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Alan Dean Foster at BayCon, 2007

Alan Dean Foster has written dozens of novels and short stories, most of them sci-fi, often with a decent helping of Space Opera. His aliens tend more towards Starfish Aliens than Human Aliens, and his settings tend to be beautiful, alien, and deadly. His work usually falls on the idealistic side of the Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism and somewhere in the middle of the Mohs Scale of Sci Fi Hardness.

He has a website.

Works written by Alan Dean Foster include:
  • The books in the Humanx Commonwealth universe, including a few subseries and some standalone books. Its timeline can be found here. Subseries in this universe:
    • The Founding of the Commonwealth trilogy, about the development of the relationship between humans and the insectoid Thranx.
    • The Icerigger trilogy.
    • The Pip and Flinx series, about a boy with empathic (and other) powers and his pet flying snake.
  • The Damned trilogy. Aliens on an exploratory mission come to Earth seeking allies in a war against an opposing empire, having no skills of their own at war. They find them - no other species in the universe is as perfectly suited to war, both physically and emotionally, as humanity. The three books span multiple centuries and deal with the changes that the sudden influx of human mercenaries brings on interstellar society — now that intergalactic society has groomed humanity into a race of perfect mercenaries, what are they going to do with them once the war is over?
  • The Spellsinger series, about a young man who gets pulled into another, magical, universe by a wizard trying to find someone to save their part of the world, and then can't return.
  • The Taken trilogy, about a man and a dog who get captured (and in the dog's case, given intelligence) by aliens who want to sell them--and a host of others--as curiosities. The books revolve around their attempts to get home.
  • Many, many novelizations, the best known of which include:
  • The Journey of the Catechist, about a tribesman sent on a journey to rescue somebody entirely because of how his tribe views the requests of a dying man.
  • Kingdoms of Light, about a bunch of humans that were once animals tasked to restoring color to the world after it is taken away.
  • Cat-A-Lyst, about a race of Sufficiently Advanced Aliens who masquerade as cats and nurture a bumbling group of humans and Plant Aliens through saving the modern world from a Modern Mayincatec Empire. Rule of Funny applies here.
  • Sagramanda, a book set in semi-apocalyptic semi-futuristic India featuring the interactions between an insane foreign cultist, a professional agent, a man who stole some key info, his wife, his parents, and a man eating tiger. "Better than it sounds"
  • Numerous anthologies of short stories.