EXHIBITIONS / SCIENCE FICTION HALL OF FAME
Kate Wilhelm

1928 -

American writer

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.

Wilhelm favors the novella format, and much of her early work appeared in collections, including: The Downstairs Room, and Other Speculative Fiction (1968), which included the Nebula award-winning "The Planners" (1968); The Infinity Box: A Collection of Speculative Fiction (1975), the title story of which is a darkly complex depiction of near-future America refracted through the slow destruction of a man gifted with psionic power; and And the Angels Sing (1992), which 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, successfully translated Wilhelm's interest in clones to a post-holocaust venue in the Appalachians. The book 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 in a long, sustained, morally complex tale whose central storytelling hook — solving a murder in order to free the innocent protagonist of suspicion — leads smoothly into a science fiction denouement involving chaos theory, new perceptions and a hint of Superman. It is the longest of her novels, yet the one which most resembles her successful short fiction.

Along with her husband, Damon Knight, Wilhelm was also involved in the founding of the Milford Science Fiction Writers' Conference in 1956, as well as its offshoot, the Clarion Science Fiction Writers' Workshop.

Selected Bibliography:
The Downstairs Room, and Other Speculative Fiction (1968)
Abyss: Two Novellas (1971)
The Infinity Box: A Collection of Speculative Fiction (1975)
And the Angels Sing (1992)
Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang (1976)
Death Qualified: A Mystery of Chaos (1991)
The Best Defense (1994)