In Memoriam – Vonda N. McIntyre

Nebula Award winning author Vonda N. McIntyre (b.1948) died on April 1.  McIntyre began publishing in 1970 with the short story “Breaking Point,” which appeared in the February issue of Venture.  In 1974, McIntyre short story “Wings” appeared on both the Nebula and the Hugo ballot.  That same year, her novelette “Of Mist, and Grass, and Sand” also appeared on both ballots, wining McIntyre her first Nebula Award.

Her first novel, The Exile Waiting appeared in 1975, which was also a Nebula nominee.  She expanded “Of Mist, and Grass, and Sand” into the novel Dreamsnake which not only earned her a second Nebula Award, but also a Hugo Award. She would eventually win a third Nebula Award for her novel The Moon and the Sun.

She has written novels in both the Star Trek and the Star Wars universe. Her novel The Entropy Effect provided a full name for Hikaru Sulu, which eventually was adopted as canon when it was used in the script for Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country.

McIntyre founded the Clarion West Writers Workshop in 1971 and helped run the workshop for three years.

McIntyre’s Starfarers series began when she was on a convention panel and described the plot of a fictitious science fiction mini-series in response to a co-panelist’s dismissive attitude towards television. She decided the story would make a good novel and eventually published four books in the series.

In the early days of the Internet, McIntyre created “Basement Full of Books” a way to sell copies of her books directly to fans. She shared the concept out to other authors as well.

In 2010, she was recognized by SFWA with the Service to SFWA Award for maintaining the websites for various SFWA members on the domain, which also hosted Basement Full of Books.  She also received the Clareson Award from the Science Fiction Research Association in 2015 for promotion of SF teaching and study, editing, reviewing, editorial writing, publishing, organizing meetings, mentoring, and leadership in SF/fantasy organizations.

SFWA President Cat Rambo noted, “Vonda was one of our best and brightest, and she had three times the heart of most of the people I know. I’m so glad she managed to finish the book she was working on, but her loss hits so many of us who loved her and her words with a hardness that is tough to bear. Be kind to each other today in her honor; I can’t think of any way that would be better to celebrate the goodness and grandeur that she was.”