Science fiction writer Dan Simmons was born in East Peoria, Illinois in 1948. He graduated from Wabash College in 1970 and received an M. A. from Washington University the following year. Simmons was an elementary school teacher and worked in the education field for a decade, including working to develop a gifted education program. His first successful short story was won a contest and was published in 1982. His first novel, Song of Kali, won a World Fantasy Award, and Simmons has also won a Theodore Sturgeon Award for short fiction, four Bram Stoker Awards, and eight Locus Awards. He is also the author of the Hyperion series, and Simmons and his work have been compared to Herberts Dune and Asimovs Foundation series.