Template:Infobox writer

Geoffrey Alan Landis (born May 28, 1955) is an American scientist, working for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) on planetary exploration, interstellar propulsion, solar power and photovoltaics.[1][2] He holds nine patents, primarily in the field of improvements to solar cells and photovoltaic devices[3] and has given presentations and commentary on the possibilities for interstellar travel and construction of bases on the Moon, Mars,[4] and Venus.[5]

Supported by his scientific background Landis also writes hard science fiction.Cite error: Closing </ref> missing for <ref> tag. He contributes science articles to various academic publications.


Landis was born in Detroit, Michigan and lived in Virginia, Maryland, Philadelphia, and Illinois during his childhood. His senior education was at New Trier High School, Winnetka, Illinois.[1] He holds undergraduate degrees in physics and electrical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and a PhD in solid-state physics from Brown University.[1] He is married to science fiction writer Mary A. Turzillo and lives in Berea, Ohio.[2]


After receiving his doctorate at Brown University, Landis worked at the NASA Lewis Research Center (now NASA Glenn) and the Ohio Aerospace Institute before accepting a permanent position at the NASA John Glenn Research Center,[2] where he does research on Mars missions,[4] solar energy,[6] and technology development for future space missions.[7] He holds nine patents,[3] and has authored or co-authored more than 300 published scientific papers[8] in the fields of astronautics and photovoltaics. He was a member of the Rover team on the Mars Pathfinder mission,[9] and named the Mars rock, "Yogi".[10] He is a member of the science team on the 2003 Mars Exploration Rovers mission.[7]

Landis has commented on the practicalities of generating oxygen and creating building materials for a future Moon base in New Scientist,[11] and on the possibilities of using readily available metallic iron to manufacture steel on Mars.

He is the recipient of numerous professional honors, including the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Aerospace Power Systems Award[12] and the NASA Space Flight Awareness award[13]

NASA Institute for Advanced ConceptsEdit

Landis was a fellow of the NASA Institute for Advanced Concepts ("NIAC"), where he worked on a project investigating the use of laser- and particle-beam pushed sails for propulsion for interstellar flight.[14] In 2002 Landis addressed the annual convention of the American Association for the Advancement of Science on the possibilities and challenges of interstellar travel in what was described as the "first serious discussion of how mankind will one day set sail to the nearest star". Dr. Landis said, "This is the first meeting to really consider interstellar travel by humans. It is historic. We're going to the stars. There really isn't a choice in the long term." He went on to describe a star ship with a diamond sail, a few nanometres thick, powered by solar energy, which could achieve "10 per cent of the speed of light".[15]

He was selected again as a NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts fellow in 2012,[16] with an investigation of a Landsailing rover for Venus exploration,[17] and in 2015 was the science lead on a NIAC study to design a mission to Neptune's moon Triton.[18]

Academic positionsEdit

In 2005–2006, he was named the Ronald E. McNair Visiting Professor of Astronautics at MIT,[19] and won the AIAA Abe M. Zarem Educator Award in 2007.[20] Landis has also been a faculty member of the International Space University; in 1998 he was on the faculty of the Department of Mining, Manufacturing, and Robotics in the Space Studies Program, and in 1999 he was on the faculty of the 12th Space Studies Program at the Suranaree University of Technology in Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand. and co-chair of the student project "Out of the Cradle."[21] He was also a guest lecturer at the ISU 13th Summer Session Program in Valparaíso, Chile.

As a writer, he was an instructor at the Clarion Writers Workshop at Michigan State University in 2001.[22] He was a guest instructor at the Launch Pad workshop for 2012.[23]


Science fictionEdit


Landis first science fiction story, Elemental, appeared in Analog in December 1984, and received a nomination for a Hugo award[24] as well as earning him a nomination for the John W. Campbell award for Best New Writer. In the field of science fiction, Landis has published over 70 works of short fiction, and two books.[25][26] He won the 1989 Nebula Award for best short story for "Ripples in the Dirac Sea" (Asimov's Science Fiction, October 1988), the 1992 Hugo Award for "A Walk in the Sun" (Asimov's Science Fiction, October 1991), and the 2003 Hugo for his short story "Falling Onto Mars" (Analog Science Fiction and Fact, July/Aug 2002).

His first novel, Mars Crossing, was published by Tor Books in 2000, winning a Locus Award.[27] A short story collection, Impact Parameter (and Other Quantum Realities), was published by Golden Gryphon Press in 2001 and named as noteworthy by trade magazine Publishers Weekly.[28][29] He has also won the Analog Analytical Laboratory Award for the novelette The Man in the Mirror (2009).[30] His 2010 novella The Sultan of the Clouds won the Sturgeon award for best short science fiction story,[31] and was nominated for both the Nebula[32] and Hugo awards.[33]

He attended the Clarion Workshop in 1985, with other emerging SF writers such as Kristine Kathryn Rusch, Martha Soukup, William Shunn, Resa Nelson, Mary Turzillo and Robert J. Howe.


  • Mars Crossing (2000)


  • Impact Parameter (and Other Quantum Realities) (16 shorts)
    • A Walk in the Sun
    • Impact Parameter
    • Elemental
    • Ecopoiesis
    • Across the Darkness
    • Ouroboros
    • Into the Blue Abyss
    • Snow
    • Rorvik's War
    • Approaching Perimelasma
    • What We Do Here at NASA
    • Dark Lady
    • Outsider's Chance
    • Beneath the Stars of Winter
    • The Singular Habits of Wasps
    • Winter Fire
  • A Walk in the Sun (Great Science Fiction Stories) 2004

Short StoriesEdit

  • Ripples in the Dirac Sea
  • A Walk in the Sun
  • Falling Onto Mars
  • The Man in the Mirror 2009
  • The Sultan of the Clouds 2010
  • A Hotel in Antarctica 2014[34]


Landis has also published a number of poems, much of it involving science fiction or science themes. He won the Rhysling Award twice, for his poems "Christmas, after we all get time machines" in 2000 (which also won the 2000 Asimov's Reader's Award for best poem[35]), and for "Search" in 2009,[36] and the Dwarf Stars Award in 2010, for the poem "Fireflies".[37] He has won the Asimov's Reader's award for best poem three times,[38][39] most recently in 2014, for his poem "Rivers".[39] In 2009, he won 2nd place in the Hessler Street Fair poetry contest for his poem "Five Pounds of Sunlight," and 1st place in 2010 for "Human Potential."[40]

His poetry collection Iron Angels was published in 2009.[41]

Major awardsEdit

Other writingEdit

Landis has also written non-fiction and popular science articles, encyclopedia articles and columns for a large range of publications, including Analog Science Fiction and Fact, Space Sciences, Asimov's Science Fiction, Spaceflight, and Science Fiction Age.[43] His article "The Demon Under Hawaii" won the Analog Analytical Laboratory Award for best science article in 1993.[30]



  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "Geoffrey Landis, Physicist, NASA Glenn Research Center". Mars Exploration: Zip Code Mars. National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Retrieved March 26, 2010. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 "Geoffrey A. Landis". Retrieved March 26, 2010. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Patent Search, Geoffrey Landis". USPTO Full Text and Image Database. US Patent Office. Retrieved March 25, 2010. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 "Geoffrey Landis". NASA Glenn Academy for Space Exploration. NASA. June 24, 2009. Retrieved March 25, 2010. 
  5. "Colonization of Venus". NASA Glenn Research Center. NASA. February 6, 2003. Retrieved March 11, 2014. 
  6. Template:Cite journal
  7. 7.0 7.1 "Goddard Engineering Colloquium Announcement, October 15, 2007". Goddard Space Flight Center. Greenbelt, Maryland. Retrieved March 25, 2010. 
  8. "Geoffrey A. Landis". Selected Scientific and Technical Publications. Massachusetts Institute of Technology. October 2005. Archived from the original on June 10, 2008. 
  9. Template:Cite journal
  10. "e-mail from Mars". July 1997. Retrieved December 27, 2010. 
  11. Template:Cite news
  12. American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Aerospace Power Systems Award Recipients (retrieved 14 May 2014)
  13. NASA Space Flight Awareness award (retrieved 14 May 2014)
  14. "NASA Institute for Advanced Concepts Phase I studies". NASA Institute for Advanced Concepts. Atlanta, Georgia. Retrieved December 27, 2010. 
  15. Template:Cite news
  16. David Szondy, "NASA announces advanced technology proposals", 'gizmag, August 5, 2012 (Retrieved August 9, 2012)
  17. Keith Wagstaff, Time Magazine Techland blog, "What’s Next for NASA? 10 Wild Newly Funded Projects" August 14, 2012 (Retrieved September 1, 2012)
  18. Becky Ferreira, Why We Should Use This Jumping Robot to Explore Neptune, Motherboard, August 28, 2015 // 08:00 AM EST (Retrieved September 14, 2014)
  19. "MIT Aero-Astro: News & Events – enews". Massachusetts Institute of Technology. October 2005. Retrieved March 25, 2010. 
  20. AIAA Honors & Awards: Abe M. Zarem Educator Award recipients (Retrieved Sep. 2011
  21. ISU Summer Session Program report Out of the Cradle report, Sept, 4 1999 (Retrieved September 11, 2011)
  22. "Clarion's Distinguished Alumni & Faculty". Clarion Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers' Workshop. The Clarion Foundation. Retrieved March 25, 2010. 
  23. Mike Brotherton, Launch Pad 2012 Guest Instructor will be Geoffrey Landis August 29, 2011
  24. Locus Magazine, "Geoffrey A. Landis: Hands on Science", January 2000 online version here, accessed September 11, 2011)
  25. Staff (2011). " Geoffrey A. Landis: Books". Retrieved March 11, 2011. This page lists a selection of Landis' works in print.
  26. Landis, Geoffrey (July 2010). "Geoffrey A. Landis Bibliography". Retrieved March 11, 2011. 
  27. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named awards
  28. "Impact Parameter – Geoffrey Landis". Golden Gryphon Press. Retrieved March 25, 2010. "This collection of his short stories, Landis's first, contains most of his award-nominated and award-winning stories, including the Hugo winner "A Walk in the Sun," a surreal survivor story set on Luna." 
  29. "NASA Scientists Carol Stoker and Geoffrey Landis to Speak at Mars Society Convention". The Mars Society. Archived from the original on July 27, 2010. Retrieved September 18, 2010. 
  30. 30.0 30.1 "Analog Analytical Laboratory Winners By Year". The Locus Index to SF Awards. Locus Publications. Retrieved March 26, 2010. 
  31. 31.0 31.1 Locus, McDonald and Landis Win Cambbell and Sturgeon Awards, July 2011 (access date August 21, 2011)
  32. Staff (2011). "SFWA announces the 2010 Nebula Award Nominees". Retrieved March 11, 2011. 
  33. Locus, 2011 Hugo and Campbell Awards Winners (Retrieved date August 21, 2011)
  34. Tom Jackson, Cleveland sci-fi author Geoffrey Landis appears in big new anthology, Sandusky Register, Nov 26, 2014 (accessed June 14, 2015)
  35. Locus Magazine, "Index to SF Awards," Asimov's Reader's Poll (accessed September 11, 2011)
  36. "SFPA Grand Masters and Rhysling Winners: 1978–2009". Science Fiction Poetry Association. Archived from the original on January 14, 2010. Retrieved March 26, 2010. 
  37. Science Fiction Poetry Association, Dwarf Stars Awards (accessed September 10, 2011)
  38. Sheila Williams, Editorial, Asimov's Science Fiction, Sept. 2012 (retrieved June 14, 2015)
  39. 39.0 39.1 Sheila Williams, Editorial, Asimov's Science Fiction, October 2014 (retrieved June 14, 2015)
  40. T.M. Göttl, "Poets to grace the stage at 41st Annual Hessler Street Fair," Cleveland Poetry Examiner, May 22, 2010
  41. "Iron Angels". Van Zeno Press page for Iron Angels. Van Zeno Press. Retrieved December 27, 2010. 
  42. SFWA, Geoffrey A. Landis to Receive 2014 Robert A. Heinlein Award (Retrieved February 3, 2014)
  43. "Geoffrey A. Landis – Popular science writing". Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Archived from the original on 2008-05-11. Retrieved March 26, 2010. 

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