Alec Nevala-Lee

Thoughts on art, creativity, and the writing life.

About me

I’m a Hugo and Locus Award finalist for the group biography Astounding: John W. Campbell, Isaac Asimov, Robert A. Heinlein, L. Ron Hubbard, and the Golden Age of Science Fiction (Dey Street Books / HarperCollins), which was named one of the best books of 2018 by The Economist. My novels include the thrillers The Icon ThiefCity of Exiles, and Eternal Empire, all published by Penguin. I also rediscovered Frozen Hell, the original version of John W. Campbell’s novella “Who Goes There?” (aka The Thing), which is being developed as a film by Blumhouse Productions. On the short fiction side, my stories appear frequently in the magazine Analog Science Fiction and Fact and have been reprinted in Lightspeed and two editions of The Year’s Best Science Fiction. Syndromes, an audio original collection of my short science fiction, is available from Recorded Books. My essays, reviews, and nonfiction have been featured in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Slate, Salon, The Rumpus, Gizmodo, Fast Company, Public Books, and The Daily Beast.

My father immigrated to the United States from Hong Kong, and my mother is Finnish-American. I was born in 1980 in Castro Valley, California, and I graduated from Harvard University with a degree in Classics, although I’ve managed to forget most of my Latin and all of my Greek. In college, I was a member of the undergraduate literary magazine, where I published my first short fiction, and wrote on a variety of topics, mostly film, for a handful of publications, including the San Francisco Bay Guardian. After graduation, I spent several years at a financial firm based in New York, but ultimately left to pursue a much less lucrative career as a novelist. My favorite books are The Annotated Sherlock Holmes, Labyrinths by Jorge Luis Borges, and The Whole Earth Catalog; my favorite movies are The Red Shoes, Blue Velvet, and Chungking Express. I live with my wife Wailin Wong and my daughter Beatrix in Oak Park, Illinois, where I recently finished writing the first comprehensive biography of the architectural designer, inventor, and futurist Buckminster Fuller. Inventor of the Future: The Visionary Life of Buckminster Fuller, which was released by Dey Street / HarperCollins on August 2, 2022, has been named a New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice and one of Esquire‘s fifty best biographies of all time.

Written by nevalalee

November 28, 2010 at 8:11 pm

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  1. […] I was intrigued to discover, through my regular perusal of Deborah Kalb’s Book Q&As, that Alec Nevala-Lee had written a new book, Inventor of the Future: The Visionary Life of Buckminster […]

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