George Alec Effinger was born in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1947. He attended Yale University, where an organic chemistry course disabused him of the notion of becoming a doctor. He had the opportunity to meet many of his SF idols thanks to his first wife, who was Damon Knight and Kate Wilhelm's babysitter. With their encouragement, he began writing science fiction in 1970. He published at least 20 novels and 6 collections of short fiction including WHEN GRAVITY FAILS and THE EXILE KISS. As well, he also wrote and published two crime novels, FELICIA and SHADOW MONEY. With his Budayeen novels, Effinger helped to found the Cyberpunk genre. He was a Hugo and Nebula award winner and a favorite amongst fellow SF writers.