Joan D. Vinge (born Joan Carol Dennison, Baltimore, MD, USA, April 2, 1948) is an American science fiction author. She is known for such works as her 1981 Hugo Award-winning novel The Snow Queen and its sequels, her series about a telepath named Cat, her 1977 Hugo Award winning novelette Eyes of Amber, her Heaven’s Chronicles books, and her movie novelizations, such as that of the 1985 movie Ladyhawke. She also is the author of The Random House Book of Greek Myths (1999). Besides writing, Vinge also makes and sells dolls.
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. She has taught at the Clarion Workshop several times, both East and West. Her first published story, Tin Soldier, a novella, appeared in Orbit 14 in 1974. In addition to her two Hugo Awards for The Snow Queen and Eyes of Amber, she has 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.
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. At the time of her accident, Vinge had been working on a new, independent novel called Ladysmith, set in Bronze Age Europe; she resumed writing that novel once she was able to begin writing again in 2007. Her first new book after the accident was the 2011 novelization of the movie Cowboys & Aliens.
Major Awards and Honors
World Science Fiction Convention
- 1876: Hugo Award, Best Novelette – “Eyes of Amber”
- 1981: Hugo Award, Best Novel – “The Snow Queen”
American Library Association
- 1982: Best Book for Young Adults – “Psion”
The 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)
- Alien Blood (1988)
– Single-volume collection of Psion and Catspaw
Short Fiction Collections
- 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.
Media Novelizations and Tie-ins
- Star Wars: Return of the Jedi – The Storybook Based on the Movie (1983)
- Tarzan, King of the Apes (1983)
- The Dune Storybook (1984)
- Return to Oz (1985)
- Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (1985)
- Santa Claus: The Movie (1985)
- Santa Claus: The Movie Storybook (1985)
- Ladyhawke (1987)
- Willow (1988)
- Lost in Space (1998)
- Cowboys & Aliens (2011)
- 47 Ronin (2013)
- Phoenix (1978)
- Sun and Chimes Dropping (1978)
- Alien Lover (1980)
- There Are Songs (1980)
A Selection of Quotes
The Snow Queen
“Indifference, Gundhalinu, is the strongest force in the universe. It makes everything it touches meaningless. Love and hate don’t stand a chance against it. It lets neglect and decay and monstrous injustice go unchecked. It doesn’t act, it allows. And that’s what gives it so much power.”
“Real power is control. Knowing that you can do anything … and not doing it only because you can.”
“Laws were made by men, and men made mistakes.”
“Jule was a poet – poetry was like psi, she said, like thought, a thing that compressed images to essence.”
Find more quotes by Joan D. Vinge on Goodreads.