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Joan D. Vinge

Born 1948
Baltimore, Maryland, United States
Occupation Novelist
Genres Science fiction
Notable work(s) The Snow Queen, The Cat Novels
Official website

Joan D. Vinge (pronounced /ˈvɪndʒi/) (born 2 April 1948 in Baltimore, Maryland as Joan Carol Dennison) is an American science fiction author. She is known for such works as her Hugo Award-winning novel The Snow Queen and its sequels, her series about the telepath named Cat, and her Heaven's Chronicles books.



Vinge studied art in college, but eventually changed to a major in anthropology, and received a B.A. degree from San Diego State University in 1971.

Vinge has been married twice: first to fellow SF author Vernor Vinge, and then to SF editor James Frenkel. Vinge and Frenkel have two children, and live in Madison, Wisconsin. She has taught at the Clarion Workshop several times, both East and West. Besides writing, Vinge also makes and sells dolls.

Robert A. Heinlein in part dedicated his 1982 novel Friday to Joan.[2]

On March 2, 2002, Vinge was severely injured in a car accident that left her with "minor but debilitating" brain damage that, along with her fibromyalgia, left her unable to write. She recovered to the point of being able to resume writing around the beginning of 2007. [1]


Vinge's first published story, "Tin Soldier", a novelette, appeared in Orbit 14 in 1974. Stories have also appeared in Analog, Millennial Women, Asimov's Science Fiction, Omni Magazine, and several "Best of the Year" anthologies.

Several of her stories have won major awards: Her novel The Snow Queen won the 1981 Hugo Award for Best science fiction Novel. "Eyes of Amber" won the 1977 Hugo Award for Best Novelette. She has also been nominated for several other Hugo and Nebula Awards, as well as for the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer. Her novel Psion was named a Best Book for Young Adults by the American Library Association.

In March 2007, a new edition of her novel Psion was released, which includes a sequel novella, "Psiren", together in one volume.

At the time of her accident in 2002, Vinge had been working on a new, independent novel called Ladysmith, set in Bronze Age Europe; she resumed writing Ladysmith once she was able to begin writing again in 2007.[3]



Heaven Chronicles

  • The Outcasts of Heaven Belt (1978)
  • Legacy (1980)

The Snow Queen Cycle

  • The Snow Queen (1980)
  • World's End (1984)
  • The Summer Queen (1991)
  • Tangled Up In Blue (2000)


  • Psion (1982)
  • Catspaw (1988)
  • Dreamfall (1996)


  • Fireship / Mother and Child (1978) - single-volume collection of two novellas.
  • Eyes of Amber (1979) - 6 short stories
  • Phoenix in the Ashes (1985) - 6 short stories
  • Alien Blood (1988) - single-volume collection of Psion and its sequel Catspaw
  • The Heaven Chronicles (1991) - single-volume collection of The Outcasts of Heaven's Belt and its sequel Legacy

Media novelizations

  • Star Wars: Return of the Jedi – The Storybook Based on the Movie (1983)
  • The Dune Storybook (1984)
  • Return to Oz (1985)
  • Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (1985)
  • Santa Claus: The Movie (1985)
  • Ladyhawke (1987)
  • Lost in Space (1998)


  1. ^ Main influences discussed extensively in Alastair Reynolds, Essay: "Future Histories", Locus, Vol. 57, No. 5, Issue 550, November 2006, p. 39; also included as afterword to Galactic North
  2. ^ Heinlein, Robert A (1984). Friday. New England Library. ISBN 0-450-05549-3.  
  3. ^ "An open letter to my readers". Joan Vinge. 2007-03-05. Retrieved 12 November 2008.  

External links


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