Katherine MacLean (1925-2019)

SF writer Katherine MacLean, 94, died September 1, 2019.

MacLean was best known for her short fiction, beginning with “Defense Mechanism” (1949), and published more than 40 stories, most in the ’50s, but continuing intermittently throughout her life. “Second Game” (1958, with Charles V. De Vet) was a Hugo Award finalist, while novella “The Missing Man” (1971) won a Nebula Award, and the novel expansion Missing Man (1975) was a Nebula Award finalist. Other novels include Cosmic Checkmate (1962, with Charles V. De Vet; expanded 1981 as Second Game), The Man in the Bird Cage (1971) and Dark Wing (1979, with third husband Carl West).

Some early stories appeared under the name of her first husband, Charles Dye, and at least one as by A.G. Morris. She wrote several stories in the Hills of Space series, about refugees who settle on asteroids: “Incommunicado” (1950), “The Man Who Staked the Stars” (1952, as by Charles Dye), “Collision Orbit” (1954), “The Gambling Hell and the Sinful Girl” (1975). Her short fiction was collected in The Diploids (1962), The Trouble with You Earth People (1980), and Science Fiction Collection (2016).

Katherine Anne MacLean was born January 22, 1925 in Glen Ridge NJ. She graduated from Barnard College and did postgraduate work in psychology, and began writing SF while working as a lab technician for a food company. She taught writing and literature in college, and worked as an editor, reviewer, EKG technician, nurse’s aide, photographer, pollster, publicist, and store detective, among other occupations. She had one son with second husband David Mason (married 1956-62). MacLean was named a SFWA Author Emeritus in 2003, and received the Cordwainer Smith Rediscovery Award in 2011.

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