Catherynne M. Valente is a New York Times Bestselling author of fantasy and science fiction novels, short stories, and poetry. She lives on a small island off the coast of Maine with her partner, two dogs, two enormous friendly cats and one less enormous, less friendly one, five chickens, a red accordion, an uncompleted master’s degree, a roomful of yarn, a spinning wheel with ulterior motives, a cupboard of jam and pickles, a bookshelf full of folktales, an industrial torch, an Oxford English Dictionary, and a DSL connection.
She has written over two dozen volumes of fiction and poetry since her first novel, The Labyrinth, was published in 2004. Her full-length novels include (chronologically) Yume no Hon: The Book of Dreams, The Grass-Cutting Sword, The Orphan’s Tales (a duology consisting of In the Night Garden and Cities of Coin and Spice), Palimpsest, The Habitation of the Blessed, Deathless, and The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making.
She is also the author of two novellas, Under In the Mere and The Ice Puzzle as well as several collections of poetry, including Apocrypha and Oracles (2005), The Descent of Inanna (2006) and A Guide to Folktales in Fragile Dialects (2008). Her first collection of short stories, Ventriloquism, came out in the winter of 2010, her second, The Bread We Eat in Dreams, in 2013, followed by an essay collection, Indistinguishable from Magic, in 2014.
Her poetry and short fiction can be found online and in print in such journals as Clarkesworld Magazine, Tor.com, Fantasy Magazine, Electric Velocipede, Lightspeed Magazine, Subterranean Online, and Weird Tales, as well as in anthologies such as Interfictions, Salon Fantastique, Welcome to Bordertown, Teeth, Paper Cities, Steampunk Reloaded, Haunted Legends and featured in numerous Year’s Best collections.
She has won or been nominated for every major award in her field: the Hugo (2010, 2012, 2013, 2014), Nebula (2013 & 2014), Locus (2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014) and World Fantasy Awards (2007, 2009, 2011, 2014). In the Night Garden won the James Tiptree Jr. Award for expanding gender and sexuality in SFF (2007), and the series as a whole won the Mythopoeic Award for Adults (2008). Palimpsest won the Lambda Award for LGBT fiction (2010). Her story Urchins, While Swimming, received the Million Writers Award for best online short fiction in 2006 and her poem The Seven Devils of Central California won the Rhysling Award in 2008.
In 2010, The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making became the first self-published work to win a major literary award, winning the Andre Norton Award for YA literature before it saw print in 2011, going on to become a national bestseller. The sequel, The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There, was listed by Time Magazine and NPR as one of the ten best books of 2012.
In 2012 she received the Locus Award for Best Novella (Silently and Very Fast), Best Novelette (White Lines On A Green Field) and Best YA Novel (The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making). In 2014, she received the award for Best YA Novel (The Girl Who Soared Over Fairyland and Cut the Moon in Two) and Best Novella (Six-Gun Snow White). Her novels and short stories have been published in twenty-seven countries.
As part of the SF Squeecast she won the Hugo for Best Fancast in 2012 and 2013, as the editor of Apex Magazine, she was nominated in 2012. She was nominated for the Hugo and Nebula awards for her dystopian novelette Fade to White in 2013, and her Western novella Six-Gun Snow White in 2014.
Her 2011 adult novel, Deathless, has sold film rights to the premier Russian filmmaker Aleksander Rodnyansky. Her next adult book, Radiance, is due out from Tor in the fall of 2015. The New York Times has called her “an incandescent young star.”
Cat was born on Cinco de Mayo in Seattle and lived there until she was 13. The rest of her growing up she managed in California, living several of the notable “S” cities of the West Coast: Seattle, Sacramento, San Francisco, San Luis Obispo, and San Diego.
She is the oldest of five children.
She graduated from high school at age 15, going on to UC San Diego and Edinburgh University, receiving her B.A. in Classics with an emphasis in Ancient Greek Linguistics.
She lived in Japan for two years, in Cleveland for three, Virginia for two, once lived in Chicago for a month for no particular reason, and Melbourne, Australia for slightly longer than a month for a very specific reason. She has worked as a professional fortune teller, telemarketer, private tutor, librarian, waitress, bartender, actress, and statistician, all of which are more or less the same thing. If you add all of those jobs up and add self-employment tax, you get a fantasy novelist.
Short version, for editors in search of a biography:
Catherynne M. Valente is the New York Times bestselling author of over two dozen works of fiction and poetry, including Palimpsest, the Orphan’s Tales series, Deathless, Radiance, and the crowdfunded phenomenon The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Own Making. She is the winner of the Andre Norton, Tiptree, Mythopoeic, Rhysling, Lambda, Locus and Hugo awards. She has been a finalist for the Nebula and World Fantasy Awards. She lives on an island off the coast of Maine with a small but growing menagerie of beasts, some of which are human.