The Fantastic Foresight of Katherine MacLean

Over the last year, I've been trying to write more about the women who wrote SF throughout its history. We've seen a bunch: Francis Stevens, Margaret St. Clair, Judith Merrill, Leigh Brackett, C.L. Moore, and Mary Shelley. While fewer in number than their male counterparts, they were all pretty influential. Recently, there's been quite a bit of talk over the role of women who write genre fiction, and a common argument that women simply don't write hard science fiction. Katherine MacLean counters this argument, adapting well to the world of magazine fiction from the 1950s through about the 1980s. For me, it was an introduction to a new author whom I have never come across before, and it was a delight to read up on some stories that really should be read more widely. 

Also, go wish her a happy birthday - she turns 89 today.

Go read The Fantastic Foresight of Katherine MacLean over on Kirkus Reviews.


  • Science Fiction Writers, 2nd Edition, edited by Richard Bleiler. Part of the Scribner Writers series, this volume has an excellent section on Katherine MacLean's life and works.
  • Interview, Katherine MacLean. Katherine is the first subject which I've directly interviewed for this, and she provided quite a bit of detail for this piece.
  • The Diploids and Other Flights of Fancy, Katherine MacLean. This is an excellent collection of 8 short stories - in particular, read Incommunicado.
  • An Interview with Katherine MacLean, Darrell Schweitzer. This interview appeared in the New York Review of Science Fiction's July 2013 issue, and it's an excellent, in depth chat about her life and works, conducted at the 2012 ReaderCon in Burlington MA. It's worth a read.