Advisory Board

Dr. Gregory Benford

Dr. Gregory Benford is author of the recently published Anomalies, a Collection of Short Fiction.
Greg is the professor of Plasma Physics and Astrophysics at UCIrvine (University of California, Irvine). He earned his Ph.D. in Physics from the University of California, San Diego in 1967. He is a member of Phi Beta Kappa, a Woodrow Wilson Fellow, and a consultant for NASA. He is also a popular science fiction author.
Greg’s program at UCIrvine unites theoretical studies with a parallel experimental program in radiation processes of relativistic electron streams in plasma. Experiments use intense relativistic beams propagating in helium plasma. Microwave and atomic spectral diagnostics measure emission and the underlying turbulent fields. The group also studies the practical methods of high-power microwave emission. Turbulence levels are high, with electric field energy densities comparable with the total thermal energy of the background plasma. Such strong fields demand new theory and sophisticated diagnostics, with fast time resolution (less than ten nanoseconds). This is a new regime — “superstrong” turbulence — with statistical properties just being explored.
His scientific papers include Desorption-Assisted Sun Diver Missions, Sail Deployment By Microwave Beam: Experiments and Simulations, Coherent Radiation from Energetic Electron Streams via Collisionless Bremsstrahlung in Electrical Plasma Turbulence, Collective Emission from Rapidly Variable Quasars, Electron Beam Radiation by Collective Compton Boosting of Strong Turbulence, Natural Wormholes as Gravitational Lenses, Detailed spectra of high-power broadband microwave radiation from interactions of relativistic electron beams with weakly magnetized plasmas, and Statistics of Strongly Turbulent Electric Fields.
He has authored nonfiction books including Habitats in Space, Beyond Human: The New World of Cyborgs and Androids, and Deep Time: How Humanity Communicates Across Millennia.
Greg tends to write hard science fiction which incorporates the research he is doing as a practical scientist. He has worked on several collaborations with authors including William Rotsler, David Brin and Gordon Eklund, but has really made a name for himself with the Galactic Center Saga beginning with In the Ocean of Night.
His breakthrough novel may have been the time travel classic Timescape, coauthored with his brother’s wife Hilary Foister Benford, which won the Nebula Award and the John W. Campbell Memorial Award. A scientific procedural, the novel eventually loaned its title to a line of science fiction published by Pocket Books.
Greg has also served as an editor of numerous alternate history anthologies as well as collections of Hugo Winners. He wrote Foundation’s Fear, one of an authorized sequel trilogy to Isaac Asimov’s Foundation series, the other two books being written by David Brin and Greg Bear. Other novels published include several near-future science thrillers: Cosm, The Martian Race and Eater. Greg has been nominated for four Hugo Awards (for two short stories & two novellas) and 12 Nebula Awards (in all categories). He won the Nebula for his novel Timescape and the novelette If the Stars Are Gods (with Gordon Eklund).
He is particpating with Michael R. Rose in the innovative Amazon Shorts program including the articles Motes in God’s Eye : The Deformities of American Science: One in a series on science and modern culture and We Can Build You : Transplantation, Stem Cells, and the Future of Our Bodies: First in a series of articles on the 21st Century biomedical revolution.