Vonda N. McIntyre (1948-2019)

Author Vonda N. McIntyre, 70, died April 1, 2019 of cancer. She is best known for her groundbreaking feminist SF.

McIntyre began publishing SF with “Breaking Point” in 1970, the same year she attended the Clarion Workshop. Her novelette “Of Mist, and Grass, and Sand” (1973) won a Nebula Award, and formed part of her classic novel Dreamsnake (1978), winner of Hugo, Locus, and Nebula Awards. Other notable stories include Hugo and Nebula Award finalists “Wings” (1973) and “Aztecs” (1977); Nebula Award finalist “Transit” (1983); Hugo Award finalist “Fireflood” (1980); and Sturgeon, Tiptree, and Nebula Award finalist “Little Faces” (2005). Some of her short work was collected in Fireflood and Other Stories (1979).

First novel The Exile Waiting appeared in 1975. Other novels include Superluminal (1983), Barbary (1986), and Nebula Award winner The Moon and the Sun (1997). Her space opera Starfarers series is Starfarers (1989), Transition (1991), Metaphase (1992) and Nautilus (1994).

She co-edited feminist SF anthology Aurora: Beyond Equality (1976) with Susan J. Anderson, and edited Nebula Awards Showcase 2004 (2004). She also wrote numerous Star Trek tie-ins in the 1980s, and one Star Wars novel in the ’90s.

Vonda Neel McIntyre was born August 28, 1948 in Louisville KY. She lived on the east coast and in the Netherlands before her family settled in Seattle in the 1960s. She attended the University of Washington, graduating with a BS in biology in 1970, and studied genetics in graduate school there. She helped found the Clarion West Writers Workshop in Seattle in 1971, and remained involved with the workshop in various capacities throughout her life. More recently she founded ebook publishing collective Book View Café.

McIntyre was diagnosed with metastatic pancreatic cancer in February 2019 and entered hospice care soon after.

One thought on “Vonda N. McIntyre (1948-2019)

  • April 2, 2019 at 1:15 pm
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    My first introduction to Vonda was as a fan, through her Star Trek novel, The Entropy Effect. She gave Lt. Sulu his first name in that novel, Hikaru, as well as Lt. Uhura hers, Nyota, names later made canon in the Trek universe.

    The second way I met Vonda was when I became her editor at Bantam Spectra. I knew nothing about her then beyond that Star Trek work and so did my homework right away, reading–and being entirely capitvated by–Dreamsnake and Superluminal. I had the honor and delight to edit her Starfarers series. She was a thoughtful, insightful and gracious writer to work with. Her books were delicious to me as a reader and made me proud to be her editor.

    The third way–the most important way–I met Vonda was as a friend. Although she was private and reserved, she was also funny, generous, and thoughtful. We shared a love of beadwork. Sometimes we didn’t see eye to eye on things, and at those times, Vonda could be downright intimidating. But there was always friendship underneath. And that was at the heart of it: the friendship, the common love of SF, of books, of the community as whole. She was smart and kind, and I knew, because she was so reserved, that the fact she let me into her life at all was a gift, for which I will always be grateful. I’ll miss her so much.

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