Friday, August 22, 2008

M.J. Engh honored by SFWA as 2009 Author Emerita

Here's a bit of news from the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America:
M.J. Engh honored by SFWA as 2009 Author Emerita

LOS ANGELES -- Mary Jane Engh, author of Arslan and Wheel of the Winds among other works, will be honored as Author Emerita by the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America for the 2009 Nebula Awards® Weekend in Los Angeles, Calif.

The moved was announced by SFWA President Russell Davis. The Nebula Awards Weekend will be held April 24-26 in Los Angeles, Calif., at the Luxe Hotel Sunset Boulevard, with the awards presentation banquet to be held on the UCLA campus to tie in with the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books.

“Well, I hope ‘emerita’ doesn't mean ‘over the hill,’ but I'm truly honored -- blown away, in fact,” Engh said. “It's nice to know that somebody has noticed me.”

Under the pseudonym Jane Beauclerk, Engh published her first science fiction story, “We Serve the Star of Freedom,” in the July 1964 issue of the Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction. Over the next four decades, her short fiction appeared in a wide range of markets including Universe 1, Isaac Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine and Arabesques.

In 1976 Engh published her first novel, Arslan, about a future United States conquered by a third-world power, to widespread critical acclaim. She followed that with Wheel of the Winds in 1988 and Rainbow Man in 1993.

“The reason I haven't been turning out SF in recent decades is that I'm up to my neck in historical projects,” Engh said. “I've been working on The Womb of God, a projected trilogy of historical novels on the life and times of the 5th-century Roman empress Galla Placidia, and--the biggest time-absorber--collaborating with my historian friend Kathy Meyer on a massive reference work to be called Femina Habilis: A Biographical Dictionary of Active Women in the Ancient Roman World from Earliest Times to 527 C.E.

“Plus, I do have a few chapters of a science fiction novel I hope to finish someday,” she said.

Engh’s other works range from non-fiction (2007's In the Name of Heaven: 3,000 Years of Religious Persecution) to children’s fiction (1987's The House in the Snow) as well as poetry. Her honors include the National Endowment for the Arts Creative Writing Fellowship Grant, 1982, the Mellon “Starving Artist Award,” 1997, and the Women’s Classical Caucus Oral Paper Award for 1999, shared with Kathryn E. Meyer.
Engh lives in eastern Washington state where she shares a house and a very large garden with her younger son and daughter-in-law, one dog and four cats. She maintains a website at

About SFWA
Founded in 1965 by the late Damon Knight, Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America brings together the most successful and daring writers of speculative fiction throughout the world.

Since its inception, SFWA® has grown in numbers and influence until it is now widely recognized as one of the most effective non-profit writers' organizations in existence, boasting a membership of approximately 1,500 science fiction and fantasy writers as well as artists, editors and allied professionals. Each year the organization presents the prestigious Nebula Awards® for the year’s best literary and dramatic works of speculative fiction.

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