Lewis Shiner was born in 1950 in Oregon, United States. He grew up in Arizona, Georgia, New Mexico, and in the Sudan. Mr Shiner describes himself as a compulsive researcher. He has travelled widely throughout the USA and Mexico, and has worked as house painter, rock musician, computer programmer, draftsman, clerk, and construction worker.
Lewis Shiner is one of the original cyberpunk authors. He's been a cyberpunk rhetorician since the Movement's beginning. His voice has been a primary and highly articulate force in cyberpunk's bullheaded and successful battle for public acceptance without compromise. Yet, like most (or all but Gibson) cyberpunks, his own fiction is unlike the others -- excepting, of course, an uncompromising devotion to quality.
Since his first publication in 1977, Shiner has written a widely ranging spectrum of short stories: mysteries, fantasies, and horror as well as SF. But the 1984 appearance of his first novel, Frontera, demonstrated his important role in Movement fiction. Frontera combined classic hard-SF structure with a harrowing portrait of postindustrial society in the early twenty-first century. The book's gritty realism and deflating treatment of SF icons aroused much comment.
Shiner's work is marked by thorough research and cooly meticulous construction. His lean, vigorous prose shows his allegiance to hard-boiled mystery fiction as well as to such quasi-mainstream authors as Elmore Leonard and Robert Stone.