The science fiction author, scientist, and artist Herbert W. Franke was a pioneer in many areas - he has now died at the age of 95. The Austrian author, physicist, and artist Herbert W. Franke is dead. As his wife Susanne Päch announced on Twitter, Franke died on July 16, 2022, at the age of 95. Franke was one of the best-known German-speaking science fiction authors and was a pioneer in the field of computer graphics, among other things.
Born on May 14, 1927, in Vienna, Franke has been working as a freelance author since 1957. Between 1972 and 1979 he was an editor and editor for science fiction novels at Heyne-Verlag. In his novels, Franke repeatedly questioned reality and was also considered a pioneer in the field of virtual realities. His novels can be seen as an outlook on the negative effects that new technologies can have.
Franke recently expressed this in an interview: "Even then I was convinced that this technology [computer and information technology, the editors] has two important trends: the creation of artificial intelligence as an alternative life plan - and the perfection of dream worlds, which has probably only developed one single biological being on this planet so far: humans. These developments naturally harbor opportunities and dangers. On the side of the opportunities, for example, there are opportunities in education - on the other side, well, I don't need them much to say: Commerce and the military are usually the first to not only need technology for their purposes but also to abuse it."
Pioneer in the field of computer art and NFT
Franke co-founded the Ars Electronica festival in Linz in 1979. He is considered one of the co-founders of computer art, in 1970 he showed his first image created with the help of an algorithm. From 1973 to 1997 he taught computer graphics and computer art at the Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich. Franke was also active in the field of caving and published relevant literature.
Herbert W. Franke's last novel Escape to Mars was published in 2007. His books have been translated into numerous countries, including the USA, the former USSR, Great Britain, France, Japan, and other countries.