In Memoriam – Kathleen Ann Goonan

Kathleen Ann Goonan (b.1952) died on January 28 after a lengthy battle with myelofibrosis.  Goonan began publishing science fiction with the stories “The Snail Man” and “Wanting to Talk to You” in 1991. Her first novel, Queen Jazz City, kicked off her four volume Nanotech series, which included the Nebula nominated novels Crescent City Rhapsody and Light Music.  In 2008 her novel In War Time won the John W. Campbell Memorial Award. Her short fiction was collected in Angels and You Dogs in 2012.  Goonan also received a Nebula nomination for her short story “The String.”

After receiving a teaching certification from the Montessori Institute, Goonan opened a Montessori school in Knoxville, Tennessee before becoming a full-time author. After living in Hawaii, which inspired her novel The Bones of Time, Goonan became a professor of creative writing at the Georgia Institute of Technology.

SFWA President, Mary Robinette Kowal added, “Kathleen was funny and kind and a wickedly good writer. She is gone too soon.”

4 Responses

  1. Mindi Reid

    I am still numb with shock at Kathy’s passing, despite having been in the loop with her family and friends throughout her difficult health battle. Knowing her as a phone and pen friend for a quarter of a century, our friendship beginning with a shared love of the life of Hawai’i’s Crown Princess Ka’iulani, I feel that blank incredulity the ridiculously premature exit of a great spirit leaves in the minds of those to whom they were essential. Her great gifts as a thinker, educator, writer, poet, and artist existed in harmony with an equally great gift for friendship and valuing others. Now I will go and have another good cry.

  2. Finn Wolf

    I am very saddened to hear/read of the passing of Kathleen Ann Goonan. She was a very talented author and a kind person. I remember reading K. Eric Drexler’s “Engines of Creation”, “Unbounding The Future”, and “Nano-Systems” (all outstanding non-fiction molecular manufacturing technology books) and then quickly began reading the works of Kathleen Ann Goonan, Greg Bear, and others who wrote of “hard science fiction” (scifi based on known scientific and physical principles, rather than made-up stuff like macroscopic force fields and antigravity). She is truly missed. Thank you for this memorial page about her. Her family is in my thoughts and prayers as are all of her fans.

  3. Robert (u-bear) & Suzanne Winfield

    We are shocked and saddened to hear of Kathy’s passing. We always enjoyed reading her books and stories. Kathleen was one of the bright lights.

  4. Beau Bennett

    I was Kathy’s neighbor. I used to chat with her in the evenings as we both walked our dogs. Kathy was charming, engaging, inquisitive, and just plain cool to speak with. I enjoyed every conversation I ever had with Kathy and I miss her profoundly and deeply. She was a great listener too and I will try and adopt Kathy’s trait and be a better listener going forward. I will remember her always with great affection, respect, and endearment.