How An Alien Invasion Inspired Kevin J. Anderson to Start Writing Science Fiction

We may earn a commission from links on this page.

Kevin J. Anderson is the prolific author of over one hundred novels — 47 of which have appeared on national or international bestseller lists. He has over 20 million books in print and has won numerous prestigious awards, including the Nebula, SFX Reader's Choice, and New York Times Notable Book. Anderson has also coauthored ten books in Frank Herbert's classic Dune universe with Herbert's son, Brian, each of them winning accolades and critical acclaim.

Anderson has recently completed work on the novelization of Rush's 20th studio album, Clockwork Angels — a story that takes place in a dystopian steampunk world in which a young man enters into a quest to find something greater. The novel is scheduled for release this coming September.

We recently caught up with Kevin to ask him what what the one thing was that inspired his remarkable career in science fiction. His response:

When I was five years old, my parents let me stay up to watch the George Pal film of War of the Worlds, and that entirely blew my mind. I was so captivated, fascinated, and terrified by the Martian invasion, the heat ray, the three-fingered aliens, that it began a lifelong romance with science fiction. As I grew up and read SF comics and stories, watched SF movies and TV shows, I was bombarded by the concepts of black holes, galaxies, nebulas, asteroids, meteors, comets, quasars, redshift and blueshift . . . and I wanted to understand what they really were. By high school I had made up my mind I wanted to be a science fiction writer, so I majored in physics and astronomy in college because I wanted to know my stuff as a science fiction writer.


What Was It is a series of short interviews co-hosted on io9 and Gizmodo that asks the luminaries of science and science fiction what inspired them to delve so deeply into the only kind of magic we have in the real world - science and technology. What was it that first opened their eyes? Find out more at What Was It?