Orson Scott Card
Orson Scott Card is an American novelist, public speaker and columnist. He is known best for science fiction, his novel Ender's Game and its sequel Speaker for the Dead both won Hugo and Nebula Awards, making Card the only author to win both science fiction's top U. S. prizes in consecutive years. A feature film adaptation of Ender's Game, which Card co-produced, was released in 2013. Card is a professor of English at Southern Virginia University, has written two books on creative writing, hosts writing bootcamps and workshops, serves as a judge in the Writers of the Future contest. A great-great-grandson of Brigham Young, Card is a practicing member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In addition to producing a large body of fiction works, he has offered political and social commentary in his columns and other writing. Card is the son of Willard Richards Card and Peggy Jane, the third of six children and the older brother of composer and arranger Arlen Card. Card was born in Richland and grew up in Santa Clara, California as well as Mesa and Orem, Utah.
He served as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Brazil and graduated from Brigham Young University and the University of Utah. D. program at the University of Notre Dame. For part of the 1970s Card worked as an associate editor of the Ensign, an official magazine of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Influences on his fiction include Heinlein, Mitchell, Asimov and Bradbury. Card lives in Greensboro, North Carolina, a place that has played a significant role in Ender's Game and many of his other works. Card began his writing career as a poet, studying with Clinton F. Larson at BYU. During his studies as a theater major, he began "doctoring" scripts, adapting fiction for readers theater production, writing his own one-act and full-length plays, several of which were produced by faculty directors at BYU, he explored fiction writing, beginning with stories that evolved into The Worthing Saga. After returning to Provo, Utah from his Church of Jesus Christ mission in Brazil, Card started the Utah Valley Repertory Theatre Company, which for two summers produced plays at "the Castle", a Depression-era outdoor amphitheater behind the state psychiatric hospital in Provo.
Meanwhile, he took part-time employment as a proofreader at BYU Press made the jump to full-time employment as a copy editor. In 1976, in the midst of a paid role performing in the church's musical celebrating America's Bicentennial, he secured employment as an assistant editor at the Ensign, moved to Salt Lake City, it was while working at Ensign. His short story "Gert Fram" appeared in the July 1977 fine arts issue of that magazine under the pseudonym Byron Walley, he wrote the short story "Ender's Game" while working at the BYU press, submitted it to several publications. The idea for the novel of the same title came from the short story about a school where boys can fight in space, it was purchased by Ben Bova at Analog Science Fiction and Fact and published in the August 1977 issue. Meanwhile, he started writing half-hour audioplays on LDS Church history, the New Testament, other subjects for Living Scriptures in Ogden, Utah, he completed his master's degree in English at the University of Utah in 1981 and began a doctoral program at the University of Notre Dame, but the recession of the early 1980s caused the flow of new book contracts to temporarily dry up.
He returned to full-time employment as the book editor for Compute! magazine in Greensboro, North Carolina, in 1983. In October of that year, a new contract for the Alvin Maker "trilogy" allowed him to return to freelancing. Ender's Game and its sequel Speaker for the Dead were both awarded the Hugo Award and the Nebula Award, making Card the only author to win both of science fiction's top prizes in consecutive years. Card continued the series with Xenocide, Children of the Mind, Ender's Shadow, Shadow of the Hegemon, Shadow Puppets, "First Meetings in the Enderverse", Shadow of the Giant, A War of Gifts, Ender in Exile, a book that takes place after Ender's Game and before Speaker for the Dead. Card has announced his plan to write Shadows Alive, a book that connects the "Shadow" series and "Speaker" series together. Shadows in Flight serves as a bridge towards this final book, he co-wrote the formic war novels: Earth Unaware, Earth Afire, Earth Awakens and The Swarm as prequels to the Ender novels, with two more novels in the pipeline, which will result in two prequel formic war trilogies.
These trilogies relay, among the history of Mazer Rackham. Children of the Fleet is the first novel in a new sequel series, called Fleet School. In 2008 Card announced that Ender's Game would be made into a movie, but that he did not have a director lined up, it was to be produced by Chartoff Productions, Card was writing the screenplay himself. The film was made several years and released in 2013, with Asa Butterfield in the title role and Gavin Hood directing. Other works include the alternative histories The Tales of Alvin Maker, Pastwatch: The Redemption of Christopher Columbus, The Homecoming Saga, Hidd
Science fiction is a genre of speculative fiction dealing with imaginative and futuristic concepts such as advanced science and technology, space exploration, time travel, extraterrestrials in fiction. Science fiction explores the potential consequences of scientific other various innovations, has been called a "literature of ideas." "Science fiction" is difficult to define as it includes a wide range of concepts and themes. James Blish wrote: "Wells used the term to cover what we would today call'hard' science fiction, in which a conscientious attempt to be faithful to known facts was the substrate on which the story was to be built, if the story was to contain a miracle, it ought at least not to contain a whole arsenal of them."Isaac Asimov said: "Science fiction can be defined as that branch of literature which deals with the reaction of human beings to changes in science and technology." According to Robert A. Heinlein, "A handy short definition of all science fiction might read: realistic speculation about possible future events, based solidly on adequate knowledge of the real world and present, on a thorough understanding of the nature and significance of the scientific method."Lester del Rey wrote, "Even the devoted aficionado or fan—has a hard time trying to explain what science fiction is," and that the reason for there not being a "full satisfactory definition" is that "there are no delineated limits to science fiction."
Author and editor Damon Knight summed up the difficulty, saying "science fiction is what we point to when we say it." Mark C. Glassy described the definition of science fiction as U. S. Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart did with the definition of pornography: "I know it when I see it." Science fiction had its beginnings in a time when the line between myth and fact was arguably more blurred than the present day. Written in the 2nd century CE by the satirist Lucian, A True Story contains many themes and tropes that are characteristic of contemporary science fiction, including travel to other worlds, extraterrestrial lifeforms, interplanetary warfare, artificial life; some consider it the first science-fiction novel. Some of the stories from The Arabian Nights, along with the 10th-century The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter and Ibn al-Nafis's 13th-century Theologus Autodidactus contain elements of science fiction. Products of the Age of Reason and the development of modern science itself, Johannes Kepler's Somnium, Francis Bacon's New Atlantis, Cyrano de Bergerac's Comical History of the States and Empires of the Moon and The States and Empires of the Sun, Margaret Cavendish's "The Blazing World", Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels, Ludvig Holberg's Nicolai Klimii Iter Subterraneum and Voltaire's Micromégas are regarded as some of the first true science-fantasy works.
Indeed, Isaac Asimov and Carl Sagan considered Somnium the first science-fiction story. Following the 18th-century development of the novel as a literary form, Mary Shelley's books Frankenstein and The Last Man helped define the form of the science-fiction novel. Brian Aldiss has argued. Edgar Allan Poe wrote several stories considered science fiction, including "The Unparalleled Adventure of One Hans Pfaall" which featured a trip to the Moon. Jules Verne was noted for his attention to detail and scientific accuracy Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea which predicted the contemporary nuclear submarine. In 1887, the novel El anacronópete by Spanish author Enrique Gaspar y Rimbau introduced the first time machine. Many critics consider H. G. Wells one of science fiction's most important authors, or "the Shakespeare of science fiction." His notable science-fiction works include The Time Machine, The Island of Doctor Moreau, The Invisible Man, The War of the Worlds. His science fiction imagined alien invasion, biological engineering and time travel.
In his non-fiction futurologist works he predicted the advent of airplanes, military tanks, nuclear weapons, satellite television, space travel, something resembling the World Wide Web. In 1912, Edgar Rice Burroughs published A Princess of Mars, the first of his three-decade-long planetary romance series of Barsoom novels, set on Mars and featuring John Carter as the hero. In 1926, Hugo Gernsback published the first American science-fiction magazine, Amazing Stories, in which he wrote: By'scientifiction' I mean the Jules Verne, H. G. Wells and Edgar Allan Poe type of story—a charming romance intermingled with scientific fact and prophetic vision... Not only do these amazing tales make tremendously interesting reading—they are always instructive, they supply knowledge... in a palatable form... New adventures pictured for us in the scientifiction of today are not at all impossible of realization tomorrow... Many great science stories destined to be of historical interest are still to be written...
Posterity will point to them as having blazed a new trail, not only in literature and fiction, but progress as well. In 1928, E. E. "Doc" Smith's first published work, The Skylark of Space, written in collaboration with Lee Hawkins Garby, appeared in Amazing Stories. It is called the first great space opera; the same year, Philip Francis Nowlan's original Buck Rogers story, Armageddon 2419 appeared in Amazing Stories. This was followed by the first serious science-fiction comic. In 1937, John W. Campbell became editor of Astounding Science Fiction, an event, sometimes conside
Church of Scientology
The Church of Scientology is a multinational network and hierarchy of numerous ostensibly independent but interconnected corporate entities and other organizations devoted to the practice and dissemination of Scientology, a new religious movement. The Church of Scientology International is the Church of Scientology's parent organization, is responsible for guiding local Scientology churches. At a local level, every church is a separate corporate entity set up as a licensed franchise and has its own board of directors and executives; the first Scientology church was incorporated in December 1953 in Camden, New Jersey by L. Ron Hubbard, its international headquarters are located at the Gold Base, in an unincorporated area of Riverside County, California. The location at Gilman Hot Springs is private property and not accessible by the public. Scientology Missions International is under CSI and oversees Scientology missions, which are local Scientology organizations smaller than churches; the Church of Spiritual Technology is the organization which owns all the copyrights of the estate of L. Ron Hubbard.
The highest authority in the Church of Scientology is the Religious Technology Center. The RTC claims to only be the "holder of Scientology and Dianetics trademarks", but is in fact the main Scientology executive organization. RTC chairman David Miscavige is seen as the effective head of Scientology. All Scientology management organizations are controlled by members of the Sea Org, a nonexistent paramilitary organization for the "elite, innermost dedicated core of Scientologists". David Miscavige is the highest-ranking Sea Org officer. Although in some countries it has attained legal recognition as a religion, the movement has been the subject of a number of controversies, has been accused by critics of being both a cult and a commercial enterprise. Germany classifies Scientology as an "anti-constitutional sect". In France, it has been classified as a dangerous cult by some parliamentary reports; the first Scientology church was incorporated in December 1953 in Camden, New Jersey by L. Ron Hubbard, his wife Mary Sue Hubbard, John Galusha.
By that time, the Hubbard Association of Scientologists International had been operating since 1952 and Hubbard himself had been selling Scientology books and technologies. In 1953 he wrote to Helen O'Brien, managing the organization, asking her to investigate the "religion angle".p. 213 Soon after, despite O'Brien's misgivings and resignation, he announced the religious nature of Scientology in a bulletin to all Scientologists, stressing its relation to the concept of Dharma. The first Church of Scientology opened in 1954 in Los Angeles. Hubbard stated, "A civilization without insanity, without criminals and without war, where the able can prosper and honest beings can have rights, where man is free to rise to greater heights, are the aims of Scientology." After the formation of the Church of Scientology, Hubbard composed its creed. The Scientology creed emphasizes three key points: being free to enjoy religious expression, the idea that mental healing is inherently religious, that healing of the physical body is in the spiritual domain.
Hubbard had official control of the organization until 1966 when this function was transferred to a group of executives. Although Hubbard maintained no formal relationship with Scientology's management, he remained in control of the organization and its affiliated organizations. In May 1986, subsequent to the sudden death of L. Ron Hubbard, David Miscavige, at that time the Commanding Officer of the Commodore's Messenger Organisation, assumed the position of Chairman of the Board of the Religious Technology Center, a non-profit corporation that administers the trademarked names and symbols of Dianetics and Scientology. Although RTC is a separate corporation from the Church of Scientology International, whose president and chief spokesperson is Heber Jentzsch, Miscavige is the effective leader of the movement. In 1996, the Church of Scientology implemented the "Golden Age of Tech" releasing a training program for Scientology auditors, while following Hubbard's teachings, it was followed by the launch of "The Golden Age of Knowledge" in 2005, where Hubbard's announcements of milestones in the research and development of Dianetics and Scientology were released.
Between 2005 and 2010, the church would complete its 25-year program to restore and verify the church's "scriptures". The church released the second phase of the Golden Age of Tech on November 2013, based on the original work of Hubbard; the Super Power Rundown a new component of auditing, was released in Florida. The Church of Scientology promotes Scientology, a body of beliefs and related practices created by Hubbard, starting in 1952 as a successor to his earlier self-help system, Dianetics. Scientology teaches. Scientology's central mythology developed around the original notion of the thetan. In Scientology, the thetan is the individual expression of "theta", described by Neusner as "the cosmic source and life force"; the thetan is the true human identity, rendering humans as "pure spirit and godlike". The religion's mythology holds the belief that "in the primordial past, thetans applied their creative abilities to form the physical universe". Contrary to the biblical narrative that shows that the universe was created by a divine, sole creator, Scientology holds that "the universe was created by theta in the form of individualized expressions".
The story of Xenu is part of Scientologist teachings about extraterrestrial ci
Stephen Baxter (author)
Stephen Baxter is an English hard science fiction author. He has degrees in engineering. Influenced by SF pioneer H. G. Wells, Baxter has been Vice-President of the international H. G. Wells Society since 2006, his fiction falls into three main categories of original work plus a fourth category, extending other authors' writing. Baxter's "Future History" mode is based on research into hard science, it encompasses the Xeelee Sequence, which of seven novels, plus three volumes collecting the 52 short pieces in the series, all of which fit into a single timeline stretching from the Big Bang singularity of the past to his Timelike Infinity singularity of the future. These stories begin in the present day and end when the Milky Way galaxy collides with Andromeda five billion years in the future; the central narrative is that of Humanity rising and evolving to become the second most powerful race in the universe, next to the god-like Xeelee. Character development tends to take second place to the depiction of advanced theories and ideas, such as the true nature of the Great Attractor, naked singularities and the great battle between Baryonic and Dark Matter lifeforms.
The Manifold Trilogy is another example of Baxter's future history mode more conceptual than the Xeelee sequence – each novel is focused on a potential explanation of the Fermi Paradox. The two-part disaster series Flood and Ark which fits into this category, where catastrophic events unfold in the near future and Humanity must adapt to survive in three radically different planetary environments. In 2013, Baxter released his short story collection entitled Universes which featured stories set in Flood/Ark, Jones & Bennet and Anti-Ice universes. Baxter signed a contract for two new books, titled Proxima and Ultima, both of which are names of planets, they were released in 2013 and 2014, respectively. A second category in Baxter's work is based on readings in evolutionary biology and human/animal behaviour. Elements of this appear in his future histories; the major work in this category is Evolution, which imagines the evolution of humanity in the Earth's past and future. The Mammoth Trilogy, written for young adults, shares similar themes and concerns as it explores the present and future of a small herd of mammoths found surviving on an island in the Arctic Ocean.
A third category of Baxter's fiction is alternate history, based on research into history. These stories are more human, with characters portrayed with care; this includes his NASA Trilogy, which incorporates a great deal of research into NASA and its history, the Time's Tapestry series, which features science-fictional interventions into our past from an alternate-history future. The novel Anti-Ice is an earlier example of Baxter's blending of alternate history with science fiction, his most recent work in this direction is the Northland Trilogy, an alternate prehistory that begins with Stone Spring, set ten thousand years ago in the Stone Age, followed by Bronze Summer and Iron Winter, set in alternate versions of the Bronze Age and the Iron Age. In 2009, Baxter became a judge for the Sidewise Award for Alternate History, the first former winner among the panel. Another category, outside of the main body of Baxter's independent work, is sequels and installments of science-fiction classics.
His first novel to achieve wide recognition was The Time Ships, an authorised sequel to H. G. Wells' The Time Machine; the Time Odyssey series, a trilogy co-authored with Arthur C. Clarke, is connected to Clarke's four Space Odyssey novels; the trilogy consists of Time's Eye and Firstborn. Another novel is based on a synopsis written by The Light of Other Days. Baxter has published a Doctor Who novel, The Wheel of Ice, his most recent sequel is "The Massacre of Mankind", an authorised sequel to H. G. Wells' "The War of the Worlds". In 2010, Baxter began working on a new series with Terry Pratchett; this collaboration produced five books, The Long Earth, The Long War, The Long Mars, The Long Utopia and The Long Cosmos. Baxter has written non-fiction essays and columns for such publications as Critical Wave and the British SF Association's Matrix. Baxter's story "Last Contact" was nominated for the 2008 Hugo Award for best short story. Baxter was born 13 November 1957 in Liverpool and studied at St Edward's College, a Catholic grammar school.
He read mathematics at Cambridge University, obtained a doctorate in engineering at Southampton University, received an MBA from Henley Management College. Baxter taught maths and information technology before becoming a full-time author in 1995, he is a chartered engineer and fellow of the British Interplanetary Society. Official website Stephen Baxter at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database Stephen Baxter at Library of Congress Authorities, with 59 catalogue records
Brian Patrick Herbert is an American author who lives in Washington state. He is the elder son of science fiction author Frank Herbert. Brian Herbert's novels include Sidney's Comet, Prisoners of Arionn, Man of Two Worlds, Sudanna Sudanna. In 2003, Herbert wrote a biography of his father: Dreamer of Dune: The Biography of Frank Herbert; the younger Herbert has edited the Notebooks of Frank Herbert's Dune. Brian has created a concordance for the Dune universe based on his father's notes, according to the younger Herbert, there are no immediate plans to publish it. Herbert is known for his collaborations with author Kevin J. Anderson, with whom he has written multiple prequels to his father's landmark 1965 science fiction novel, all of which have made the New York Times Best Seller list; the duo began with the trilogies Prelude to Legends of Dune. Brian and Anderson next published Hunters of Dune and Sandworms of Dune, two sequels to Frank Herbert's original Dune series after his 1986 death, left incomplete at the end of Frank's sixth Dune novel, Chapterhouse: Dune.
These novels are based on an outline and notes left behind by Frank Herbert for what he referred to as Dune 7, his own planned seventh novel in the Dune series. In 2008, Brian and Anderson began publishing Heroes of Dune, a series of four novels which take place between the first five novels of Frank Herbert's six original Dune series, but only two were published and so the inter prequels ended in 2009, their involvement in expanding Dune ended with the Great Schools of Dune trilogy. Furthermore, along with Kevin, have written the Dune short stories. Married since 1967, Herbert and his wife, Jan Herbert, have three daughters named Julie and Margaux Beverly. Herbert has an elder half-sister, Penny. Classic Comebacks Incredible Insurance Claims Sidney's Comet The Garbage Chronicles Man of Two Worlds Sudanna, Sudanna Prisoners of Arionn The Race for God Memorymakers Blood on the Sun The Little Green Book of Chairman Rahma Timeweb The Web and the Stars Webdancers Dreamer of Dune: The Biography of Frank Herbert The Forgotten Heroes: The Heroic Story of the United States Merchant Marine ISBN 0-7653-0706-5 Dune: House Atreides Dune: House Harkonnen Dune: House Corrino Dune: The Butlerian Jihad Dune: The Machine Crusade Dune: The Battle of Corrin The Road to Dune Hunters of Dune Sandworms of Dune Paul of Dune The Winds of Dune The Throne of Dune Leto of Dune Sisterhood of Dune Mentats of Dune Navigators of Dune "Dune: A Whisper of Caladan Seas" "Dune: Hunting Harkonnens" "Dune: Whipping Mek" "Dune: The Faces of a Martyr" "Dune: Sea Child" "Dune: Treasure in the Sand" with Kevin J. Anderson Hellhole Hellhole Awakening Hellhole Inferno Official website Brian Herbert at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database Brian Herbert & Kevin J. Anderson on YouTube, Authors@Google video talk.
October 7, 2008 Brian Herbert Interview with AMCtv.com Modern Signed Books BlogTalkRadio Interview with Rodger Nichols about The Little Green Book of Chairman Rahma
Karen Joy Fowler
Karen Joy Fowler is an American author of science fiction and literary fiction. Her work centers on the nineteenth century, the lives of women, alienation, she is best known as the author of the best-selling novel The Jane Austen Book Club, made into a movie of the same name. Fowler was born in Bloomington and spent the first eleven years of her life there, her family moved to Palo Alto, California. Fowler attended the University of California and majored in political science. After having a child during the last year of her master's program, she spent seven years devoted to child-raising. Feeling restless, Fowler decided to take a dance class, a creative writing class at the University of California, Davis. Realizing that she was never going to make it as a dancer, Fowler began to publish science fiction stories, making a name for herself with the short story "Recalling Cinderella" in L Ron Hubbard Presents Writers of the Future Volume 1 and Artificial Things, a collection of short stories, she began publishing sf with "Recalling Cinderella" in L Ron Hubbard Presents Writers of the Future, Vol I edited by Algis Budrys Her first novel, Sarah Canary, was published to critical acclaim.
The novel involves a group of people alienated by nineteenth century America experiencing a peculiar kind of first contact. One character is Chinese American, another putatively mentally ill, a third a feminist, lastly Sarah herself, an extraterrestrial. Fowler meant for Sarah Canary to "read like a science fiction novel to a science fiction reader" and "like a mainstream novel to a mainstream reader." Fowler's intentions were to leave room for the readers’ own interpretation of the text. Fowler collaborated with Pat Murphy to found the James Tiptree, Jr. Award in 1991, a literary prize for science fiction or fantasy that "expands or explores our understanding of gender." The prize is named for science fiction author Alice Sheldon who wrote under the pen name James Tiptree, Jr. Fowler drew inspiration not only from Sheldon’s work, but from the fact that Sheldon’s mother was an adventurer, going on several trips to Africa including a gorilla hunting expedition in 1920; as such, she serves as the inspiration for the protagonist in Fowler’s “What I Didn’t See.”
The award's main focus is to recognize the authors, male or female, who challenge and reflect shifting gender roles. Her other genre works tended to focus on odd corners of the nineteenth century experiencing the unexpected or fantastic, her second novel, The Sweetheart Season is a romantic comedy infused with historical and fantasy elements. Her 1998 collection, Black Glass, won a World Fantasy Award, her 2010 collection What I Didn't See, Other Stories won a World Fantasy Award, her 2004 novel The Jane Austen Book Club become a critical and popular success including being on The New York Times bestsellers list. Although it is not a science fiction or fantasy work, science fiction does play an integral part to the novel's plot. Fowler was an instructor at the Clarion Workshop 2007 in San Diego, she was one of the two Guests of Honor at Readercon 2007. In 2008, she won the Nebula Award for the second time for Best Short Story for her 2007 story "Always", her short story “The Pelican Bar” won a Shirley Jackson Award in 2009 and a World Fantasy Award in 2010.
Fowler's most recent novel, We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves won the Pen/Faulkner Award for 2014, has been nominated for a 2014 Nebula Award as well. It was shortlisted for the 2014 Man Booker Prize. Fowler was inspired to write her short story "What I Didn’t See" after doing research about chimpanzees for her book We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves. During her research, Fowler came across an essay by Donna Haraway which discusses a 1920 expedition, carried out by the curator of the New York National Museum of History. One of the men on the expedition wanted a woman in the group to kill a gorilla in order to protect these species, he reasoned that if women could carry out this action, gorillas would no longer be seen as a fearsome animal, the thrill of killing them would be gone. Fowler’s reaction was one of appalled interest, she was inspired to write “What I Didn’t See” by these findings, it won the short story Nebula Award in 2003. 1985 Published Winner for "Recalling Cinderella," a new writer short story winner in L. Ron Hubbard Presents: Writer's of the Future Vol 1 edited by Algis Budrys 1998 World Fantasy Award for "Black Glass", a collection of short stories.
2004 Nebula Award for "What I Didn't See", a short story. 2008 Nebula Award for "Always", a short story. 2009 Shirley Jackson Award for "The Pelican Bar", a short story 2010 World Fantasy Award for "What I Didn't See, Other Stories", a collection of short stories. 2014 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction for "We Are a novel. 2014 Specsavers National Book Awards "International Author of the Year" winner for We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves 2017 World Fantasy Award for The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2016 for Best Anthology Sarah Canary - Novel concerning a mysterious woman in 1873 Pacific Northwest. The War of the Roses - Chapter book publication of the novelette; the Sweetheart Season - Fantasy novel about the Sweetwheat Sweethearts, a female baseball team from 1947 Minnesota. Sister Noon - Novel set in 1890s San Francisco; the Jane Austen Book Club - Six members of an early 21st century book club discuss Jane Austen books. Wit's End - A young woman visits her godmother, one of America's most successful mystery writers.
We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves (2014 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction Winner, A Marian Wood
The United States of America known as the United States or America, is a country composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U. S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D. C. and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico; the State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean; the U. S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The diverse geography and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.
Paleo-Indians migrated from Siberia to the North American mainland at least 12,000 years ago. European colonization began in the 16th century; the United States emerged from the thirteen British colonies established along the East Coast. Numerous disputes between Great Britain and the colonies following the French and Indian War led to the American Revolution, which began in 1775, the subsequent Declaration of Independence in 1776; the war ended in 1783 with the United States becoming the first country to gain independence from a European power. The current constitution was adopted in 1788, with the first ten amendments, collectively named the Bill of Rights, being ratified in 1791 to guarantee many fundamental civil liberties; the United States embarked on a vigorous expansion across North America throughout the 19th century, acquiring new territories, displacing Native American tribes, admitting new states until it spanned the continent by 1848. During the second half of the 19th century, the Civil War led to the abolition of slavery.
By the end of the century, the United States had extended into the Pacific Ocean, its economy, driven in large part by the Industrial Revolution, began to soar. The Spanish–American War and World War I confirmed the country's status as a global military power; the United States emerged from World War II as a global superpower, the first country to develop nuclear weapons, the only country to use them in warfare, a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. Sweeping civil rights legislation, notably the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the Fair Housing Act of 1968, outlawed discrimination based on race or color. During the Cold War, the United States and the Soviet Union competed in the Space Race, culminating with the 1969 U. S. Moon landing; the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 left the United States as the world's sole superpower. The United States is the world's oldest surviving federation, it is a representative democracy.
The United States is a founding member of the United Nations, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, Organization of American States, other international organizations. The United States is a developed country, with the world's largest economy by nominal GDP and second-largest economy by PPP, accounting for a quarter of global GDP; the U. S. economy is post-industrial, characterized by the dominance of services and knowledge-based activities, although the manufacturing sector remains the second-largest in the world. The United States is the world's largest importer and the second largest exporter of goods, by value. Although its population is only 4.3% of the world total, the U. S. holds 31% of the total wealth in the world, the largest share of global wealth concentrated in a single country. Despite wide income and wealth disparities, the United States continues to rank high in measures of socioeconomic performance, including average wage, human development, per capita GDP, worker productivity.
The United States is the foremost military power in the world, making up a third of global military spending, is a leading political and scientific force internationally. In 1507, the German cartographer Martin Waldseemüller produced a world map on which he named the lands of the Western Hemisphere America in honor of the Italian explorer and cartographer Amerigo Vespucci; the first documentary evidence of the phrase "United States of America" is from a letter dated January 2, 1776, written by Stephen Moylan, Esq. to George Washington's aide-de-camp and Muster-Master General of the Continental Army, Lt. Col. Joseph Reed. Moylan expressed his wish to go "with full and ample powers from the United States of America to Spain" to seek assistance in the revolutionary war effort; the first known publication of the phrase "United States of America" was in an anonymous essay in The Virginia Gazette newspaper in Williamsburg, Virginia, on April 6, 1776. The second draft of the Articles of Confederation, prepared by John Dickinson and completed by June 17, 1776, at the latest, declared "The name of this Confederation shall be the'United States of America'".
The final version of the Articles sent to the states for ratification in late 1777 contains the sentence "The Stile of this Confederacy shall be'The United States of America'". In June 1776, Thomas Jefferson wrote the phrase "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA" in all capitalized letters in the headline of his "original Rough draught" of the Declaration of Independence; this draft of the document did not surface unti