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Paul Levinson (born 1947) is an Americanmarker author and professor of communications and media studies at Fordham Universitymarker in New York Citymarker. Levinson's novels, short fiction, and non-fiction works have been translated into twelve languages.

As a commentator on media, popular culture, and science fiction Levinson has been interviewed more than 500 times on local, national and international television and radio. He is frequently quoted in newspapers and magazines around the world and his op-eds have appeared in such major papers as the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, New York's Newsday, and the New York Sun. He was interviewed in a short weekly spot early Sunday mornings on KNX-AMmarker Radio in Los Angeles, from 2006 to 2008 on media-related news events and popular culture. He hosts four podcasts and maintains several blogs. In April 2009, The Chronicle of Higher Education named him one of Twitter's top ten "High Fliers".

In 1985 he co-founded Connected Education, offering online courses for Masters credit. He served as President of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America from 1998 to 2001.

He has been a Professor of Communication and Media Studies at Fordham Universitymarker since 1998; he was Chair of the department from 2002 to 2008. He previously taught at the New School for Social Research, Fairleigh Dickinson Universitymarker, Hofstra Universitymarker, St. John's Universitymarker, Polytechnic University of New Yorkmarker, Audrey Cohen College and the Western Behavioral Sciences Institute . He has given lectures in classes and conferences at many universities including the London School of Economicsmarker, Harvard Universitymarker, New York Universitymarker, and the University of Torontomarker and authored over 100 scholarly articles.

Prior to his academic career, Levinson was a songwriter, singer and record producer in the late 1960s and early 1970s, with recordings by the Vogues, Donna Marie of the Archies and Ellie Greenwich. As a radio producer he worked with Murray the K and Wolfman Jack.

Levinson's work is influenced by Isaac Asimov, Thomas Jefferson, John Stuart Mill, Marshall McLuhan, Karl Popper, Carl Sagan, and Donald T. Campbell.


Paul Levinson graduated from Christopher Columbus High Schoolmarker in the Bronx, attended the City College of New Yorkmarker (CCNYmarker) in the 1960s, and received a BA in journalism from New York Universitymarker in 1975; an MA in Media Studies from the New School for Social Research in 1976; and a PhD from New York Universitymarker in media ecology in 1979. His doctoral dissertation, Human Replay: A Theory of the Evolution of Media (1979), was mentored by Neil Postman.


Levinson writes science fiction, fantasy, and sf/mystery hybrids with philosophical undertones as well as non-fiction about the history and future of communications media, the First Amendment, the importance of space exploration, and popular culture themes. His work has been translated into Chinese, Japanese, Korean, French, Italian, Portuguese, Czech, Polish, Romanian, Macedonian, Croatian, and Turkish.

He has received acclaim for his writing, including multiple nominations for the Hugo, Nebula, Sturgeon, Prometheus, Edgar and Audie Awards. His novella Loose Ends was a 1998 finalist for a Hugo, a Sturgeon, and a Nebula. His novel The Silk Code won the Locus Award for Best First Novel of 1999.

The central character of The Silk Code, NYPD forensic detective Dr. Phil D'Amato, made his first appearance in Levinson's novelette, "The Chronology Protection Case", (published in Analog magazine, September 1995). D'Amato returned in "The Copyright Notice Case" novelette (Analog, April 1996), "The Mendelian Lamp Case" novelette (Analog, April 1997), and in subsequent novels The Consciousness Plague (2002), and The Pixel Eye (2003). An adaptation of Levinson's "The Chronology Protection Case" (radioplay by Mark Shanahan with Paul Levinson & Jay Kensinger) was nominated by the Mystery Writers of America for the Edgar Award for Best Play of 2002.

Levinson's most recent novel is The Plot To Save Socrates, a time travel story. Entertainment Weekly magazine called it "challenging fun".


  • The Silk Code (1999) Tor Books ISBN 0-312-86823-5
  • Borrowed Tides (2001) Tor Books ISBN 0-312-84869-2
  • The Consciousness Plague (2002) Tor Books ISBN 0-7653-0098-2
  • The Pixel Eye (2003) Tor Books ISBN 0-7653-0556-9
  • The Plot To Save Socrates (2006) Tor Books ISBN 0-7653-0570-4

Non-fiction books

  • In Pursuit of Truth: Essays on the Philosophy of Karl Popper on the Occasion of his 80th Birthday (editor and contributor) with Forewords by Isaac Asimov and Helmut Schmidt (1982) Humanities Press ISBN 0-391-02609-7
  • Mind at Large: Knowing in the Technological Age (1988) JAI Press ISBN 0-89232-816-9
  • Electronic Chronicles: Columns of the Changes in our Time (1992) Anamnesis Press ISBN 0-9631203-3-6
  • Learning Cyberspace: Essays on the Evolution of Media and the New Education (1995) Anamnesis Press ISBN 0-9631203-9-5
  • The Soft Edge: A Natural History and Future of the Information Revolution (1997) Routledge ISBN 0-415-15785-4
  • Bestseller: Wired, Analog, and Digital Writings (1999) Pulpless ISBN 1-58445-033-9 [includes fiction and non-fiction]
  • Digital McLuhan: A Guide to the Information Millennium (1999) Routledge ISBN 0-415-19251-X
  • Realspace: The Fate of Physical Presence in the Digital Age, On and Off Planet (2003) Routledge ISBN 0-415-27743-4
  • Cellphone: The Story of the World's Most Mobile Medium and How It Has Transformed Everything! (2004) Palgrave Macmillan ISBN 1-4039-6041-0
  • New New Media (2009) Penguin/Pearson ISBN 0-205-67330-9

Media commentator

Paul Levinson is a frequent guest on local, national, and international cable and network television and public, commercial, and satellite radio programs.

These have included:

Paul Levinson has been quoted thousands of times in newspapers, magazines, and news services around the world. Some of these are: USA Today, The New York Times, Washington Post, Christian Science Monitor, U.S. News and World Report, Los Angeles Times, New York Post, New York Daily News, Newsday, Boston Globe, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Houston Chronicle, Hollywood Reporter, Billboard, Wired, Smithsonian Magazine, London Daily Mail, the Toronto Globe and Mail, the Associated Press, Reuters, and UPI.

Songwriter, recording artist, and record producer


  1. The Soft Edge (1997), pp, xvi-xvii

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