photo by Jerry Bauer

Search
Navigation
Blog Index

About Pamela Sargent

Pamela Sargent has won the Nebula and Locus Awards, been a finalist for the Hugo Award, Theodore Sturgeon Award, and Sidewise Award, and was honored in 2012 with the Pilgrim Award, given for lifetime achievement in science fiction and fantasy scholarship, by the Science Fiction Research Association.

She is the author of the science fiction novels Cloned Lives, The Sudden Star, Watchstar, The Golden Space, The Alien Upstairs, Eye of the Comet, Homesmind, Alien Child, The Shore of Women, Venus of Dreams, Venus of Shadows, and Child of Venus, as well as the alternative history Climb the Wind. Ruler of the Sky, her 1993 historical novel about Genghis Khan, was a bestseller in Germany and Spain. She also edited the Women of Wonder anthologies, the first collections of science fiction by women, published in the 1970s by Vintage/Random House and in updated editions during the 1990s by Harcourt Brace; her other anthologies are Afterlives, edited with Ian Watson, Bio-Futures, and Conqueror Fantastic.

Tor Books reissued her 1983 young adult novel Earthseed, selected as a Best Book for Young Adults by the American Library Association, and a sequel, Farseed, in early 2007.  Farseed was chosen by the New York Public Library for their 2008 Books for the Teen Age list of best books for young adults. A third novel, Seed Seeker, was published in 2010. Earthseed is in development by Paramount Pictures, with Melissa Rosenberg, scriptwriter for all five "Twilight" films, set to write and produce through her Tall Girls Productions.

Sargent sold her first published story as a senior in college at the State University of New York/Binghamton University, where she earned a B.A. and M.A. in philosophy and also studied ancient history and Greek. Her short fiction has appeared in magazines and anthologies including The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, Asimov’s SF Magazine, New Worlds, World Literature Today, Amazing Stories, Rod Serling’s Twilight Zone Magazine, Universe, Nature, and Polyphony, and in her collections Starshadows, The Best of Pamela Sargent, The Mountain Cage and Other Stories, Behind the Eyes of Dreamers and Other Short Novels, Eye of Flame, Thumbprints, and most recently Dream of Venus and Other Science Fiction Stories, published by The Borgo Press/Wildside Press in 2012. Her short story “The Shrine” was produced for the syndicated TV anthology series Tales from the Darkside, recently re-released on DVD.

Michael Moorcock has said about her writing: “If you have not read Pamela Sargent, then you should make it your business to do so at once.  She is in many ways a pioneer, both as a novelist and as a short story writer...She is one of the best.”

Pamela Sargent lives in Albany, New York.

 

Even More About Pamela Sargent

Pamela Sargent sold her first published story during her senior year in college at the State University of New York/Binghamton University, where she earned a B.A. and M.A. in philosophy and also studied ancient history and Greek.  She is the author of several highly praised novels, among them Cloned Lives (1976), The Sudden Star (1979), The Golden Space (1982), The Alien Upstairs (1983), and Alien Child (1988).  Her novel Venus of Dreams (1986) was selected by The Easton Press for its “Masterpieces of Science Fiction” series; writer and physicist Gregory Benford described it as “a sensitive portrait of people caught up in a vast project.  It tells us much about how people react to technology’s relentless hand, and does so deftly...One of the peaks of recent science fiction.”  Venus of Shadows (1988), the sequel, was called “a masterly piece of world-building” by James Morrow and “alive with humanity, moving, and memorable” by LocusThe Shore of Women (1986), one of Sargent’s best-known books, was praised as “a compelling and emotionally involving novel” by Publishers Weekly; Gerald Jonas of the New York Times said about this novel: “I applaud Ms. Sargent’s ambition and admire the way she has unflinchingly pursued the logic of her vision.”  The Washington Post Book World has called her “one of the genre's best writers.”

Sargent is also the author of Earthseed (1983), chosen as a Best Book for Young Adults by the American Library Association, and the short fiction collections Starshadows (1977) and The Best of Pamela Sargent (1987).  Her novels Watchstar (1980), Eye of the Comet (1984), and Homesmind (1984) comprise a trilogy.  She has won the Nebula Award, the Locus Award, and the Pilgrim Award, and has been a finalist for the Hugo Award and the Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award.  Her work has been translated into French, German, Dutch, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Swedish, Japanese, Polish, Chinese, Russian, Danish, and Serbo-Croatian. 

Ruler of the Sky (1993), Sargent’s epic historical novel about Genghis Khan, published in the United States by Crown Publishers and in Britain by Chatto & Windus, tells the Mongol conqueror’s story largely from the points-of-view of women.  Gary Jennings, bestselling author of the historical novels Aztec and The Journeyer, said about Ruler of the Sky: “This formidably researched and exquisitely written novel is surely destined to be known hereafter as the definitive history of the life and times and conquests of Genghis, mightiest of Khans.”  Elizabeth Marshall Thomas, anthropologist and author of Reindeer Moon and The Animal Wife, commented: “Scholarly without ever seeming pedantic, the book is fascinating from cover to cover and does admirable justice to a man who might very well be called history’s single most important character.”           

Sargent is also an editor and anthologist.  In the 1970s, she edited the Women of Wonder series, the first collections of science fiction by women; her other anthologies include Bio-Futures and, with British writer Ian Watson as co-editor, Afterlives.  Two anthologies, Women of Wonder, The Classic Years: Science Fiction by Women from the 1940s to the 1970s and Women of Wonder, The Contemporary Years: Science Fiction by Women from the 1970s to the 1990s, were published by Harcourt Brace in 1995; Publishers Weekly called these two books “essential reading for any serious sf fan.”  With artist Ron Miller, she collaborated on Firebrands: The Heroines of Science Fiction and Fantasy (1998), published by Thunder's Mouth Press in the U.S. and Collins & Brown/Paper Tiger in the U.K.

Her novel Climb the Wind: A Novel of Another America was published by HarperPrism in January of 1999 and was a finalist for the Sidewise Award for Alternate History.  Gahan Wilson, writing in Realms of Fantasy, calls this book “a most enjoyable and entertaining new alternate history adventure...which brings a new dimension to the form,” while Science Fiction Chronicle describes it as “a first class work from a first class writer.”  Child of Venus, the third novel in Sargent’s Venus trilogy, was published in May 2001 by Eos/HarperCollins, thus completing a trilogy Publishers Weekly has termed “masterful...as in previous books, Sargent brings her world to life with sympathetic characters and crisp, concise language.”  Two collections, The Mountain Cage and Other Stories (Meisha Merlin) and Behind the Eyes of Dreamers and Other Short Novels (Thorndike Press/Five Star) were published in 2002, and a third collection of fantasy stories, Eye of Flame (Thorndike Press/Five Star), came out at the end of 2003.  Michael Moorcock has said about her writing: “If you have not read Pamela Sargent, then you should make it your business to do so at once.  She is in many ways a pioneer, both as a novelist and as a short story writer...She is one of the best.”

Other publications include 2004's Conqueror Fantastic (DAW), an anthology of original stories, and Thumbprints (Golden Gryphon), a collection of Sargent’s short fiction with an introduction by James Morrow. Another collection of short fiction set against the background of her Venus trilogy, Dream of Venus and Other Science Fiction Stories, was published by The Borgo Press/Wildside Press in 2012.

In 2007, Tor Books reissued Earthseed, along with a new novel for younger readers, Farseed, which Voice of Youth Advocates, in a starred review, calls “extremely well-done. Sargent is a significant figure in modern science fiction…and this novel is a fine example of her work.” Farseed was also selected by the New York Public Library for their 2008 Books for the Teen Age list of best books for young adults. A third novel, Seed Seeker, was published by Tor in 2010; Publishers Weekly said about the book: “With prose as spare as the unadorned clothes and tools of her characters, Sargent digs down to the raw emotional roots below the contentment of a materially satisfied life.” Earthseed is in development by Paramount Pictures, with Melissa Rosenberg ("Twilight," "Dexter") writing the script and producing through her Tall Girls Productions.

Pamela Sargent lives in Albany, New York.