Peggy V. Helmerich Distinguished Author Award (1994), Medal for Distinguished Contributions to American Letters (2000) and National Medal of Arts (2004).
When I was young, I chanced upon the book Dinosaur Tales by Ray Bradbury. Being obsessed with the movie Jurassic Park, I quickly bought and devoured the tome. The prose moved me in ways I had never experienced. Here was an author taking the world of dinosaurs and transfusing it with poetry and grace. The worlds of high literature and genre fiction intertwined in a sublime dance. I realized that I had found a muse, an oasis where my interest in both popular culture and academic achievement could exist in a true equilibrium. Attempting to maintain this state of intellectual harmony became my creed.