Matt Ruff: Lovecraft Country

Matthew Theron Ruff was born September 8, 1965 in New York. He attended Cornell University, where he studied English. His senior thesis became first novel Fool on the Hill (1988), a fantasy set at the college, and a Mythopoeic and Crawford Award nominee. He has been a full-time writer ever since.

Second book Sewer, Gas & Electric: The Public Works Trilogy (1997) was a satirical SF novel, and established Ruff’s ...Read More

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Karin Tidbeck: Language Matters

Karin Margareta Tidbeck was born April 6, 1977, in Stockholm, Sweden, and grew up in the suburbs. She briefly attended university before dropping out. She worked at various jobs, including in a bookshop, and just before she turned 30, enrolled in a three-year arts program. She attended the Clarion Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers Workshop in 2010.

Her debut collection Vem är Arvid Pekon? (2010) appeared in Sweden. First English-language ...Read More

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John Scalzi: Paying It Forward

John Michael Scalzi II was born May 10, 1969, and grew up in Southern California, going to school in Claremont. He graduated from the Webb School in 1987 and attended the University of Chicago, where he became editor-in-chief of the Chicago Maroon and graduated with a philosophy degree in 1991. He moved back to California, where he became the film critic and later a columnist for the Fresno Bee. In ...Read More

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Justina Ireland: Dread Nation

Justina Ireland was born in French Camp CA, and grew up in San Bernadino and outside Sacramento. After graduating high school, she joined the Army, got married, and later settled in Pennsylvania with her husband. In addition to writing, she works as a supervisor in logistics for the Department of the Navy.

First novel Vengeance Bound, a YA fantasy about a girl with a psychic link to the Furies, ...Read More

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Cory Doctorow: Bugging In

Cory Efram Doctorow was born July 17, 1971 in Toronto, Canada. He attended alternative schools and worked at SF specialty store Bakka Books, but dropped out of high school at 17 and briefly moved to Mexico to write. He dropped out of four universities in two years, and worked as a CD-ROM programmer, website designer, volunteer in Central America, CIO for a film company and an ad agency, founder of ...Read More

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Sam J. Miller: A Better Power

Sam Joshua Miller was born February 7, 1979 in Hudson NY. He attended Rutgers University, where he studied cinema studies and Russian language and literature (and met his future husband).

Miller began publishing stories in ’zines and online in the early 2000s, and attended the Clarion Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers’ Workshop in 2012. In recent years he’s published a slew of award-quality short fiction, including Shirley Jackson Award winner ...Read More

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Cat Sparks: Strange Directions

Catriona Sparks was born September 11, 1965 in Sydney Australia. She studied film making and photography at the City Art Institute, and worked as a media monitor, political photographer and graphic designer for many years, as well as traveling through Europe, the Middle East, Indonesia, the South Pacific, China, and the Americas.

Sparks began publishing short fiction in 2001, and has since published around 70 stories, including Ditmar Award winners ...Read More

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Ellen Klages: Magic in the Mix

Ellen Janeway Klages was born July 9, 1954 in Columbus OH. She attended the University of California at Berkeley in 1972, but dropped out in her sophomore year, spent time as a camp counselor and working at a book factory, then returned to college, graduating from the University of Michigan in 1976 with a philosophy degree. She worked at a pinball arcade and as a photographer before moving onto various ...Read More

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Paul Tremblay: Aftermath

Paul Gaetan Tremblay was born June 30, 1971 in Aurora CO, and grew up in Beverley MA. He attended Providence College in Rhode Island, graduating in 1993, and in 1995 obtained a Master’s in Mathematics from the University of Vermont (1995). He became a math teacher and junior varsity basketball coach for a private high school after graduation. He began publishing with ‘‘King Bee’’ (2001), and most of his early ...Read More

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Kinuko Y. Craft: Light & Shadow

Kinuko Yamabe Craft was born January 3, 1940 in Kanazawa, Japan, and began painting and drawing at an early age. She received her BFA from the Kanazawa Municipal College of Fine and Industrial Art in 1962, and decided to continue her studies in the US. She studied for a year and a half at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (1964-65), and then took the first of two ...Read More

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Jane Yolen: Accidental Novelist

Jane Hyatt Yolen was born February 11, 1939 in New York City. She received a BA from Smith College in 1960 and a master’s in education from the University of Massachusetts in 1978. She married David W. Stemple in 1962 (he died in 2006), and has a daughter, two sons, and six grandchildren. She has collaborated on works with all three of her children, fantasy most extensively with Adam Stemple. ...Read More

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John Joseph Adams: The Stars His Destination

John Joseph Adams was born July 31, 1976 and grew up in Perth Amboy NJ until moving to Florida at age nine. He dropped out of high school at 16, but got his GED and later attended Indian River Community College in Fort Pierce and then the University of Central Florida in Orlando. After graduation, he returned to New Jersey and got his first job in publishing. He began working ...Read More

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Alastair Reynolds: Expanding Universe

Alastair Preston Reynolds was born March 13, 1966 in Barry, South Wales, and spent his childhood in Cornwall and Wales. He earned degrees in astronomy from the University of Newcastle in England (1988) and a PhD from the University of St. Andrew’s in Scotland (1991). In 1991 he moved to The Netherlands to work for the European Space Agency, where he remained (apart from a break in 1994-96 to do ...Read More

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Blake Charlton: Forward & Backward

Blake Randolph Charlton was born December 30, 1979 ‘‘on Stanford campus, quite literally,’’ where his parents were faculty in psychiatry. He was diagnosed with dyslexia in kindergarten and spent much of elementary school in special ed classes. He excelled at sports, but at age 12 still couldn’t read a book on his own, until a love for SF and fantasy led him to books by Robert Jordan, Ursula K. Le ...Read More

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Mary Robinette Kowal: The Familiar & the Strange

Mary Robinette Kowal was born Mary Robinette Harrison on February 8, 1969 in Raleigh NC. She attended Eastern Carolina University, majoring in Art Education, with a minor in Theater and Speech. In 1991 she left for an internship at the Center for Puppetry Arts in Atlanta GA and never went back. She has been a professional puppeteer ever since. Kowal spent a year and a half working in Iceland on ...Read More

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Thomas Olde Heuvelt: Color of Language

Thomas Olde Heuvelt was born April 16, 1983 and grew up in Nijmegen in the Netherlands, about an hour outside Amsterdam. He attended university in Nijmegen and spent a year at the University of Ottawa in Canada. He studied American literature, English language, and American Studies.

His first novel De Onvoorziene, written as a teenager, was published by a Dutch small press in 2002, and followed by PhantasAmnesia (2004). ...Read More

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Eric Flint: Remaking History

Eric Flint was born February 6, 1947 in Burbank CA. He spent five years in France, returning to the US at age ten and spending his teenage years near Fresno CA. He attended UCLA, graduating with a BA in 1968. He spent three years there pursuing a PhD in history, with a focus on southern Africa, before leaving academia to work as a political activist and labor organizer in the ...Read More

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Pat Cadigan: The Future We Promised You

Patricia Oren Kearney was born September 10, 1953 in Schenectady NY and grew up in Fitchburg MA. She attended the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where she studied theater, and the University of Kansas, where she studied SF writing under James Gunn, graduating in 1975. She met first husband Rufus Cadigan at UMass-Amherst; they transferred to the University of Kansas in Lawrence where she completed her undergraduate degree while he did ...Read More

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Cat Rambo: Beasts

Cat Rambo was born Catherine Ann Francis on November 14, 1963 in College Station TX, and grew up in South Bend IN. She attended Indiana University for a year, then went to work in a bookshop, returning to college at the University of Notre Dame and graduating with an English degree and a certificate in Gender Studies. She earned a Master’s from the Writing Seminars Johns Hopkins University, and began ...Read More

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Connie Willis: Open Channel

Constance Elaine Trimmer Willis was born December 31, 1945 in Denver CO and has lived in Colorado most of her life. She earned a BA in English and elementary education from the University of Northern Colorado, Greeley, in 1967, and taught elementary and junior high school from 1967-81. She wrote some during this period, making her first SF sale to Worlds of Fantasy with ‘‘The Secret of Santa Titicaca’’ (1971), ...Read More

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Nisi Shawl: A Real Magician

Denise Angela Shawl was born November 2, 1955 in Kalamazoo MI, where she grew up. (Her cousin Delores came up with the nickname ‘‘Nisi.’’) At 17 she moved to Ann Arbor, where she attended the University of Michigan. After leaving the university she worked various jobs, including as a bookseller, au pair, cook, janitor, and artist’s model (she was the model for one of Rick Lieder’s illustrations for the 1990 ...Read More

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Charles Stross: Future Vision

Charles David George Stross was born October 18, 1964 in Leeds, England. Stross began writing SF at age 12, and his earliest publications were articles for roleplaying game magazines in the ’70s and ’80s. He earned a bachelor’s in pharmacy in 1986, qualified as a pharmacist in 1987, then enrolled at Bradford University (1989-90) for a post-graduate conversion degree in computer science. He worked as a technical writer and programmer ...Read More

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Eleanor Arnason: Unfolding

Eleanor Atwood Arnason was born December 28, 1942 in New York City, and during her childhood spent time in New York, Washington, Chicago, London, Paris, Afghanistan, and Minneapolis. She studied art history and English literature at Swarthmore (graduating in 1964) and did graduate work at the University of Minnesota until 1967, eventually settling in Detroit for several years before returning to Minneapolis/Saint Paul, where she has lived since. She has ...Read More

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Nancy Kress: Tomorrow’s Kin

Nancy Anne Kress (née Koningisor) was born January 20, 1948 in Buffalo NY. She received a BS degree (summa cum laude) from the State University of New York – Plattsburgh (1969), taught fourth grade from 1969-73, then returned to college for a Master’s in Education (1978) and an MA in English (1979) from SUNY – Brockport, where she went on to teach English from 1981-83. From 1984-89 she was a ...Read More

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David D. Levine: Everybody Loves Mars

David Daniel Levine was born February 21, 1961 in Minneapolis MN. He grew up in Milwaukee WI, attended college in St. Louis MO, and then relocated to Portland OR, where he’s lived ever since.

Levine’s first publication of genre interest was story ‘‘1992: The Worldcon that Wasn’t’’ (1996), but he began publishing regularly with ‘‘Wind from a Dying Star’’ (2001), and has produced more than 50 stories so far, including ...Read More

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Joe Hill: All in the Cult

Joseph Hillstrom King was born June 4, 1972 in Bangor ME, son of writers Stephen & Tabitha King. He attended Vassar College, earning a degree in English in 1995. He married Leanora Legrand in 1998 (divorced 2010), and they have three children.

He chose to write under the pen name Joe Hill to obscure the connection to his famous parents and make it on his own merits. He began writing ...Read More

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Peter Straub: Interior Darkness

Peter Francis Straub was born March 2, 1943 in Milwaukee WI. He earned a BA in English from the University of Wisconsin in 1965, an MA from Columbia University in 1966, then returned to Wisconsin to teach English at his former prep school for three years. In 1969 he moved to Ireland and began work on a PhD at University College in Dublin, but did not finish. He published two ...Read More

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Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling: Depth and Heart (part 2)

[ Part 1 ]

Terri Windling was born December 3, 1958 in New Jersey, and grew up there and in Pennsylvania. She studied literature and mythology in the US, England, and Ireland, and in 1979 moved to New York, where she began working in publishing as an editor (and occasionally as an artist). She was Jim Baen’s editorial assistant at Ace, soon became associate editor, and was then named fantasy ...Read More

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Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling: Depth and Heart (part 1)

Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling are two of the most renowned and celebrated short fiction editors in our field, and have a working relationship dating back almost 30 years. The two have collaborated on dozens of projects, including 16 volumes of the Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror anthology series, which they co-edited from 1988-2003, with Windling choosing the fantasy half and Datlow the horror. (Datlow continued editing the horror side ...Read More

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Molly Tanzer: Ghosts ‘n’ Shit

Elizabeth Molly Tanzer was born October 29, 1981 in Marietta GA. When she was 12, she moved to West Palm Beach FL and lived there until her mid-twenties. She attended Rollins College in Winter Park FL and graduated with a bachelors in art history. She spent a year as a social worker, then went to Florida State University for a Master’s in humanities, with a focus on 18th-century literature. Afterward, ...Read More

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