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European sci-fi grandmaster

The statue for the Grand Master of Science Fiction is modeled after the monolith from 2001 by Arther C. Clarke

Herbert W. Franke, one of the best-known German-language science fiction authors, was recently awarded the “European Grand Master Award” by the “European Science Fiction Society” for his literary life’s work. Previously, this title had already been awarded to world-renowned authors such as Brian Aldiss or Christopher Priest from Great Britain, Harry Harrison from Ireland and Boris Strugatski from Russia.

With twenty novels, five story collections and twelve radio plays, Franke has an extensive body of work to his credit. He is also considered a master of the utopian super short story – a format he used as early as 1960 in his first work, “The Green Comet,” which has been reprinted several times. The author, who has also written numerous non-fiction and technical books, is an elected member of the German PEN Club as well as the Graz Authors’ Assembly, and in 2007 was awarded the Austrian Cross of Honor for Science and first class Art.

However, to limit Franke to his writing activities would not do justice to the theoretical physicist with a doctorate and multi-talent. In addition to his literary work, Herbert W. Franke is one of the world’s pioneers of computer art in the field of fine arts, whose works have been shown around the world in numerous exhibitions. As a speleologist, he has been involved in discoveries, and in the field of science he has published important theoretical works on stalactite growth and the dating of cave sediments. In addition, his special theoretical interest is the theory of perception in the field of art, with quite a few publications on cybernetic aesthetics.

A complete edition of Franke’s works in almost 30 volumes is currently being published by p.machinery, edited by Prof. Dr. Hans Esselborn as well as Ulrich Blode. This bibliophile edition in a limited hardcover edition as well as an inexpensive paperback contains not only all of Franke’s literary works in science fiction, but also extensive commentaries and previously unpublished manuscripts.

The ceremonial presentation of the certificate took place during a performance of the play Der Kristallplanet (The cristal planet) at the Marionettentheater (puppet theater) in Bad Tölz (in German only).