Emma Bull

Emma Bull (born December 13, 1954) is an American science fiction and fantasy author. Her novels include the Hugo- and Nebula-nominated Bone Dance and the urban fantasy War for the Oaks. She is also known for a series of anthologies set in Liavek, a shared universe that she created with her husband Will Shetterly. As a singer, songwriter, and guitarist, she has been a member of the Minneapolis-based folk/rock bands Cats Laughing and The Flash Girls.

Emma Bull
In Bisbee, Arizona (2003)
In Bisbee, Arizona (2003)
BornDecember 13, 1954 (age 64)
United States
CitizenshipUnited States
Alma materBeloit College
SubjectScience fiction
Notable worksWar for the Oaks
Bone Dance
SpouseWill Shetterly

Early years

Emma Bull was born in Torrance, California. She attended Beloit College in Wisconsin, and graduated in 1976 in English Literature and Composition.[1] After graduating, she worked for a while as a journalist and graphic designer.


Emma Bull's best-known novel is War for the Oaks, one of the pioneering works of urban fantasy.

Emma Bull, Wiscon 2006
Emma Bull at Wiscon, 2006

Her 1991 post-apocalyptic science fiction novel Bone Dance was nominated for the Hugo, Nebula, and World Fantasy Awards. She was a member of the writing group The Scribblies, which included her husband, Will Shetterly, as well as Pamela Dean, Kara Dalkey, Nate Bucklin, Patricia Wrede and Steven Brust.

With Steven Brust, Bull wrote Freedom and Necessity (1997), an epistolary novel set during the 19th century Chartist movement of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.[2]

Shared universes

Will Shetterly Emma Bull Ddb 1059-35
Will Shetterly and Emma Bull (1994)

Bull and Shetterly created the shared universe of Liavek, for which they have both written stories. There are five Liavek collections extant.

Bull has also participated in Terri Windling's Borderland shared universe, which is the setting of her 1994 novel Finder.


Emma Bull and Lojo Russo in Cats Laughing reunion
Emma Bull and Lojo Russo at Cats Laughing reunion concert, April 2015

In the late 1980s and early 1990s, Bull sang in the Minneapolis-based rock-folk band Cats Laughing. She also reunited with the band for two concerts in 2015, including a reunion show at the Minicon 50 science fiction convention.[3][4] Bull appears on Cats Laughing's two studio albums, and on the forthcoming live CD and reunion concert DVD Cats Laughing: A Long Time Gone (2016).[4][5]

From the early 1990s to 2001, Bull also both sang and played guitar in the "goth-folk" duo The Flash Girls,[6] with whom she recorded three albums.


Bull wrote a screenplay for War for the Oaks, which was made into an 11-minute mini-film designed to look like a film trailer. She made a cameo appearance as the Queen of the Seelie Court, and Will Shetterly directed.

She is Executive Producer and one of the writers for Shadow Unit,[7] along with Shetterly, Elizabeth Bear, Sarah Monette, and Amanda Downum.

Personal life

Bull and Shetterly live in Minneapolis, Minnesota.



Short works

  • "Rending Dark" (1984) in Sword and Sorceress, edited by Marion Zimmer Bradley
  • "Badu's Luck" (1985) in Liavek
  • "The Well-Made Plan" (1986) in Liavek: The Players of Luck
  • "Danceland Blood" (1986, with Will Shetterly) as "Danceland" in Bordertown, edited by Terri Windling
  • "Wonders of the Invisible World" (1988 essay) in October–November issue of New North Artscape
  • "A Bird That Whistles" (1989) in Hidden Turnings, edited by Diana Wynne Jones
  • "Why I Write Fantasy" (1990 essay) in Pulphouse 6
  • "Silver or Gold" (1992) in After the King: Stories in Honor of J.R.R. Tolkien, edited by Martin H. Greenberg
  • "The Stepsister's Story" (1995) in The Armless Maiden, edited by Terri Windling
  • "Joshua Tree" (2002) in The Green Man: Tales from the Mythic Forest, edited by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling
  • "The Black Fox" (2003) in Firebirds, edited by Sharyn November
  • "De La Tierra" (2004) in The Faery Reel, edited by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling
  • "What Used to Be Good Still Is" (2006) in Firebirds Rising, edited by Sharyn November


Double Feature (1994, collected works with Will Shetterly) from NESFA Press

  • "Visionary" (poem)
  • "Why I Write Fantasy" (essay)
  • "Rending Dark"
  • "Badu's Luck"
  • "The Well-Made Plan"
  • "A Bird That Whistles"
  • "Danceland Blood" (with Will Shetterly)
  • "Wonders of the Invisible World" (essay)

Anthology series

  • Liavek (1985, Ace Books, edited with Will Shetterly)
  • Liavek: The Players of Luck (1986, Ace Books, edited with Will Shetterly)
  • Liavek: Wizard's Row (1987, Ace Books, edited with Will Shetterly)
  • Liavek: Spells of Binding (1988, Ace Books, edited with Will Shetterly)
  • Liavek: Festival Week (1990, Ace Books, edited with Will Shetterly)


With Cats Laughing:

  • Bootleg Issue (1988)
  • Another Way to Travel (1990)
  • A Long Time Gone (forthcoming CD and concert DVD, 2016)

With The Flash Girls

  • The Return of Pansy Smith and Violet Jones (1993)
  • Maurice and I (1994)
  • Play Each Morning Wild Queen (2001)

Award nominations

  • Nominee, 1988 Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for War for the Oaks
  • Nominee, 1991 Philip K. Dick Award, Best Novel for Bone Dance
  • Nominee, 1992 World Fantasy Award, Best Novel for Bone Dance
  • Nominee, 1992 Hugo Award, Best Novel for Bone Dance
  • Nominee, 1992 Nebula Award, Best Novel for Bone Dance
  • Nominee, 1993 Nebula Award, Best Novella for "Silver or Gold"
  • Nominee, 2008 World Fantasy Award, Best Novel for Territory
  • Nominee, 2014 Cando Award, Best Novel for "Territory"


  1. ^ "Double Feature by Emma Bull & Will Shetterly". NESFA Press. June 6, 2004. Archived from the original on 2016-01-02. Retrieved 2015-10-17.
  2. ^ Angus, Ewan (September 1, 2010). "Freedom and Necessity book review". SFcrowsnest. Archived from the original on 2013-06-16.
  3. ^ Minnesota Science Fiction Society. "Minicon 50 – The Gold Edition". Archived from the original on 2014-11-16.
  4. ^ a b Brust, Dee; Brust, Corwin (January 2015). "Create a Cats Laughing Twenty Year Reunion Event & Album". Kickstarter. Archived from the original on 2015-01-08.
  5. ^ "A Long Time Gone". Beyond Conventions. Archived from the original on 2014-11-16. Retrieved 2014-11-15.
  6. ^ Bull, Emma (2008). "Her Biography". Emma Bull (WordPress blog). Archived from the original on 2016-03-01.
  7. ^ Shadow Unit (official website).

External links

Bone Dance

Bone Dance is a fantasy novel by American writer Emma Bull, published in 1991. It was nominated for the Hugo and World Fantasy Awards.

Cats Laughing

Cats Laughing is a folk rock band, founded in the late 1980s in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and revived in 2015. Several of its members, including Emma Bull and best-selling author Steven Brust, are better known as writers of fantasy and science fiction.

The group released two studio albums and remained active through the early 1990s. After a hiatus of two decades, a reunion concert took place in April 2015, later released as the live double CD A Long Time Gone (2016), with a concert DVD released under the same title.

Emma Bull (art director)

Emma Bull is an English artistic director, show director and creative consultant

She has worked in Film, TV, Theatre, Music Videos and Concert Touring.


Finder may refer to:

Finder (surname)

Finder (software), part of the Apple Macintosh operating system

Finder (comics), a comic book series by Carla Speed McNeil

Finder (novel), a 1994 novel by Emma Bull

Finder Wyvernspur, a fictional deity of the Forgotten Realms universe

Finder Series, a yaoi manga by Ayano Yamane.

FINDER, is the name of a Miniature unmanned aerial vehicle

"Finder", an episode of the animated television series Lilo & Stitch: The Series

Firebird Books

Firebird Books (launched January 2002) is an imprint of Penguin Group (USA) Inc., publishing mainly paperback reprint editions of science fiction and fantasy for teenagers and adults.

It was created by Sharyn November, one of the few children's book editors who works with teenagers. In the process, she discovered that some of her best readers loved speculative fiction, and were going into the adult genre sections of bookstores and libraries in order to find it.

Firebird has quickly become the most recognizable imprint of its kind, and Sharyn November was named a World Fantasy Award Finalist in both 2004 and 2005 for her work. Firebirds Rising, the second anthology November edited for the imprint, is a 2007 World Fantasy Award Finalist.

"Firebirds", the first anthology, consists of short sci-fi/fantasy stories by the likes of Lloyd Alexander, Emma Bull, Charles Vess, Michael Cadnum, Kara Dalkey, Nancy Farmer, Nina Kiriki Hoffman, Diana Wynne Jones, Patricia A. McKillip, Garth Nix, Meredith Ann Pierce, Delia Sherman, Sherwood Smith, Nancy Springer, Megan Whalen Turner, Elizabeth E. Wein, and Laurel Winter.

International Pixel-Stained Technopeasant Day

International Pixel-Stained Technopeasant Day is a commemoration declared by author Jo Walton, held on April 23 and first celebrated in 2007, in response to remarks made by Howard V. Hendrix stating that he was opposed "to the increasing presence in our organization the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America of webscabs, who post their creations on the net for free". The purpose of the day, according to Walton, was to encourage writers to post "professional quality" works for free on the internet.

The name of the day originates from the assertion by Hendrix that the "webscabs" are "converting the noble calling of Writer into the life of Pixel-stained Technopeasant Wretch."

Many notable authors contributed to International Pixel-Stained Technopeasant Day 2007, including Chaz Brenchley, Steven Brust, Emma Bull, Debra Doyle, Diane Duane, Naomi Kritzer, Jay Lake, David Langford, Sharon Lee, Beth Meacham, Steve Miller, Andrew Plotkin, Robert Reed, Will Shetterly, Sherwood Smith, Ryk Spoor, Charles Stross, Catherynne M. Valente, Jo Walton, Lawrence Watt-Evans, Martha Wells and Sean Williams.

John M. Ford

John Milo "Mike" Ford (April 10, 1957 – September 25, 2006) was an American science fiction and fantasy writer, game designer, and poet.

A contributor to several online discussions, he composed poems, often improvised, in both complicated forms and blank verse, notably Shakespearean pastiche; he also wrote pastiches and parodies of many other authors and styles. At Minicon and other science fiction conventions he would perform "Ask Dr. Mike", giving humorous answers to scientific and other questions in a lab coat before a whiteboard.

Kara Dalkey

Kara Mia Dalkey (born 1953) is an American author of young adult fiction and historical fantasy.

Letter game

A letter game involves the exchange of written letters, or e-mails, between two or more participants. The first player writes a letter in the voice of a newly created character; in this first letter, the writer should establish their own identity and that of their correspondent, should set the scene, and should explain why they and their correspondent must communicate in written fashion. In subsequent letters, plot and character can be developed, but the writers should not talk about plot outside of the letters and the characters should never meet. Letter games can be a writing exercise or a form of collaborative fiction.

Novels written using or inspired by this type of letter game include Sorcery and Cecelia or The Enchanted Chocolate Pot, The Grand Tour or The Purloined Coronation Regalia, and The Mislaid Magician or Ten Years After, all three by Patricia Wrede and Caroline Stevermer; Freedom and Necessity, by Steven Brust and Emma Bull; and the children's books P.S. Longer Letter Later and Snail Mail No More by Paula Danziger and Ann M. Martin.


Liavek is a series of five fantasy anthologies edited by Emma Bull and Will Shetterly set in a shared world.

Orson Scott Card found the initial volume to be "an example of what can be accomplished [in a shared-world project] when almost everything goes right."The collections were published by Ace Books with contributors including Bull, Shetterly, Gene Wolfe, Jane Yolen, John M. Ford, Kara Dalkey, Barry B. Longyear, Megan Lindholm, Nancy Kress, Patricia C. Wrede, Steven Brust, Nate Bucklin, Pamela Dean, Gregory Frost, Charles de Lint, Charles R. Saunders, Walter Jon Williams, Alan Moore and Bradley Denton. Related works, including a comic book, have been brought out by other publishers.

Lorraine Garland

Lorraine Garland (born 15 February 1963) is a folk musician from Minneapolis, Minnesota. She sang and played fiddle with science fiction author Emma Bull in folk duo The Flash Girls, with the band Folk UnderGround, and in the goth / folk / rock / traditional Celtic duo Lorraine a' Malena with Malena Teves, which whom she also contributed to Chris Ewen's The Hidden Variable. She is currently one half of the folk / rock / Celtic duo Paul and Lorraine with Paul Score.

Garland is the former personal assistant to writer Neil Gaiman, for whom she worked for 20 years.

Mad Norwegian Press

Mad Norwegian Press is an American publisher of science-fiction guides and novels. The company has worked with authors such as Harlan Ellison, Peter David, Diana Gabaldon, Tanya Huff, Emma Bull, Elizabeth Bear, Mary Robinette Kowal, Seanan McGuire, Barbara Hambly, Martha Wells, Juliet E. McKenna, Aliette de Bodard, Jody Lynn Nye, Catherynne M. Valente, Rachel Swirsky, Melissa Scott, Hal Duncan, Brit Mandelo, Mary Anne Mohanraj, Nancy Holder, Sharon Shinn, Jeanne C. Stein, Colleen Doran, Jill Thompson, Jen Van Meter, Marjorie Liu, Sarah Monette, Mark Waid, Lyda Morehouse, Paul Magrs, Gary Russell, Robert Shearman, Lance Parkin, Andrew Cartmel, Steve Lyons, Lawrence Miles and Tat Wood.

Mad Norwegian was founded by Lars Pearson, a former staffer at Wizard Magazine, and is based in Des Moines, Iowa.

The majority of the company's output is reference guides to science-fiction series such as Doctor Who, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel and The X-Files. As a rule of thumb, such guides examine the continuity that governs each show --- taking into consideration how different episodes reconcile against each other, for instance --- along with critiques, theorizing and behind-the-scenes details. The "About Time" series, a series of guidebooks to Doctor Who, deviates from this formula somewhat by examining the political and cultural context (as well as the development of television) that influenced Doctor Who on a year-by-year basis during its initial 26-year run (from 1963 to 1989).

From 2002 to 2006, Mad Norwegian produced a series of Faction Paradox novels, using concepts and characters as created by Lawrence Miles.

The company has a series of essay collections pertaining to women and fandom: the Hugo-Award-winning Chicks Dig Time Lords (2010), Whedonistas! (2011) and the Hugo-Award-nominated Chicks Dig Comics (2012), and the Hugo-Award-nominated Chicks Unravel Time (2012).

Forthcoming from Mad Norwegian the essay collection Queers Dig Time Lords: A Celebration of Doctor Who by the LGBTQ Fans Who Love It, with an introduction by John Barrowman and Carole E. Barrowman.

Pamela Dean

Pamela Collins Dean Dyer-Bennet (born 1953), better known as Pamela Dean, is an American fantasy author whose best-known book is Tam Lin, based on the Child Ballad of the same name, in which the Scottish fairy story is set on a midwestern college campus loosely based on her alma mater, Carleton College in Minnesota.

She was a member of the writing group The Scribblies, along with Emma Bull, Will Shetterly, Kara Dalkey, Nate Bucklin, Patricia Wrede and Steven Brust, and was a contributor to the Liavek shared-world anthologies. She is a member of the Pre-Joycean Fellowship.

As of 2012, Dean reports that Going North, the future "joint sequel to The Dubious Hills and The Whim of the Dragon, has been rejected by Viking Press, leaving her to make further revisions and seek alternative methods for publication.

Steven Brust

Steven Karl Zoltán Brust (born November 23, 1955) is an American fantasy and science fiction author of Hungarian descent. He is best known for his series of novels about the assassin Vlad Taltos, one of a disdained minority group of humans living on a world called Dragaera. His recent novels also include The Incrementalists (2013) and its sequel The Skill of Our Hands (2017), with co-author Skyler White.

As a drummer and singer-songwriter, Brust has recorded one solo album and two albums as a member of Cats Laughing. Brust also co-wrote songs on two albums recorded in the mid-1990s by the band Boiled in Lead.

Terri Windling

Terri Windling (born December 3, 1958 in Fort Dix, New Jersey) is an American editor, artist, essayist, and the author of books for both children and adults. Windling has won nine World Fantasy Awards, the Mythopoeic Fantasy Award, the Bram Stoker Award, and her collection The Armless Maiden appeared on the short-list for the James Tiptree, Jr. Award. She received the Solstice Award in 2010, which honors "individuals with a significant impact on the speculative fiction field." Windling's work has been translated into French, German, Spanish, Italian, Czech, Lithuanian, Turkish, Russian, Japanese, and Korean.

In the American publishing field, Windling is one of the primary creative forces behind the mythic fiction resurgence that began in the early 1980s—first through her work as an innovative editor for the Ace and Tor Books fantasy lines; secondly as the creator of the 'Fairy Tales' series of novels (featuring reinterpretations of classic fairy tale themes by Jane Yolen, Steven Brust, Pamela Dean, Patricia C. Wrede, Charles de Lint, and others); and thirdly as the editor of over thirty anthologies of magical fiction. She is also recognized as one of the founders of the urban fantasy genre, having published and promoted the first novels of Charles de Lint, Emma Bull, and other pioneers of the form.With Ellen Datlow, Windling edited 16 volumes of Year's Best Fantasy and Horror (1986–2003), an anthology that reached beyond the boundaries of genre fantasy to incorporate magic realism, surrealism, poetry, and other forms of magical literature. Datlow and Windling also edited the Snow White, Blood Red series of literary fairy tales for adult readers, as well as many anthologies of myth & fairy tale inspired fiction for younger readers (such as The Green Man, The Faery Reel, and The Wolf at the Door). Windling also created and edited the Borderland series for teenage readers, and The Armless Maiden, a fiction collection for adult survivors of child abuse like herself.As an author, Windling's fiction includes The Wood Wife (winner of the Mythopoeic Award for Novel of the Year) and several children's books: The Raven Queen, The Changeling, A Midsummer Night's Faery Tale, The Winter Child, and The Faeries of Spring Cottage. Her essays on myth, folklore, magical literature and art have been widely published in newsstand magazines, academic journals, art books, and anthologies. She was a contributor to The Oxford Companion to Fairy Tales, edited by Jack Zipes.

As an artist, Windling specializes in work inspired by myth, folklore, and fairy tales. Her art has been exhibited across the US, as well as in the UK and France.

Windling is the founder of the Endicott Studio, an organization dedicated to myth-inspired arts, and was the co-editor (with Midori Snyder) of The Journal of Mythic Arts from 1987 until it ceased publication in 2008. She also sits on the board of the Mythic Imagination Institute. Windling married Howard Gayton, the British dramatist and co-founder of the influential Commedia dell'arte troupe, the Ophaboom Theatre Company, in September 2008, and lives in Devon, England.In May 2016, Windling gave the fourth annual Tolkien Lecture at Pembroke College, Oxford, speaking on the topic of fantasy literature in the post-Tolkien era.

The Scribblies

The Scribblies were a fantasy fiction writer's group formed in the U.S. city of Minneapolis in January 1980. Members included Nate Bucklin, Emma Bull, Steven Brust, Kara Dalkey, Pamela Dean, Will Shetterly and Patricia Wrede. At the time, they shared the same editor and literary agent.

These authors all contributed short stories in the Liavek anthologies. Liavek was a shared-world series edited by Emma Bull and Will Shetterly.The name "Scribblies" is a joke inspired by the Industrial Workers of the World, "the Wobblies"). It also derives from Prince William Henry, Duke of Gloucester and Edinburgh's comment to Edward Gibbon upon receiving the second (or third, or possibly both) volume(s) of Gibbon's The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire "Another damned thick book! Always scribble, scribble, scribble! Eh, Mr. Gibbon?"

Urban fantasy

Urban fantasy is a subgenre of fantasy in which the narrative has an urban setting. Works of urban fantasy are set primarily in the real world and contain aspects of fantasy, such as the discovery of earthbound mythological creatures, coexistence or conflict between humans and paranormal beings, and other changes to city life. A contemporary setting is not strictly necessary for a work of urban fantasy: works of the genre may also take place in futuristic and historical settings, actual or imagined.

War for the Oaks

War for the Oaks (1987) is a fantasy novel by American writer Emma Bull. The book tells the story of Eddi McCandry, a rock musician who finds herself unwillingly pulled into the supernatural faerie conflict between good and evil. War for the Oaks is one of the first works in the subgenre of urban fantasy: although it involves supernatural characters, the setting (Minneapolis) is decidedly real-world.

Will Shetterly

Will Shetterly (born 1955) is an American writer of fantasy and science fiction best known for his novel Dogland (1997). The novel is inspired by his childhood at the tourist attraction Dog Land owned by his parents. He won the Minnesota Book Award for Fantasy & Science Fiction for his novel Elsewhere (1991), and was a finalist with Nevernever (1993); both books are set in Terri Windling's The Borderland Series shared universe. He has also written short stories for various Borderland anthologies.

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