In Memoriam – Herbert W. Franke

Herbert W. Franke (May 14, 1927–July 16, 2022) was an author, artist, and physicist born in Austria. Franke moved from Vienna to Munich after earning his doctorate in theoretical physics. Throughout the 1950s, he published primarily nonfiction, including works on speleology and computer graphics. During this time he also began creating early computer-assisted pieces of art.

In the late 1950s, he published several science fiction short stories, with his first collection, Der grüne Komet, in 1960, and other collections appearing over the next decade. His first novels, Das Gedankennetz and Der Orchideenkäfig, both appeared in 1961 and were eventually published in English as The Mind Net in 1974 and The Orchid Cage in 1973. Several of his other novels were translated into English, Japanese, Romanian, Hungarian, French, Spanish, and other languages. Although he usually published under his own name, he occasionally used the pseudonym Sergius Both.

Franke was a five-time recipient of the Kurd Lasswitz Preis and a two-time winner of the Deutscher Science Fiction Preis. He was named a European Science Fiction Grand Master by the European SF Society in 2016. In 1970, he was a guest of honor at Heicon, the 28th World Science Fiction Convention held in Heidelberg, Germany. Franke lived 95 years.