Vonda N. McIntyre

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Vonda N. McIntyre
BornVonda Neel McIntyre
(1948-08-28)August 28, 1948
Louisville, Kentucky, U.S.
DiedApril 1, 2019(2019-04-01) (aged 70)
Seattle, Washington, U.S.
OccupationAuthor, writer
GenreScience fiction

Vonda Neel McIntyre (August 28, 1948 – April 1, 2019) was an American science fiction author.


Vonda N. McIntyre was born in Louisville, Kentucky, the daughter of H. Neel and Vonda B. Keith McIntyre.[1] She spent her early childhood on the east coast of the United States and in The Hague, Netherlands, before her family settled in Seattle in the early 1960s.

She earned a BS with honors in biology from the University of Washington in 1970.[2] That same year, she attended the Clarion Writers Workshop. McIntyre went on to do graduate work at University of Washington in genetics.[2]

She enjoyed crafting marine creatures to contribute to the Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reef project of the Institute For Figuring.[3]

McIntyre died on April 1, 2019, at her home in Seattle, Washington, of metastatic pancreatic cancer.[4][5]


In 1971, McIntyre founded the Clarion West Writers Workshop in Seattle, Washington, with the support of Clarion founder Robin Scott Wilson. She contributed to the workshop until 1973.[6]

McIntyre won her first Nebula Award in 1973, for the novelette '"Of Mist, and Grass, and Sand". This later became part of the novel Dreamsnake (1978), which was rejected by the first editor who saw it, but went on to win both the Hugo and Nebula Awards.[7] McIntyre was the third woman to receive the Hugo Award.[8]

McIntyre's debut novel, The Exile Waiting, was published in 1975. In 1976, McIntyre co-edited Aurora: Beyond Equality, a feminist/humanist science fiction anthology, with Susan Janice Anderson.[9]

She also wrote a number of Star Trek and Star Wars novels, including Enterprise: The First Adventure and The Entropy Effect. She wrote the novelizations of the films Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, and Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home. McIntyre invented the first name of the Star Trek character Hikaru Sulu, which became canon after Peter David, author of the comic book adaptation, visited the set of Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country and convinced director Nicholas Meyer to insert the name into the film's script.[10]

While taking part in a science fiction convention panel on sci-fi in TV, McIntyre became exasperated at a fellow panelist's extreme negativity toward existing science fiction TV shows. She asked the panel and audience if they had managed to see Starfarers, which she claimed was an amazing SF miniseries that had almost no viewers due to bad scheduling on the part of the network. No such show existed, but after reflecting on the plot she described, McIntyre felt it would make a good novel, and went on to write Starfarers as well as its three sequels, later referring to it as "my Best SF TV Series Never Made".[11] An enterprising fan went so far as to make a TV commercial advertising the fake series.[12]

McIntyre's novel The Moon and the Sun, set in the court of Louis XIV of France, was rejected initially.[7][13] In 1997, Pocket Books picked up the novel, and in 2013 Pandemonium Pictures began to produce The King's Daughter, featuring Pierce Brosnan as the Sun King.[14]

She was able to complete a final novel, Curve of the World, shortly before her death in 2019.[15]

Recurring motifs[edit]

Several elements reappear throughout McIntyre's works.

Divers are humans who have been genetically modified to live underwater, although they retain their ability to breathe air as well. Their traits include gills, insulating fur, webbing on the fingers and toes to aid swimming, the ability to produce and hear sounds in the range used by cetaceans for communication, and retractable penises for males. Divers appear in Superluminal, the Starfarers series, and are referenced in the Star Trek IV novelization.

Biocontrol is a learned ability to control aspects of one's own physiology that are normally autonomic. Its most important use is for birth control; practitioners apparently change the body temperature around their testes or ovaries so as to render their genetic material unviable. A character's experiences learning biocontrol are a plot thread in Dreamsnake; it is also mentioned in the Aztecs, Starfarers series, and the Star Trek III novelization.

In the Star Trek II novelization, one of the characters discusses a computer game he has written, named "Boojum Hunt." In Barbary, a character refers to a computer game named "Snarks and Boojums." Both are references to Lewis Carroll's poem The Hunting of the Snark.

Awards and tributes[edit]

  • Of Mist, Grass, and Sand: 1974 Nebula Award, nominated for the 1974 Hugo Award and the 1974 Locus Poll Award
  • Dreamsnake: 1979 Hugo Award, 1979 Nebula Award, both for Best Novel
  • Robert A. Heinlein in part dedicated his 1982 novel Friday "to ...Vonda, ...".[16]
  • The Moon and the Sun: 1998 Nebula Award, nominated for the 1998 Locus Poll Award and the 1997 James Tiptree, Jr. Award
  • Little Faces: Nominated for the 2005 James Tiptree, Jr. Award, 2006 Sturgeon Award, and the 2007 Nebula Award
  • She was a Guest of Honor at Sasquan, the 73rd World Science Fiction Convention.


Non-series novels[edit]


  • Starfarers (1989)
  • Transition (1991)
  • Metaphase (1992)
  • Nautilus (1994)

Star Trek – The Original Series[edit]

Star Trek – movies[edit]

Star Wars[edit]

Collection of short stories[edit]


Short stories[edit]

  • "Breaking Point"
Venture Science Fiction Magazine (1970)
  • "Cages"
Quark/4 (1971)
  • "Only at Night"
Clarion (1971)
Fireflood and Other Stories" (1979)
  • "The Galactic Clock"
Generation (1972)
  • "The Genius Freaks"
Orbit 12 (1973)
Fireflood and Other Stories (1979)
  • "Spectra"
1970 Clarion Workshop Story (2nd Place, New American Library Prize) (but not published in that year's Clarion anthology)
Orbit 11 (1973)
Fireflood and Other Stories (1979)
  • "Wings"
The Alien Condition (1973)
Fireflood and Other Stories (1979)
Analog Science Fiction/Science Fact (October 1973)
Best SF of the Year 3 (1974)
Nebula Award Stories 9 (1974)
Women of Wonder (1975)
Looking Ahead (1975)
The Infinite Web (1977)
The Best of Analog (1978)
Dreamsnake (1978)
Fireflood and Other Stories (1979)
Arbor House Treasury of Modern SF (1980)
Constellations (1980)
The Analog Anthology #1 (1980)
The Road to Science Fiction #4 (1982)
The Science Fiction Hall of Fame, Volume IV (1986)
6 Decades: The Best of Analog (1986)
Great Science Fiction of the 20th Century (1987)
The Best of the Nebulas (1989)
  • "Recourse, Inc."
Alternities (1974)
Fireflood and Other Stories (1979)
  • "The Mountains of Sunset, the Mountains of Dawn"
The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction (February 1974)
Best Science Fiction Stories of the Year (1975)
Fireflood and Other Stories (1979)
Norton Book of SF (1993)
  • "Screwtop" (Novella)
The Crystal Ship (1976)
The New Women of Wonder (1978)
Fireflood and Other Stories (1979)
Screwtop / The Girl Who Was Plugged In (1989)
  • "Thanatos"
Future Power (1976)
  • "The End's Beginning"
Analog Science Fiction/Science Fact (September 1976)
Fireflood and Other Stories (1979)
  • "Aztecs"
2076: The American Tricentennial (1977)
Best SF of the Year 7 (1978)
Fireflood and Other Stories (1979)
Nebula Winners 13 (1980)
  • "The Serpent's Death"
Analog Science Fiction/Science Fact (February 1978)
Dreamsnake (1978)
  • "The Broken Dome"
Analog Science Fiction/Science Fact (March 1978)
Dreamsnake (1978)
  • "Fireflood"
The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction (November 1979)
Fireflood and Other Stories (1979)
Best SF of the Year 9 (1980)
  • "Shadows, Moving"
Interfaces (1980)
  • "Elfleda"
New Dimensions 12 (1981)
Unicorns! (1982)
  • "Looking for Satan"
Shadows of Sanctuary (1981)
Lythande (1986)
  • "The Straining Your Eyes Through the Viewscreen Blues"
Nebula Winners 15 (1981)
  • "Transit"
Isaac Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine (October 1983)
  • "Malheur Maar"
Full Spectrum 2 (1989)
  • "Steelcollar Worker"
Analog Science Fiction and Fact (November 1992)
  • "The Adventure of the Field Theorems"
Sherlock Holmes in Orbit (1995)
  • "The Sea Monster's Song"
Odyssey, Issue 1 (November/December 1997)
  • "A Modest Proposal"
Nature (March 2005)
  • "Little Faces"
The Year's Best Science Fiction Twenty-Third Annual Collection (2006)
  • "Misprint"
Nature (July 2008)
  • "LADeDeDa"
Nature (March 2009)


  1. ^ Sandomir, Richard (April 5, 2019). "Vonda N. McIntyre, 70, Champion of Women in Science Fiction, Dies". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved April 7, 2019.
  2. ^ a b Benbow-Pfalzgraf, editor, Taryn (2000). American women writers : a critical reference guide : from colonial times to the present (2nd ed.). Detroit: St. James Press. p. 118. ISBN 978-1-55862-429-0.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  3. ^ "Contributors". Institute For Figuring. Retrieved November 15, 2013.
  4. ^ Glyer, Mike (April 1, 2019). "Science Fiction Author Vonda N. McIntyre, Official Obituary". File 770.
  5. ^ "Vonda N. McIntyre (1948–2019)". Locus. April 2, 2019.
  6. ^ "About us". ClarionWest.org. Retrieved April 2, 2019.
  7. ^ a b McIntyre, Vonda N. [@vondanmcintyre] (July 8, 2012). "Both Dreamsnake and The Moon and the Sun were rejected by the first editors who saw them. #feministSF" (Tweet). Retrieved November 15, 2013 – via Twitter.
  8. ^ "The Official Site of the Hugo Awards: Hugo Award History". TheHugoAwards.org. Retrieved November 15, 2013.
  9. ^ "Vonda N. McIntyre – Summary Bibliography". ISFDb.org. Retrieved October 31, 2013.
  10. ^ The Comics Buyer's Guide #1614. March 2006. p. 10.
  11. ^ McIntyre, Vonda (October 18, 2009). "Casting Starfarers". bookviewcafe.com. Retrieved April 16, 2019.
  12. ^ Starfarers teaser trailer on YouTube
  13. ^ "Bibliography: The Moon and the Sun". Retrieved October 31, 2013.
  14. ^ Groves, Don. "Australia attracts The Moon & the Sun". Retrieved October 31, 2013.
  15. ^ "Vonda N. McIntyre, 1948–2019". Tor.com. Macmillan. Archived from the original on April 3, 2019. Retrieved April 3, 2019.
  16. ^ Heinlein, Robert A (1984). Friday. New England Library. ISBN 0-450-05549-3.

External links[edit]