Which Science Fiction author are you most closely connected to?

+23 votes

With Lois McMaster Bujold's upcoming feature for the WikiTree Challenge, we're looking at other science fiction authors in the Connection Finder this week, starting with Arthur C. Clarke.

Which one is most closely connected to you? If you're one of the 26.1 million of us who are connected to each other on our big tree you can check with the Connection Finder.

You can check for shared ancestors with the Relationship Finder. Are you a cousin to any of them? Your Relationship Finder Quick Links page (see your profile pull-down menu under "Relationships") has quick links for several notable groups.

Special feature: Check out how you're connected to other notables by using the green MyConnections button in the upper right hand corner of the category page. Browse related categories like WikiTree Challenge 2022 Guest Stars, Science Fiction Authors, and Hugo Award Winners.

Let us know how you're related below! If you want to share your connection on social media with cousins and friends, click the "get shareable image" below the results, e.g. CJ Cherryh and Lois McMaster Bujold. Then just upload it along with the URL of your direct connection. (Please refrain from sharing your connection on the featured profiles themselves, though. It clutters conversations on research and collaboration. Thanks!)

Help us with next week's Centenarians feature by helping to choose and improve profiles for it.

WikiTree profile: Arthur Clarke
in The Tree House by Abby Glann G2G6 Pilot (770k points)
reshown by Chris Whitten
This might just be me misunderstanding how Wikitree is organized, but when I click the link to "Hugo Award Winners" I get a page that lists some actual Hugo Award winners and a significant number of people who, while connected to science fiction in some way or another, are definitely not Hugo Award winners. Percival Pearce? Hamilton Luske? A complete list of Hugo Award finalists and winners can be found here: http://www.sfadb.com/Hugo_Awards

Meanwhile, the Wikitree page called "Hugo Award Winners" fails to list the single most prominent Hugo Award winner who's actually personally active on Wikitree, C. J. Cherryh (Cherry-4063), winner of three Hugo Awards, two of which were for Best Novel.
The Hugo Award Winners are indeed, winners of various categories of the Hugo Awards, including such categories as Best Fanzine Editors, Artists, as well as Novelists. So all those listed have won the award. The issue with C.J. Cherryh's profile is that she personally has an account on WikiTree, and as such, she would have to self-promote herself to be listed in that category. We can certainly request that she add this category to her own profile, but it would be up to her as to whether or not she actually adds it to her own profile.
Hi -- I've been a finalist for the Hugo Award fifteen times, in five different categories. I've won three of them. I'm aware that Hugo Awards are given out in a lot of categories.

But I find no evidence that, for instance, Roland N (Gostry) Neill, or David Dodd Hand, or Percival Pearce, ever won a Hugo Award. All of these people are listed as "Hugo Award Winners" on Wikitree's page of that name.

What it looks like from here is that people who worked in various capacities on old Disney movies, like Bambi or Fantasia, are being listed as "Hugo Award Winners" because those movies, decades later, won "Retro-Hugo" Awards.

If Wikitree wants to define a "Hugo Award Winner" as anyone who worked in any capacity on a work that won a Hugo Award, well then, since a lot of big Hollywood movies have won Hugo Awards, by Wikitree's definition there are at least several tens of thousands, probably hundreds of thousands, of "Hugo Award Winners." That's fine, it doesn't hurt anyone. But it's kind of an odd position to take.
If you look at the official Hugo Awards site ( http://thehugoawards.org/ ) and look up each award by date, you'll note that even those Hollywood movies have very specific individuals they named during the presentation to whom they granted a Hugo Award. I'm not sure I see a difference in the person who won the award in a writing capacity versus an artwork capacity versus an editing capacity or even in the presentation of a movie capacity. The categories don't really differentiate in that one Hugo was more prestigious than another. We could certainly separate the "Retro-Hugos", but I'm not sure I see the value in doing so, as they were done in the same capacity as the regular ones, just in an attempt to provide the same award for efforts in years when a Hugo was not available for presentation.

35 Answers

+16 votes
19 degrees from Frank Herbert (10th cousins, 3x times removed)
19 degrees from Robert Heinlein (16th cousins, 4x removed)
20 degrees from Theodore Sturgeon (12th cousins, 3x removed)
21 degrees from Mary Shelley (17th cousins, 7x removed)
21 degrees from Ursula K. Le Guin (10th cousins, 2x removed)
21 degrees from Anne McCaffrey (15th cousins, 3x removed)
22 degrees from C. S. Lewis (12th cousins, 5x removed)
26 degrees from Arthur Clarke
26 degrees from Jules Verne
29 degrees from Douglas Adams
31 degrees from Harry Martinson
by Mike Wells G2G6 Pilot (148k points)
edited by Mike Wells
+18 votes
I am most closely connected to Robert Heinlein and Theodore Sturgeon at 23 degrees.
by Samantha Thomson G2G6 Pilot (276k points)
+17 votes
17 degrees from Mary Shelly, 18 degrees from Robert Heinlein and 19 degrees from C.S. Lewis, none are close relatives.
by Roger Stong G2G Astronaut (1.5m points)
+15 votes
16 degrees from Robert Heinlein.
by Luther Brown G2G6 Pilot (576k points)
+14 votes

Robert Heinlein at 17 degrees with two marriages in between.  Many on this list are quite far away this time.  There are 3 cousins, but none closer than 12th.

Heinlein was a favorite when I was in junior high or high school, particularly Stranger in a Strange Land and The Moon is a Harsh Mistress.

by Steve Ryan G2G6 Mach 8 (88.1k points)
I love Heinlein!  Yes, 'Stranger in a Strange Land' was great!  Ever read 'Have Space Suit - Will Travel'?  Love!  Also like Delany (sp?) (i.e. 'Nova').
+14 votes

28 degrees from Arthur C. Clarke

20 degrees from Douglas Adams

25 degrees from Robert Heinlein

33 degrees from Frank Herbert

27 degrees from Ursula K. Le Guin 

19 degrees from C. S. Lewis.

34 degrees from Harry Martinsson

29 degrees from Anne McCaffrey

23 degrees from Mary Shelley

25 degrees from Theodore Sturgeon

42 degrees from Jules Verne 

by Roy Tonkin G2G Astronaut (3.9m points)
+14 votes
18 degrees from Robert Heinlein. 15th cousin twice removed. MRCA Alice (Fillongley) Darcy (abt 1395 -bef 1448),

19 degrees from Mary Shelley. 9th cousin 9 times removed. MRCA Marian (Douglas) Cunningham (abt 1470 - 1541).

19 degrees from Ursula K. Le Guin.

20 degrees from C. S. Lewis. 12th cousin 3 times removed. MRCA Isabel (Meade) Berkeley (abt 1444 - 1514).

22 degrees from Ann McCaffrey.

22 degrees from Theodore Sturgeon.24th cousin once removed. MCRA Cecila Arden (abt 1080 - ?).

25 degrees from Frank Herbert.

27 degrees from Arthur C. Clarke.

29 degrees from Douglas Adams.

30 degrees from Harry Martinson.

31 degrees from Jules Verne.
by Frank Blankenship G2G6 Pilot (142k points)
+15 votes
Probably Douglas Adams.  I was so bummed when he died...he was such a genius in so many ways.  However, I do also love Christopher Moore, China Mieville[Un Lun Dun!], Dan Brown, and Tom Robbins, plus so many more that I can't think of at this moment...
by Elizabeth Hayman G2G6 Mach 6 (62.2k points)
Have towel, will travel!
Always!! :)
+15 votes
by Joel Zummak G2G6 Mach 5 (58.1k points)
+16 votes
I am 7th cousin 3x removed to Robert Heinlein. My organic chemistry professor introduced me to his work and I enjoyed it very much. I returned the favor by loaning him a few books by Stanislaw Lem, who remains my all time favorite- especially Trurl's electronic bard from The Cyberiad: Fables for the Cybernetic Age.

 I am a theology geek so it pleases me to find I'm related to C.S. Lewis, even if only as his 11th cousin 2x removed.
by Anonymous Reed G2G6 Pilot (194k points)
edited by Anonymous Reed
Thanks for featuring this week's group of science fiction writers- so many happy memories!
+13 votes

I am most closely connected to Ursula K. Le Guin at 19 degrees of separation.

by Tommy Buch G2G Astronaut (2.0m points)
edited by Tommy Buch
+15 votes

Well everyone needs to recheck Anne McCaffrey https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/McCaffrey-687 because I have added multiple new connections through her paternal grandmother's colonial Massachusetts bay ancestors.  I knew there should be a genealogical relationship and I wasn't seeing it.

30 degrees from Douglas Adams

27 degrees from Arthur Clarke

17 degrees from Robert Heinlein, (7th cousin 3x removed)

26 degrees from Frank Herbert, (9th cousin 1x removed)

21 degrees from Ursula K. Le Guin, (8th cousin 2x removed - through the same ancestor who is my most recent common ancestor with Robert Heinlein also, William Munro of Lexington)

22 degrees from C. S. Lewis, (10th cousin 5x removed)

31 degrees from Harry Martinson

23 degrees from Anne McCaffrey, (10th cousin 1x removed)

22 degrees from Mary Shelley, (9th cousin 8x removed)

20 degrees from Theodore Sturgeon, (10th cousin 2x removed)

36 degrees from Jules Verne

by Clayton Pierce G2G6 (6.3k points)
edited by Clayton Pierce
Thanks! Now Wikitree says she and I are 9th cousins-and so are we.
Thanks.  She's now my closest cousin of the group, at 9th once removed.  Also 9th twice removed from you, but on a very different path.
+14 votes
by Aaron Gullison G2G6 Pilot (197k points)
+13 votes

Hey, I write Fantasy and Science Fiction, too! These are pleasant surprises. I had a longer response, but I fell half-asleep with my eyes open (yep, that's a thing) and had a mini-dream about closing tabs on my computer. Needless to say, I was ready to hit "Add answer" and closed the tab instead. I would rather have sleep-typed, but oh well.

Short version of what I typed before: It's a 5-book series, and I have been writing them out of order since I was 13. I've been taking a 2-year break being busy with life and feeling indecisive over writing book 5 or rewriting book 1, but I have now settled on writing an important side story I have neglected to remember. It will then flip the coin between which of the two in the series to write next.

  • Arthur C. Clarke - 26 degrees
  • Douglas Adams - 21 degrees
  • Robert Heinlein - 21st cousin 3x removed, 17 degrees
  • Frank Herbert - 22nd cousin 2x removed, 22 degrees
  • Ursula K. LeGuin - 12th cousin 3x removed, 19 degrees
  • C.S. Lewis - 13th cousin 5x removed, 22 degrees
  • Harry Martinson - 28 degrees
  • Anne McCaffrey - 10th cousin 3x removed, 22 degrees
  • Mary Shelley - 18th cousins 9x removed, 20 degrees
  • Theodore Sturgeon - 21 degrees
  • Jules Verne - 35 degrees
by Jennifer Fulk G2G6 Mach 6 (62.6k points)
edited by Jennifer Fulk
+15 votes

Closest is:

Theodore Sturgeon 9th cousins 4x removed

Runner up is:

C.S. Lewis: 12th cousins 3x removed

Which is great because I have loved the Narnia series since I was a kid.

Was surprised and thrilled to learn Mary Shelley is my 17th cousin 7x removed.

by Cindy Alexander G2G6 Mach 1 (18.3k points)
+14 votes
Assuming all is accurate, I'm closest related to Robert Heinlein, 8th Cousin, 4x Removed
by Kae-Leah Williamson G2G6 Mach 3 (32.3k points)
+13 votes

My closest is Mary Shelley at 22 degrees... When I visited Rome 3 years ago I stumbled upon the apartment she shared with her husband and Keats in Piazza Spagna (Keats died there). It's a small museum (lost in the million of other stuff Rome has to offer) and I was the only visitor and it was so special!

This was her traveling writing desk:


by Cristina Corbellani G2G6 Mach 7 (79.6k points)
+12 votes

Ancestors and Cousins

  • 18 degrees - Robert Heinlein - (16th cousin, 2x) - 3 branches (7-6-6)
  • 19 degrees - Theodore Sturgeon - (19th cousin, 6x) - 3 branches (9-2-2)
  • 20 degrees - Frank Herbert (17th cousin) - 4 branches (12-3-5-1)
  • 20 degrees - Anne McCaffrey - (17th cousin, 1x) - 4 branches (8-3-9-1)
  • 21 degrees - Mary Shelley - (10th cousin, 6x) - 3 branches (11,4,7)
  • 21 degrees - Ursula K. LeGuin - (14th cousin, 1x) - 4 branches (13-4-4-1)
  • 22 degrees - C.S. Lewis - (11th cousin, 5x) - 4 branches (11-3-6-3)


  • 23 degrees - Lois McMaster Bujold - 5 branches (8-7-2-2-5)
  • 28 degrees - Arthur Clark - 4 branches (8-8-5-8)
  • 30 degrees - Jules Verne - 5 branches (10-2-10-4-5)
  • 31 degrees - Douglas Adams - 6 branches (10-5-6-3-2-6)
  • 32 degrees - Harry Martinson - 4 branches (14-4-8-7)
by Shonda Feather G2G6 Pilot (448k points)
+12 votes
The two closest is

CS Lewis at 14 - and 10c2r and 10c3r several ways

Mary Shelley at 17

I am working on a DNA match which could likely put CS Lewis closer - and the existing one came from not assuming Burke’s is right in every marriage citation - now bound further with Y and autosomal
by Lloyd de Vere Hunt G2G6 Mach 4 (49.9k points)

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