Vernor Vinge was born in Waukesha, Wisconsin, on this day in 1944.
Professor of Mathematics at San Diego State University until he retired in 2000, he is best known for his two epic space operas A Fire Upon the Deep (1992) and A Deepness in the Sky (1999), both of which won the Hugo Award and were shortlisted for the Nebula. He is the winner of 5 Hugos, 4 Prometheus Awards and the John W. Campbell Memorial Award, among many others.
Although his major works are considered landmarks of modern SF, Vernor Vinge is possibly better known for a piece of non-fiction. In 1993, he authored the influential essay ‘The Coming Technological Singularity’, in which he argued that the creation of superhuman artificial intelligence will mark the point at which ‘the human era will be ended’, such that no current models of reality are sufficient to predict beyond it. The Vingean Singularity has since become an accepted trope of modern science fiction.
Happy Birthday, Vernor Vinge!