web (The Web: Gulliverzone (1997) and The Web: Webcrash (1998)).

Stephen’s The Time Ships (1995) is a sequel to H.G. Wells’s The Time Machine (1895) and his The Massacre of Mankind (2017) is a continuation of The War of the Worlds (1898). He is a Vice-President of the H.G. Wells Society and a director of the BSFA.

In addition to over forty volumes of fiction, he is author of the non-fiction Deep Future (2001) and Omegatropic (2002).