Queen City Jazz and This Shared Dream author Kathleen Ann Goonan has passed away at the age of of 68, reports File 770 and Locus Magazine. A prolific author of short stories, Goonan was best known for her musically-inclined science fiction, as well as her focus on nanotechnology and biology in her works.
Born in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1952, Goonan would later grow up in Hawaii, attend Virginia Polytechnic Institute, and eventually open a Montessori school in Knoxville, Tennessee. She returned to Clarion as an instructor in 2003, and in 2010, she began teaching at Georgia Tech as a visiting professor.
In addition to a career as an educator, Goonan set her sights on science fiction, attending Clarion West in 1988, and publishing her debut science fiction short story in Strange Plasma, “The Snail Man”, in 1991. In the years that followed, she published a number of short stories in publications such as Asimov’s Science Fiction, Interzone, and the The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction.
In 2012, she published a collection of her short fiction, Angels and You Dogs, and a handful of stories for Tor.com: “Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going?” (2014), “A Short History of the Twentieth Century, or, When You Wish Upon a Star” (2014), and most recently, “One/Zero” (2019).
In 1994, she published her debut novel with Tor Books, Queen City Jazz, which the New York Times named a notable book for 1994, and which went on to become a finalist for the 1995 Locus and Nebula Awards, as well as the 1998 BSFA Award. She published six additional novels in her lifetime: The Bones of Time (1996), Mississippi Blues (1997), Crescent City Rhapsody (2000), Light Music (2002), In War Times (2007), and This Shared Dream (2011). Over the years, she earned three Nebula nominations, and was the winner of the John W. Campbell Memorial Award for In War Times in 2008.
Writing for the Encyclopedia of Science Fiction, John Clute noted that music played an important role in her fiction, and says that “Goonan is one of the central authors of the first or second generation for whom sf is a natural tongue; a tongue capable of playing necessary tunes.”