Happy Birthday, Alan Dean Foster

Prolific author Alan Dean Foster turns 70 today!

Born in New York City in 1946, Alan Dean Foster was raised in Los Angeles. After receiving Bachelors and Master’s degrees at UCLA, he spent two years as a copywriter for a California PR firm. His writing career began in 1968 when August Derleth bought a long Lovecraftian letter of Foster’s in 1968 and published it as a short story. More sales of short fiction followed. His first attempt at a novel, The Tar-Aiym Krang, was published by Ballantine Books in 1972.

Since then, Foster’s work has included excursions into hard science-fiction, fantasy, horror, detective, western, historical, and contemporary fiction. He has written numerous non-fiction articles on film, science, and scuba diving, and novelized Star Wars movies as well as such well-known films as Alien and its two sequels. Other works include scripts for talking records, radio, computer games, and the story for the first Star Trek movie.

So: you want to read Alan Dean Foster; of course you do. But with such a bewildering array of titles to choose from, where does one start? We’re glad you asked . . .

If you like Star Trek or space opera, then the Humanx Commonwealth series is for you:

Pip and Flinx
For Love of Mother Not (Pip and Flinx)
The Tar-Aiym Krang (Pip and Flinx)
Orphan Star (Pip and Flinx)
Flinx in Flux (Pip and Flinx)
Mid-Flinx (Pip and Flinx)
Flinx’s Folly (Pip and Flinx)
Sliding Scales (Pip and Flinx)
Running From The Deity (Pip and Flinx)
Bloodhype (Pip and Flinx)
Trouble Magnet (Pip and Flinx)
Patrimony (Pip and Flinx)
Flinx Transcendent (Pip and Flinx)


Icerigger (Icerigger 1)
Mission to Moulokin (Icerigger 2)
The Deluge Drivers (Icerigger 3)
Humanx Commonwealth
Midworld (Humanx Commonwealth)
Cachalot (Humanx Commonwealth)
Nor Crystal Tears (Humanx Commonwealth)
Voyage to the City of the Dead (Humanx Commonwealth)
Sentenced to Prism (Humanx Commonwealth)
The Howling Stones (Humanx Commonwealth)
Drowning World (Humanx Commonwealth)
Quofum (Humanx Commonwealth)

Or perhaps Fantasy is more your thing? In which case, his popular Spellsinger series is the best place to start – a portal fantasy in which a law student from UCLA is pulled into a fantasyworld, where he finds he has the ability to work magic via songs.


The Spellsinger series comprises:
The Hour of the Gate
The Day of the Dissonance
The Moment of the Magician
The Paths of the Perambulator
The Time of the Transference
Son of Spellsinger
Chorus Skating
You can find these essential titles and more of Alan Dean Foster’s work via his Author page on the Gateway website and read about him in his entry in The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction.