Kate Wilhelm

Examining the fragility of society through science fiction.

June 8, 1928

Kate Wilhelm began publishing science fiction in 1956, with “The Pint-Size Genie” for Fantastic, and by the 1980s was a ranking figure in the field. Her work often examines the fragility of domestic life and society as a whole.

Wilhelm favors the novella format, and much of her early work appeared in collections. Her collection The Downstairs Room and Other Speculative Fiction (1968) includes the Nebula Award-winning “The Planners” (1968), while And the Angels Sing (1992) includes “Forever Yours, Anna” (1987), also a Nebula winner.

Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang (1976), which won Hugo and Jupiter Awards for Best Novel, is made up of three novella-length sequences, each superb. The successful Death Qualified: A Mystery of Chaos (1991), and its sequel The Best Defense (1994) combine detection and science fiction, weaving in chaos theory, new perceptions, and a hint of Superman.

Along with her husband, Damon Knight, Wilhelm helped found the Milford Writer’s Workshop in 1956 as well as its offshoot, the Clarion Science Fiction Writers' Workshop.

2003 Inductee

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