Eyes of Amber

"Eyes of Amber" is a science fiction short story, by Joan D. Vinge. It was first published as the cover story for the June 1977 issue of Analog Science Fiction and Fact.

Analog Science Fiction - June 1977 (cover)
T'uupieh and the space probe


When bandit queen T'uupieh — a native of Titan — discovers a human space probe, she thinks it is a supernatural entity, and brings it with her to serve as an advisor. The humans monitoring the probe must decide whether to interfere with her culture by dissuading her from committing atrocities, or sell videos of her atrocities in order to fund their continued research.


"Eyes of Amber" won the 1978 Hugo Award for Best Novelette;[1] Vinge subsequently reported learning that bookies had offered 40-to-1 odds against her winning.[2]

Foundation drew attention to the contrast between the quasi-medieval society on Titan and the "advanced technology of the (probe's) control room",[3] while at Black Gate, Steven H. Silver noted that the story is predicated upon cultural imperialism.[4]

James Nicoll has observed that T'uupieh's species is "not very alien",[5] and "resemble(s) 1940s Leigh Brackett aliens rather than anything scientifically plausible";[6] similarly, Mike Ashley has described it as a "rationalized planetary romance".[7]


  1. ^ 1978 Hugo Awards, at TheHugoAwards.org; retrieved October 15, 2018
  2. ^ On The Radical Notion That Women Are People, by Joan D. Vinge, at Tor Books; published October 5, 2015; retrieved October 15, 2018; "I found out that year that someone—in Vegas?—was making book on who was going to win the Hugos. The odds against “Eyes of Amber” were 40 to 1. I really wish I’d known that in time to put down a bet on it."
  3. ^ Eyes of Amber and Other Stories, reviewed by Ann Collier, in Foundation; October 1, 1980; archived at ProQuest
  4. ^ Birthday Reviews: Joan D. Vinge’s “Eyes of Amber”, by Steven H. Silver, at Black Gate; published April 2, 2018; retrieved October 15, 2018
  5. ^ Eyes of Amber and Other Stories by Joan Vinge, reviewed by James Nicoll, at Dreamwidth; published April 16, 2009; retrieved October 15, 2018
  6. ^ Why is there no The Complete Collected Works of Joan D. Vinge?, at James Nicoll Reviews; published March 21, 2016; retrieved October 15, 2018
  7. ^ Gateways to Forever: The Story of the Science-fiction Magazines from 1970 to 1980, by Mike Ashley; published 2007 by Liverpool University Press

External links

Eyes of Amber title listing at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database

36th World Science Fiction Convention

The 36th World Science Fiction Convention (Worldcon), also known as IguanaCon II, was held August 30–September 4, 1978, at the Hyatt Regency Phoenix, Adams House, Phoenix Convention Center, and Phoenix Symphony Hall in Phoenix, Arizona, United States. Despite the name, this was the first "IguanaCon".

The original committee chairman was Greg Brown, who served for the first eighteen months of the convention committee's existence; he was replaced for the final six months prior to the convention and during the convention itself by Tim Kyger. Gary Farber was the de facto vice-chairman as well as director of operations during the convention.

The guests of honor were Harlan Ellison (pro) and Bill Bowers (fan). Josef Nesvadba had been announced as the European guest of honor for IguanaCon, but he could not get travel papers and did not attend. The toastmaster was F. M. Busby. Total attendance was approximately 4,700.

Gold (short story)

"Gold" is a short story by American writer Isaac Asimov. It originally appeared in the September 1991 issue of Analog Science Fiction and Fact and was collected in the eponymous volume Gold. One of the last short stories he wrote in his life, it won a Hugo Award for best Novelette in 1992.

Joan D. Vinge

Joan D. Vinge ( (listen); born April 2, 1948 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.

Legions in Time

"Legions in Time" is a science fiction novelette by Michael Swanwick. It won the Hugo Award for Best Novelette in 2004. The story was reprinted in Science Fiction: The Best of 2003 and in three other collections and anthologies.

Swanwick wrote that his story was inspired by A. E. Van Vogt's classic "Recruiting Station," "which just speeds along like racehorse afire, and thought I'd try to write something similar."

Permafrost (story)

"Permafrost" is a science fiction novelette by American writer Roger Zelazny, published in 1986.

Shoggoths in Bloom

"Shoggoths in Bloom" is a science fiction novelette by Elizabeth Bear, originally published in the March 2008 issue of American magazine Asimov's Science Fiction, and subsequently republished in Bear's 2012 collection "Shoggoths in Bloom".

Slow Life (novelette)

"Slow Life" is a science fiction novelette by Michael Swanwick. It won the Hugo Award for Best Novelette in 2003.

The story is set on Titan. The author wrote: "I liked Titan specifically because there was a lot known about its chemistry and geography, but most people were not familiar with it, so a story set there would feel fresh to them."

Taklamakan (short story)

"Taklamakan" is a short story by American writer Bruce Sterling. The story follows a government contracted spy and his coworker as they enter the Taklamakan Desert to explore and substantiate rumors about a group of Chinese habitats that simulate generation ships in a cave under the Taklamakan Desert. It won the 1999 Hugo Award for Best Novelette as well as the 1999 Foreign Short Story Hayakawa Award.

The 1978 Annual World's Best SF

The 1978 Annual World's Best SF is an anthology of science fiction short stories edited by Donald A. Wollheim and Arthur W. Saha, the seventh volume in a series of nineteen. It was first published in paperback by DAW Books in May 1978, followed by a hardcover edition issued in August of the same year by the same publisher as a selection of the Science Fiction Book Club. For the hardcover edition the original cover art of Jack Gaughan was replaced by a new cover painting by Richard Powers. The paperback edition was reissued by DAW in 1983 under the variant title Wollheim's World's Best SF: Series Seven, this time with cover art by Graham Wildridge. A British hardcover edition was published by Dennis Dobson in May 1980 under the variant title The World's Best SF 5'.

The book collects ten novellas, novelettes and short stories by various science fiction authors, with an introduction by Wollheim. The stories were previously published in 1977 in the magazines The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, Analog Science Fiction/Science Fact, and Cosmos Science Fiction and Fantasy Magazine.

The Cloak and the Staff

"The Cloak and the Staff" is a science fiction novelette by American writer Gordon R. Dickson. It won the Hugo Award for Best Novelette in 1981.

The Deathbird

"The Deathbird" is a novelette by American writer Harlan Ellison. It won the 1974 Hugo Award for Best Novelette and Locus Award for Best Short Story.

It has been included in the author's short story collection Deathbird Stories.

The Djinn's Wife

"The Djinn's Wife" is a 2006 science fiction short story by Ian McDonald. It was first published in Asimov's Science Fiction.

The Faery Handbag

"The Faery Handbag" is a fantasy novelette by American writer Kelly Link, published in 2004.

The Lady Astronaut of Mars

"The Lady Astronaut of Mars" is an alternate history/science fiction short story by Mary Robinette Kowal. It was first published in 2012 as part of the Audible.com anthology Rip-Off.

The Nutcracker Coup

"The Nutcracker Coup" is a 1992 science fiction short story by Janet Kagan. It was first published in Asimov's Science Fiction.

The Secret Life of Bots

"The Secret Life of Bots" is a 2017 science fiction story by Suzanne Palmer. It was first published in Clarkesworld.

The Tomato Thief

"The Tomato Thief" is a 2016 fantasy novelette by Ursula Vernon. It was first published in Apex Magazine.

Tin Soldier (novella)

"Tin Soldier" is a 17,500-word science fiction novella by American writer Joan D. Vinge, her first published work.

It was originally published in Orbit 14, edited by Damon Knight, in 1974. "Tin Soldier" was first reprinted in the 1977 anthology Women of Wonder, edited by Pamela Sargent.

Unicorn Variation

"Unicorn Variation" is a 1981 fantasy story by Roger Zelazny. It was first published in Isaac Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine.

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