Kim Stanley Robinson was born in Waukegan, Illinois, but grew up in Southern California. In 1974, he earned a B.A. in literature from the University of California, San Diego. In 1975, he earned a M.A. in English from Boston University and in 1982, he earned a PhD in English from the University of California, San Diego. His doctoral thesis, The Novels of Philip K. Dick, was published in 1984.
Robinson describes himself as a backpacker but not a mountain climber, though mountain climbing appears in several of his fiction works, notably Antarctica, the Mars trilogy, "Green Mars" (a short story found in The Martians), the Science in the Capital series beginning with Forty Signs of Rain, and Escape from Kathmandu.
In 1982, he married Lisa Howland Nowell, an environmental chemist, and they have two sons. Robinson has lived in Washington, D.C.; California; and during some of the 1980s in Switzerland. He now lives in Davis, California.
Robinson was an instructor at the Clarion Workshop in 2009. In 2010, Robinson was guest of honor at the 68th World Science Fiction Convention, held in Melbourne, Australia. In April, 2011. Robinson presented at the second Annual Rethinking Capitalism conference, held at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Among other points made, his talk addressed the cyclical nature of capitalism.
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