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Chad Oliver

Chad Oliver (1928-1993) was the working name that U.S. anthropologist and writer Symmes Chadwick Oliver used for his science-fiction titles. He was born in Ohio but spent most of his life in Texas, where he studied for his MA. He later took a PhD in anthropology at the University of California, which lead to his appointment as a professor of anthropology at the University of Texas, Austen. Oliver’s sci-fi work reflected both his professional training and personal roots: much of it is set in the outdoors of the American Southwest and most of his characters are deeply involved in outdoor activities. Oliver was also always concerned with the depiction of Native American life. His first published story, “The Land of Lost Content,” appeared in Super Science Stories in November 1950.

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Unearthly Neighbors: A hugely satisfying novel of first contact

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Unearthly Neighbors by Chad Oliver

The conventional wisdom for aspiring writers has long been “Write what you know,” a piece of advice that Cincinnati-born author Chad Oliver apparently took to heart. Greatly interested in the field of anthropology, Oliver, over the course of seven novels stretching from 1952 - ’76, as well as four collections of short stories, eventually carved out a place for himself as one of the leading lights in that curious subgenre known as anthropological science fiction. And the author was hardly a dabbler in his chosen scholarly field. In 1961, he wrote a doctoral thesis (under his real name, Symmes Chadwick Oliver) entitled Ecology and Cultural Continuity as Contributing Factors in the Social Organization of the Plains Indians (you can purchase it in book form on Amazon, if that title doesn’t intimi... Read More