Mary Robinette Kowal

Mary Robinette Kowal (born February 8, 1969 as Mary Robinette Harrison[1]) is an American author and puppeteer.[2]

Mary Robinette Kowal
Mary Robinette Kowal at 2008 Nebula Awards
BornFebruary 8, 1969 (age 49)
Raleigh, North Carolina
GenreScience fiction and fantasy
Notable works
Notable awards

Mary Robinette Kowal signature (Mary Robinette Kowal)

Life and career

Mary Harrison was born in Raleigh, North Carolina, and studied at East Carolina University. She graduated with a degree in Art Education with a minor in theater, and began work as a professional puppeteer in 1989. She has performed for the Center for Puppetry Arts, Jim Henson Productions, and her own production company, Other Hand Productions.[3] She also worked in Iceland on the children's television show LazyTown for two seasons.[4] She was recently accepted as a participant in a Sesame Puppetry Workshop.[5]

Kowal served as art director for Shimmer Magazine and in 2010 was named art director for Weird Tales.[6] She served as secretary of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America for two years, and was elected to the position of SFWA vice-president in 2010.[7] In 2008, her second year of eligibility, she won the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer.[8]

Kowal's work as an author includes "For Solo Cello, op. 12,"[9] (originally published in Cosmos Magazine and reprinted in Science Fiction: The Best of the Year, 2008 Edition,[10]) which made the preliminary ballot for the 2007 Nebula Awards.[11] Her fiction has also appeared in Talebones Magazine, Strange Horizons, and Apex Digest, among other venues.[12] Her debut novel Shades of Milk and Honey was nominated for the 2010 Nebula Award for Best Novel.[13] Two of her short fiction works have been nominated for the Hugo Award for Best Short Story: "Evil Robot Monkey" in 2009[14] and "For Want of a Nail," which won the award in 2011.[15] Her novelette, The Lady Astronaut of Mars was ineligible for the 2013 Hugo Awards because it had only been released as part of an audiobook, but was later published in text format[16] and went on to win the 2014 Hugo Award for Best Novelette.[17]

In 2009, she donated her archive to the department of Rare Books and Special Collections at Northern Illinois University.[18]

After appearing several times as a guest star in the podcast, Writing Excuses, she became a full-time cast member at the start of their sixth season in 2011.[19]

Kowal is also a voice actor, having recorded audiobook versions of books written by authors such as John Scalzi, Seanan McGuire, Cory Doctorow and Kage Baker.[20]


Glamourist Histories series

  • Shades of Milk and Honey, Tor Books, 2010, ISBN 978-0-7653-2556-3
  • Glamour in Glass, Tor Books, 2012, ISBN 978-0-7653-2557-0
  • Without a Summer, Tor Books, 2013, ISBN 978-0-7653-3415-2
  • Valour and Vanity, Tor Books, 2014, ISBN 9780765334169
  • Of Noble Family, Tor Books, 2015, ISBN 978-0-7653-7836-1

Lady Astronaut of Mars series

Standalone Novels


  • Kiss Me Twice, Asimov's Science Fiction, 2011 (nominated for the Hugo Award for Best Novella)
  • Forest of Memory, /, 2014



  • Scenting the Dark and Other Stories, Subterranean Press, 2009, ISBN 978-1-59606-267-2
  • Word Puppets, Prime Books, 2015, ISBN 978-1-60701-456-0

Short stories


  1. ^ Biography for Mary Robinette Kowal on IMDb
  2. ^ Mary Robinette Kowal Website
  3. ^ Mary Robinette Kowal (Web Lackey, Actor, Writer) (archive), Willamette Radio Workshop
  4. ^ Mary Robinette Kowal FAQs
  5. ^ Kowal, Mary Robinette. "My audition for the Sesame Street puppetry workshop. Video and results." Journal January 3, 2014; accessed January 5, 2014
  6. ^ VanderMeer promoted to editor in chief,, 2010-01-25.
  7. ^ An Interview With Mary Robinette Kowal
  8. ^ The Hugo Awards
  9. ^
  10. ^ Science Fiction: The Best of the Year, Rich Horton, Editor. ISBN 978-0809572502
  11. ^ Nebula Awards preliminary ballot released 2008-01-11
  12. ^ Mary Robinette Kowal Bibliography
  13. ^ "SFWA announces the 2010 Nebula Award Nominees". SFWA. 2011-02-22. Retrieved 2013-12-06.
  14. ^ "The Locus Index to SF Awards: 2009 Hugo Awards". 2009-08-09. Archived from the original on 2009-03-26. Retrieved 2013-12-06.
  15. ^ Locus Publications. "Locus Online News » 2011 Hugo and Campbell Awards Winners". Retrieved 2013-12-06.
  16. ^ "The Lady Astronaut of Mars". September 11, 2013. Retrieved 17 August 2014.
  17. ^ "2014 Hugo Award Winners". The Hugo Awards. August 17, 2014. Retrieved 17 August 2014.
  18. ^ Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) Collection. Northern Illinois University. on
  19. ^ "6.1: Can Creativity be Taught?". Writing Excuses. Retrieved 2013-12-06.
  20. ^
  21. ^ a b "Mary Robinette Kowal will Return to Space with Two New Lady Astronaut Novels!". 2018-09-18. Retrieved 2018-11-21.

External links

72nd World Science Fiction Convention

The 72nd World Science Fiction Convention (Worldcon), also known as Loncon 3, was held 14–18 August 2014 at ExCeL London in London, England. The convention committee was co-chaired by Alice Lawson and Steve Cooper and organized as London 2014 Limited. Loncon 3 sold the most memberships (10,833) and had the second largest in-person attendance (7,951) of any Worldcon to date.


"Bridesicle" is an award-winning 2009 science fiction short story by Will McIntosh, exploring the conjunction of suspended animation and forced marriage. It was originally published in Asimov's Science Fiction.

Evil Robot Monkey

"Evil Robot Monkey" is a science fiction short story by American writer Mary Robinette Kowal, published in 2008. It was nominated for the 2009 Hugo Award for Best Short Story.

Howard Tayler

Howard V. Tayler (born February 29, 1968, in Florida) is the award-winning creator of the webcomic Schlock Mercenary. He worked as a volunteer missionary for the LDS Church, then graduated from Brigham Young University. Using his degree in music composition, he started an independent record label.

While working at Novell, Tayler began online publication of Schlock Mercenary. He quit his job at Novell several years later in order to work on the webcomic full-time. Schlock Mercenary has been nominated multiple times and won the Web Cartoonists' Choice Awards in two different categories, and the webcomic has been nominated four times for a Hugo Award.

Tayler spends time regularly during the week drawing at a local comic book and gaming store, as well as producing a weekly writing tips podcast called Writing Excuses with fellow authors Brandon Sanderson, Dan Wells, Mary Robinette Kowal, and producer Jordan Sanderson. The podcast has been nominated for a Hugo Award in 2011, 2012 and has won in 2013.

Hugo Award for Best Related Work

The Hugo Awards are given every year by the World Science Fiction Society for the best science fiction or fantasy works and achievements of the previous year. The award is named after Hugo Gernsback, the founder of the pioneering science fiction magazine Amazing Stories, and was once officially known as the Science Fiction Achievement Award. The award has been described as "a fine showcase for speculative fiction" and "the best known literary award for science fiction writing". The Hugo Award for Best Related Work is given each year for primarily non-fiction works related to science fiction or fantasy, published or translated into English during the previous calendar year. Awards are also given out for works of fiction in the novel, novella, novelette, and short story categories.

The award was originally titled the Hugo Award for Best Non-Fiction Book and was first awarded in 1980. In 1999 the Award was retitled to the Hugo Award for Best Related Book, and eligibility was officially expanded to fiction works that were primarily noteworthy for reasons besides their fictional aspects. In 2010, the title of the award was again changed, to the Hugo Award for Best Related Work. In addition to the regular Hugo awards, beginning in 1996 Retrospective Hugo Awards, or "Retro Hugos", have been available to be awarded for years 50, 75, or 100 years prior in which no awards were given. The Retro Best Related Work Hugo was awarded for 1954, 50 years later, but has not been awarded for any other year due to insufficient nominations.Hugo Award nominees and winners are chosen by supporting or attending members of the annual World Science Fiction Convention, or Worldcon, and the presentation evening constitutes its central event. The selection process is defined in the World Science Fiction Society Constitution as instant-runoff voting with six nominees, except in the case of a tie. The works on the ballot are the six most-nominated by members that year, with no limit on the number of works that can be nominated. Initial nominations are made by members in January through March, while voting on the ballot of six nominations is performed roughly in April through July, subject to change depending on when that year's Worldcon is held. Prior to 2017, the final ballot was five works; it was changed that year to six, with each initial nominator limited to five nominations. Worldcons are generally held near the start of September, and are held in a different city around the world each year. Members are permitted to vote "no award", if they feel that none of the nominees is deserving of the award that year, and in the case that "no award" takes the majority the Hugo is not given in that category. This happened in the Best Related Work category in 2015 and 2016.During the 40 nomination years, 197 authors have had works nominated; 52 of these have won, including co-authors and Retro Hugos. John Clute has won four times; once by himself, once with John Grant as a co-author, once with Peter Nicholls, and once with Nicholls, David Langford, and Graham Sleight. Nicholls has won a third time, and Grant has won a second time, sharing the award with his co-authors Elizabeth L. Humphrey and Pamela D. Scoville. Thomas Disch and Ursula K. Le Guin have also won twice, both without co-authors; no other author has won more than once. Cathy and Arnie Fenner have been nominated eight times for their work on the Spectrum: The Best In Contemporary Fantastic Art series, both the most number of nominations received by any author and the most number of nominations without winning. Clute has been nominated seven times, Farah Mendlesohn six times with one win; Le Guin four times with two wins; Isaac Asimov and Langford four times with one win; and Mike Resnick four times with no wins. The Writing Excuses team, consisting of Brandon Sanderson, Dan Wells, Howard Tayler, Mary Robinette Kowal, and Jordan Sanderson, have been nominated four times and won once. Seven other authors have been nominated three times. Many of these writers, editors and artists have won Hugos in other categories, from Fan Writer to Best Novel.

Kowal (surname)

Kowal is a Polish and Ukrainian (Ukrainian: Коваль, translit. Koval') language surname. The Moldovan (Romanian) variants are Coval, Covali, Covaliov. It means "smith".

Kowal may refer to:

Charles T. Kowal, American astronomer

Chester A. Kowal, American politician

Joe Kowal, Canadian hockey player

Kristy Kowal, American swimmer

Mary Robinette Kowal, American author

Matylda Kowal, Polish athlete

Paweł Kowal, Polish politician

Stanisław Kowal, Polish athlete

Tom Kowal, Canadian hockey referee

Yoann Kowal, French runner

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.

Permafrost (story)

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

Redstone Science Fiction

Redstone Science Fiction was an online science fiction magazine. The first issue was published June 1, 2010 and maintained a regular monthly schedule until the September 1, 2012 issue.Redstone Science Fiction (often called Redstone SF) has published fiction by Cory Doctorow, Mary Robinette Kowal, Ken MacLeod, Cat Rambo, Hannu Rajaniemi, Vylar Kaftan, Lavie Tidhar, and others. The magazine has conducted interviews with many editors and authors in the science fiction field, including Lou Anders, John Joseph Adams, Mary Robinette Kowal, Vylar Kaftan, Cat Rambo, Lavie Tidhar, and others. Redstone SF has also published essays on science fiction literary criticism and the writing craft. The magazine initiated a writing contest in June 2010 to draw attention to issues of disability in science fiction.

Seasons of Glass and Iron

"Seasons of Glass and Iron" is a 2016 fantasy story by Amal El-Mohtar. It was first published in the anthology The Starlit Wood: New Fairy Tales.

Shimmer Magazine

Shimmer Magazine is a quarterly magazine which publishes speculative fiction, with a focus on material that is dark, humorous or strange. Established in June 2005, Shimmer is published in digest format and Portable Document Format (PDF) and is edited by Beth Wodzinski. Shimmer has featured stories from award-winning authors Jay Lake and Ken Scholes; comic book artist Karl Kesel has also contributed artwork.

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 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 anthology Rip-Off.

The Mad Scientist's Guide to World Domination

The Mad Scientist's Guide to World Domination is a short story anthology edited by John Joseph Adams, and published by Tor Books on February 19, 2013.

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 Tomato Thief

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


Vericon is an annual science fiction convention at Harvard University, organized by the Harvard-Radcliffe Science Fiction Association. Lasting over a three-day weekend, for the first nine years of its existence it took place on the last weekend of January; for 2010, however, it was moved to mid-March to accommodate changes in Harvard College's academic calendar. It has been described as the largest college-based science fiction convention in the United States.Vericon was held most recently in 2016, and is currently on hiatus.

The convention features anime, boardgames, cosplay, Human Chess, dances, LARPs, and RPGs. The convention is unusual for a college science fiction convention in that in addition to gaming, a number of prominent people involved in the genres of science fiction, fantasy, game design, and comics are invited each year to host panels and readings. Guests have included:

2016 (March 18–20): Ann Leckie, John Chu, Wesley Chu, Pamela Dean, Seth Dickinson, Greer Gilman, Malka Older, Ada Palmer, Jo Walton, Fran Wilde

2015 (March 20–22): Ken Liu, M. L. Brennan, Carl Engle-Laird, Greer Gilman, Mary Robinette Kowal, Andrew Liptak, B. L. Marsh, Will McIntosh, Daniel José Older, Ada Palmer, Luke Scull, Alex Shvartsman, Jo Walton

2014 (March 21–23): Patrick Rothfuss, Max Gladstone, Jo Walton, Scott Lynch, M. L. Brennan, Shira Lipkin, Saladin Ahmed, Luke Scull, Greer Gilman

2013 (March 22–24): Tamora Pierce, Jeffrey Carver, Greer Gilman, N. K. Jemisin, Shira Lipkin, Seanan McGuire, Jennifer Pelland, Jo Walton

2012 (March 16–18): Vernor Vinge, Greer Gilman, Lev Grossman, Jennifer Pelland, Thomas Sniegoski, R.L. Stine, Aaron Diaz, Christopher Hastings, Michael Terracciano

2011 (March 18–20): Brandon Sanderson, Austin Grossman, Holly Black, Catherine Asaro, Sarah Smith, Ellen Kushner, Delia Sherman

2010 (March 19–21): Timothy Zahn, Katherine Howe, Resa Nelson, Paul Tremblay, Greer Gilman, John Crowley, Randall Munroe, Dorothy Gambrell, Michael Terracciano.

2009 (January 23–25): Kim Stanley Robinson, Elizabeth Bear, Paul Di Filippo, Allen Steele, Robert V.S. Redick, Catherynne Valente, Don D'Ammassa, Marie Brennan, Brad Guigar, Kristofer Straub

2008 (January 25–27): Orson Scott Card, Lois Lowry, M.T. Anderson, Elizabeth Haydon, James Patrick Kelly, Kelly Link, Donna Jo Napoli, Sharyn November, Cassandra Clare, William Sleator, Pete Abrams, Jeph Jacques, Randall Munroe

2007 (January 26–28): Guy Gavriel Kay, R. A. Salvatore, Jeffrey Carver, Sharyn November, Shaenon Garrity, Jeffrey Rowland

2006 (January 27–29): George R. R. Martin, Greer Gilman, Elaine Isaak, Marie Brennan, Sarah Smith, Tim Buckley, Randy Milholland, Jeph Jacques, Michael Terracciano

2005 (January 28–30): Jacqueline Carey, Patrick Nielsen Hayden, Teresa Nielsen Hayden, James Morrow, James Alan Gardner, Debra Doyle, James D. Macdonald

2004 (January 30 – February 1): Mike Carey, Brian Clevinger, Peter David

2003 (January 24–26): Catherine Asaro, Julie Czerneda, Ellen Kushner, Charles Vess

2002 (January 25–27): Henry Jenkins, Scott McCloud, Terry Moore, Susan Shwartz

2001 (January 26–28): Pete Abrams, James Ernest, Paul Levinson, Margaret Weis, Don Perrin, Michael A. Burstein, Jeffrey Carver, Esther Friesner, Peter Heck, James Morrow, Donna Jo Napoli

Writing Excuses

Writing Excuses is a podcast hosted by authors Dan Wells, Brandon Sanderson, Mary Robinette Kowal and web cartoonist Howard Tayler.

Promoted as "fifteen minutes long, because you're in a hurry, and we're not that smart", the four hosts and guests discuss different topics involved in the creation and production of genre writing and webcomics. As of 2017, authors Wesley Chu, Piper J. Drake and Mary Anne Mohanraj were added as secondary hosts, each having 1 show a month alongside different configurations of the primary hosts.

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