Eschbach, Andreas 1959–
Eschbach, Andreas 1959–
PERSONAL: Born September 15, 1959, in Ulm, Germany; married; wife's name Marianne; children: one son. Education: Attended Technical University of Stuttgart.
CAREER: Writer. Software developer; founder and managing director of information-technology consulting business, 1993–96.
AWARDS, HONORS: Arno-Schmidt Foundation scholarship, 1994; prize for best novel, Science Fiction Club Deutschland, 1996, for Die Haarteppichknüpfer; prize for best novel, Science Fiction Club Deutschland, and Kurd-Laßwitz-Preis for best German novel, both 1997, both for Solarstation; prize for best short story, Science Fiction Club Deutschland, 1998, for "Die Wunder des Universums"; prize for best novel, Science Fiction Club Deutschland, KurdLaßwitz-Preis, and Phantastik award for best novel, all 1999, all for Das Jesus Video, and 2004, all for Der Letzte seiner Art; Kurd-Laßwitz-Preis, 2000, for Kelwitts Stern, and 2002, for Quest; Grand Prix de l'Imaginaire for best foreign work, and Prix Bob Mo-rane for best foreign novel, both 2000, both for French translation of Die Haarteppichknüpfer; Grand Prix de l'Imaginaire European prize, 2004, for Eine Trillion Euro.
NOVELS; IN GERMAN UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED
Die Haarteppichknüpfer, Schneekluth (Munich, Germany), 1995, English translation by Doryl Jensen published as The Carpet Makers, foreword by Orson Scott Card, Tor Books (New York, NY), 2005.
Solarstation, Schneekluth (Munich, Germany), 1996.
Das Jesus Video, Schneekluth (Munich, Germany), 1998.
Kelwitts Stern (title means "Kelwitt's Star"), Schneekluth (Munich, Germany), 1999.
Quest, Heyne (Munich, Germany), 2001.
Eine Billion Dollar, Lübbe (Bergisch-Gladbach, Germany), 2001.
Der Letzte seiner Art (title means "The Last of His Kind"), Lübbe (Bergisch-Gladbach, Germany), 2003.
Exponentialdrift, Lübbe (Bergisch-Gladbach, Germany), 2003.
Die Seltene Gabe (title means "The Rare Gift"), Arena (Würzburg, Germany), 2004.
Perfect Copy, Arena (Würzburg, Germany), 2004.
Der Nobelpreis (title means "The Nobel Prize"), Lübbe (Bergisch-Gladbach, Germany), 2005.
Das Marsprojekt: Das Ferne Leuchten (title means "The Mars Project: Far Shining"), Arena (Würzburg, Germany), 2005.
Das Marsprojekt: Die Blauen Türme (title means "The Mars Project: The Blue Towers"), Arena (Würzburg, Germany), 2005.
Software after Measure: Planning, Realization and Control of EDP Projects (nonfiction), Pearson Education (Upper Saddle River, NJ), 1992.
(Editor) Eine Trillion Euro (short stories), Lübbe (Bergisch-Gladbach, Germany), 2004.
Das Buch von der Zukunft: ein Reiseführer (nonfiction; title means "The Book of the Future: A Travel Guide"), Rowohlt Berlin (Berlin, Germany), 2004.
Short stories published in anthologies, including Halloween and Der Attem Gottes und Anders Visionen 2004 (title means "The Breath of God and Other Visions 2004"), and in magazines, including Star Vision and Science Fiction Media.
Eschbach's works have been translated into Czech, Dutch, French, Italian, Japanese, Polish, Russian, Spanish, and Turkish.
ADAPTATIONS: Das Jesus Video was adapted by Martin Ritzenhoff and Sebastian Niemann into a film directed by Niemann and produced for German television in 2002. The film is known as The Hunt for the Hidden Relic in the United States. Several of Eschbach's works have been released as audiobooks.
SIDELIGHTS: Andreas Eschbach has been writing since his adolescence and had some short stories published in literary magazines in the 1980s, followed by the publication of numerous science-fiction novels, beginning in the 1990s. The reception given his writings eventually encouraged him to abandon his career in information technology and write full time. His work has made him famous in his native Germany and throughout Europe. Although he has won many prizes on that continent, he did not have a novel published in English until 2005. That book was The Carpet Makers, Eschbach's first novel, which had been published in Germany ten years earlier as Die Haarteppichknüpfer.
The novel is set on a primitive planet where most men work as carpet-weavers, using as raw material the hair of their wives—sometimes more than one wife, all chosen for the appearance of their hair. The carpets, each of which takes one man a lifetime to finish, are exported to the emperor, who lives on another planet. A change in government, however, leads the inhabitants of the carpet-weavers' world to question all they had previously believed.
Some reviewers welcomed Eschbach's English-language debut and found it long overdue. A Kirkus Reviews contributor, noting that Eschbach is "one of Germany's leading SF lights," expressed dismay "that such a magnum opus has been allowed to languish in the shadows for ten years." Jackie Cassada, writing in Library Journal, called the novel "thoughtful and disturbing," and felt that it would find a wide audience, not limited to science-fiction fans. Eschbach, Cassada added, is "a first-rate storyteller and visionary."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Kirkus Reviews, February 1, 2005, review of The Carpet Makers, p. 155.
Library Journal, March 15, 2005, Jackie Cassada, review of The Carpet Makers, p. 74.
Publishers Weekly, March 7, 2005, review of The Carpet Makers, p. 54.
Andreas Eschbach Home Page, http://www.andreaseschbach.de (October 20, 2005).