Geoffrey A. Landis

Born: 1955

Ohio connection: Resident


Born in Detroit, Michigan, Geoffrey Alan Landis spent his childhood in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Illinois.  He graduated from New Trier High School in Winnetka, Illinois.  In the late 1970’s Landis received a B.S. in physics and a B.S. and M.S. in electrical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.I.T.).  After college he worked in the Boston area for five years before moving to Providence, Rhode Island to attend graduate school at Brown University where, in 1988, he received a Ph.D. in solid-state physics.  Landis is a scientist at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio.  He has worked on the Mars Pathfinder project and on developing advanced technology for future space missions.  As a scientist, Landis is the author of more than 150 scientific papers dealing with photovoltaics and astronautics.  As a science fiction writer, Landis has published more than 80 short stories and novellas.  He is also a published poet;  most of his poems involve science fiction or science themes.

Landis began writing science fiction in the early 1980’s.  His first story, “Elemental,” appeared in Analog Science Fiction in December 1984, and was nominated for a Hugo Award.  Landis’s fiction has appeared in major science fiction (SF) magazines and publications, including Asimov’s Science FictionMammoth Book of Mind-Blowing SFLightspeed, and The Year’s Best Science Fiction: Twenty-Eight Annual Collection.  His short fiction has won numerous awards.  In 1991 a collection of his short stories was published in Myths, Legends, and True History (Pulphouse 1991).  His novel Mars Crossing (Tor Books 2000) won the Locus Award for best first novel.  Another collection of his short stories, Impact Parameter: and Other Quantum Realities, was published in 2001 (Golden Gryphon), and his poetry collection, Iron Angels, was published in 2009 (van Zeno Press).

Landis’s work as a scientist has informed his writing, particularly in the subgenre of “hard” science fiction, which emphasizes technology.  In an interview with the online magazine Locus, Landis stated: “There’s certainly a lot of crossover in my life between science and science fiction.  . . . Something science fiction is good at is communicating some of the excitement of science, and some of the thoughts that really interesting and great things might happen in the future. Of course, science fiction also gives us the opposite view and says if we screw up, if we go in the wrong direction, things could get really bad.”

Geoffrey Alan Landis lives in Berea, Ohio with his wife science fiction writer Mary A. Turzillo.

1990 Nebula Award for best short story (“Ripples in the Dirac Sea”); 1992 Isaac Asimov’s Readers’ Award for best short story (“A Walk in the Sun”); 1992 Hugo Award for best short story (“A Walk in the Sun); 1993 Analog Analytical Laboratory Award for “Demon Under Hawaii”; 2000 Isaac Asimov’s Readers’ Award for best poem (“Christmas, After We All Get Time Machines”); 2001 Locus Award for best first novel (Mars Crossing); 2003 Hugo Award for best short story (“Falling Onto Mars”); 2009 Analog Analytical Laboratory Award for best novelette (The Man in the Mirror); 2009 Rhysling Award for best long poem (“Search”); 2010 Dwarf Stars Award for best short science fiction (“The Sultan of the Clouds”).  In 2014 Landis was bestowed the Robert A. Heinlein Award for outstanding published works in science fiction and technical writings that inspire the human exploration of space.