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.