Walter Jon Williams

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Walter Jon Williams
Walter Jon Williams.jpg
Williams in 2006
Born 1953 (age 64–65)
Duluth, Minnesota
Occupation Writer
Nationality American
Education BA
Alma mater University of New Mexico
Period 1981–present
Genre Science fiction
Nautical fiction (as Jon Williams)
Notable awards Nebula Award

Walter Jon Williams (born 1953) is an American writer, primarily of science fiction. Previously he wrote nautical adventure fiction under the name Jon Williams, a series of historical novels set during the age of sail, Privateers and Gentlemen (1981–1984).[1]


As Jon Williams, he designed the game Heart of Oak (1982) and Privateers and Gentlemen (1983) for Fantasy Games Unlimited.[2]:74 A Cyberpunk RPG sourcebook called Hardwired (1989) was licensed by R. Talsorian Games, based on the 1986 novel of the same name by Williams.[2]:209

Several of Williams' novels have a distinct cyberpunk feel to them, notably Hardwired (also an homage to Roger Zelazny's novel Damnation Alley), Voice of the Whirlwind and Angel Station. However, he has explored a number of different styles and genres, including farce (e.g., the Majistral series), postcyberpunk space opera (Aristoi), military science fiction (Dread Empire's Fall series), alternative history (Wall, Stone, Craft), science fantasy/arcanepunk (Metropolitan and City on Fire), disaster thriller (The Rift), a Star Wars novel (The New Jedi Order: Destiny's Way) and historical adventure (Privateers and Gentlemen series), and police procedural (Days of Atonement), usually in a science fiction context. He has also contributed to some of the Wild Cards cooperative novels.

Williams was born in Duluth, Minnesota and attended the University of New Mexico, where he received his BA degree in 1975. He currently lives in Valencia County, south of Albuquerque in New Mexico.

Williams played roleplaying games (in a group with other sf authors including George R. R. Martin and Melinda Snodgrass, which led to him becoming a contributor to their Wild Cards series) and has written both fiction and rulebooks for the games Privateers and Gentlemen from Fantasy Games Unlimited and Cyberpunk from R. Talsorian Games.

In 2006, Williams founded the Taos Toolbox, a two-week writer's workshop for fantasy and science fiction writers.



Short fiction collections

  • Facets (1990)
  • Frankensteins and Foreign Devils (1998)
  • The Green Leopard Plague and Other Stories (Trade Hardcover: Night Shade Books, 2010, ISBN 978-1-59780-177-5)

Notable short fiction

  • "Dinosaurs" (1987), Hugo Award nominee
  • "Witness" (1987), Nebula Award nominee
  • "Surfacing" (1988), Hugo Award and Nebula Award nominee
  • "Solip:System" (1989)
  • "Erogenoscape" (1991)
  • "Prayers on the Wind" (1991), Nebula Award nominee
  • "Wall, Stone, Craft" (1993), Hugo Award and Nebula Award nominee
  • "Foreign Devils" in War of the Worlds: Global Dispatches (1996), Sidewise Award for Alternate History winner
  • "Lethe" (1999), Nebula Award nominee
  • "Daddy's World" (2000), Nebula Award winner
  • "Argonautica" (2001), Nebula Award nominee
  • "The Last Ride of German Freddie", in Worlds That Weren't (2002), Sidewise Award for Alternate History nominee
  • "The Tang Dynasty Underwater Pyramid" (2004)
  • "The Green Leopard Plague" (2004), Nebula Award winner, Hugo Award nominee
  • "Prompt. Professional. Pop!: A Tor.Com Original" (2014)

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 "The Nautical Fiction List" (T–Z). An Annotated Bibliography of Novels based in part on the work of John Kohnen (part 9). California Maritime Academy ( Retrieved 2014-08-02.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Shannon Appelcline (2011). Designers & Dragons. Mongoose Publishing. ISBN 978-1-907702-58-7.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links