Born: Established: 16 Oct 1916 Melbourne ; Died: 1997 Ballarat
George Turner was born in Melbourne, but spent the first six years of his life in Kalgoorlie, Western Australia. After returning to Melbourne he was educated at several schools before beginning work in 1933 as an office boy at The Herald and Weekly Times. He was dismissed four years later and worked as a casual waiter until 1939 when he joined the army, serving in the Middle East, Africa and New Guinea.
After the war Turner worked in Wangaratta, Victoria, as an employment officer, a factory hand, and a laboratory assistant while working sporadically on his first novel, Young Man of Talent (1959). Turner's first novels attracted little attention, but his third novel, The Cupboard under the Stairs, was widely admired, winning the Miles Franklin Award in 1962. Moving back to Melbourne to work as an employment officer for Volkswagen, Turner completed his Treelake tetralogy, a series set in a fictional Victorian town of that name. But despite this success, it took Turner almost a decade to find a publisher for his last mainstream novel, Transit of Cassidy (1979). Except for the autobiographical In the Heart or in the Head (1984), Turner would write science fiction for the remainder of his life.
A science fiction addict, Turner began writing reviews and criticism for the Australian Science Fiction Review in 1967. When he published his first science fiction novel in 1978 he had become a highly regarded critic and reviewer, appearing regularly in science fiction magazines and the Melbourne Age. He wrote eight science fiction novels, consolidating his international reputation with with a Commonwealth Writers prize and an Arthur C. Clarke Award for The Sea and Summer (1987). In 1997, his death from a stroke was mourned by science fiction fans all over the world.
Turner's published essays include: 'Frederick Pohl as a Creator of Future Societies'(Steller Gauge, 1980).