Vonda N. McIntyre (1948-2019)

Vonda McIntyre

Coming rapidly after a cancer diagnosis eight weeks ago, Vonda McIntyre’s death on April 1 was announced on her Caringbridge page by Jeanne Gomoll:

Vonda N. McIntyre died at 6:25 pm, Pacific Time, in no pain and surrounded by friends. The funeral home has collected her body which will be cremated. Vonda was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer on February 7; her death came swiftly, just short of two months later. Vonda’s posse and local friends will get together for a brief gathering within the next couple days. A reception that is open to the public will be scheduled within about a month and will be announced here on CaringBridge as soon as the details are known. Good-bye, Vonda.

McIntyre won her first Nebula Award in 1973, for the novelette ‘”Of Mist, and Grass, and Sand”. This later became part of the novel Dreamsnake (1978), which won both the Hugo and Nebula Awards. She won a third Nebula in 1998 for The Moon and the Sun. Overall, McIntyre was a five-time Hugo nominee and eight-time Nebula nominee.

After attending Robin Scott Wilson’s last Clarion Writers Workshop at State College, PA in 1970, she transplanted the idea to Seattle. She later said that “Neither James Sallis nor I could bear the idea that the workshop would die.  We both got Robin’s blessing to start workshops.  Jim’s was at Tulane, and the one I helped run was at the University of Washington. I called the Seattle one ‘Clarion West’; it seemed a good idea at the time.”

The Tulane workshop only lasted the one year. The Seattle Clarion West lasted three years, before McIntyre found it too difficult to continue managing the conference while being a graduate student. (The Clarion West Writers Workshop was resumed by different organizers in the 1980s.)

McIntyre’s debut novel, The Exile Waiting, was published in 1975. She wrote many Star Trek and Star Wars novels. In 1976, McIntyre co-edited Aurora: Beyond Equality, a feminist/humanist science fiction anthology, with Susan Janice Anderson.

A movie, The King’s Daughter, based on Vonda McIntyre’s The Moon and the Sun, is still awaiting its U.S. release. (IMDB says sometime in 2019.)

She won SFWA’s Service Award in 2010, and the Science Fiction Research Association’s Clareson Award in 2015.

Vonda McIntyre was a guest of honor at Sasquan, the 2015 Worldcon.

McIntyre was a very popular convention guest who always loved to pitch in with the committee to get things ready. I thought it was a tribute to her that one year when she was the guest of an LA convention she helped stuff registration bags — and when that was done seemed a little astonished that people didn’t have more for her to do!

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27 thoughts on “Vonda N. McIntyre (1948-2019)

  1. Damn. Dreamsnake was great.

    She also wrote Enterprise—the First Adventure (1986), a very good Star Trek novel. Much before (and better) than anything in the Kelvinverse, although I may just be nostalgic.

  2. Vonda was also one of the Guest of Honor at the 1990 Westercon, which I co-chaired.

    She was a delightful person, and I will miss her a lot.

  3. Star Trek was my entrée into congoing fandom, so her name was well-known to me decades ago. It was only years later that I discovered the amazing Dreamsnake.

    I’ve got the Starfarers Quartet, which started out as a con hoax by McIntyre, in my e-library; I shall have to move it up Mt. Tsundoku to read in her honor.

  4. I found Dreamsnake when trawling the LBS back in the day, and loved it. My condolences to all who knew her.

  5. Thank you for posting that link, Glenn, as I was just thinking about that exact admirable gesture (which, FWIW, inspired me to do exactly as she suggested for anyone who needed it during Sasquan). I will remember her fondly, always.

  6. I. There may have been cussing. There may STILL be cussing.

    I will miss her and remember her, her strength and her compassion and understanding and .. damn.

  7. You’re quite welcome, Rick. It was, for me, a light in a time of darkness.

  8. Very sorry for the loss. She was well loved, and produced much good work.

  9. Pingback: RIP Vonda N. McIntyre | Sci-Fi & Fantasy Fans Society

  10. *SIGH* This hurts. A LOT. Not unexpected, but still painful even so.

    My condolences to all who held her dear.

    Requiescat In Pace.

  11. Like several others, here, Star Trek was my path into fandom. As a voracious reader, I read a metric fuckton of Trek novels in my pre-teen and early teen years (and, if I’m being painfully honest, through today, thirty years past my teen years).

    I was not a very discriminating reader, either. If it had Star Trek on the cover, I would read it. Enterprise: The First Adventure was heavily advertised as being somehow special among Trek novels – unlike most of the Pocket Books of the line (at the time), it wasn’t numbered. And it was one of the better books in the series. Even has a non-discriminating consumer of books, I noticed how much better it was.

    Her novelizations of the films were (especially in the case of III) frequently better than the films themselves.

    She will be very much missed.

  12. She was one of the hearts of our Seattle community and this loss has left many of us reeling. She was so unabashedly good and thoughtful and she knew so much that any walk with her was an amazing conversation that roved all over the place and always left you inspired.

    If you knew Vonda, you loved her. That was just how it was. For me, at least.

    I haven’t seen Captain Marvel yet. I’m probably going to make that part of this afternoon’s self-care, in memory of one of the most marvelous, strong champions of humanity I ever had the privilege of interacting with.

  13. A truly great and visionary woman has walked into the Land of the Ancestors. Her writings are among those that opened my ever-widening eyes to the power of women’s words to affect shifts in Consciousness.
    May she be received with love and respect in the afterlife. Mojuba fefe Iku.
    Yeye Luisah Teish

  14. Pingback: Seattle science-fiction star Vonda N. McIntyre dies of cancer – GeekWire - 195News

  15. Pingback: Vonda N. McIntyre, 1948-2019: One last novel adds to legacy of Seattle sci-fi star – MasMaz

  16. I met her when I was a kid in the mid-eighties at a very small convention put on by a local Star Trek fan club. I’d read and enjoyed a couple of her books and was tickled to meet her. For her part, she was warm and down to earth.

    This makes me sad. 🙁

  17. Oh, I will miss her so much. Thank you Vonda for so many hours of wonderful reading. I reread your books constantly. Rest in peace.

  18. Pingback: Vonda in memory and dream | Alma Alexander

  19. Stephanie Smith and I are compiling essays, anecdotes, poetry, art and photos for a tribute book about Vonda McIntyre. I’ve collected many of the wonderful things folks have written about Vonda here on the File 770 site. Would you give us permission to use your comments in the tribute book? Contact me at: [email protected]

    Thank you.

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