Girl Genius
Girl Genius

Bill Higgins in 2008. (Photo by Reidar Hahn, Fermilab.)

Bill Higgins is the prototype for the original Bill Heterodyne. Not the one we know in our story, but the one who with Barry Heterodyne (modeled after his best friend Barry Gehm) trashed Munden's Bar. A friend and biographer of Phil Foglio, Bill is the relater of the snake joke[1] which explains so much.

Bill works as a physicist at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory and also writes and speaks about science, technology, and history. He is a contributor to He enjoys playing the baritone ukulele and listening to the music of the Zeusaphone

Windycon 36[]

Held near Chicago in 2009, Windycon 36 was a science fiction convention whose theme that year was steampunk, and which invited Phil and Kaja Foglio as Artist Guests of Honor. For the Windycon program book, Bill Higgins wrote a biographical sketch of Phil, "Phil Foglio, Artist of Genius."

Bill of the Heterodyne Boys, in his 1987 appearance in GRIMJACK #40.

At Windycon 36, Higgins also delivered a lecture on "Seeds of Girl Genius: Glimpses from the Romantic Age of Science," examining "the fabulous automata of the 18th Century, the science that gave rise to Frankenstein, and the hidden origins of Agatha's clan in a quaint bookstore, 14 years before Girl Genius was first published."

William Skeffington Higgins III[]

Sometimes it pleases Phil Foglio to refer to "William Skeffington Higgins III" because he thinks it sounds better.


  1. Der Snake in question. Der Poker Hand in question.