Timothy Zahn was born in Chicago in 1951 and grew up in the western suburb of Lombard. He attended Michigan State University in East Lansing, earning a B.S. degree in physics in 1973, and moved on to the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana for graduate work. He earned a M.S. degree there, also in physics, in 1975, and continued work toward a doctorate. Also in 1975, he began a new hobby: writing science fiction. At first a strictly spare-time avocation, over the next three years he gradually gave more time to it until he sold his first story in December 1978 (“Ernie,” Analog, September 1979). In 1980 he left grad school and began writing full time.
Since then he has published fifty-one novels, over a hundred short stories and novelettes, and five collections of short fiction. Best known for his ten Star Wars novels, he is also the author of the Quadrail series, the Cobra series, the Conquerors Trilogy, and the young-adult Dragonback series.
His latest books are Pawn’s Gambit, his fifth short-story collection; A Call to Arms, the second of the Manticore Ascendant series with David Weber; Soulminder; and StarCraft: Evolution. Upcoming books include A Call to Vengeance (with David Weber), Pawn: A Chronicle of the Sibyl’s War, and Star Wars: Thrawn, a prequel to Grand Admiral Thrawn’s appearance in Season Three of the Disney XD series Star Wars Rebels.
You can contact him at facebook.com/TimothyZahn.
Photo by Kent Akselsen