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Lee Killough

(Karen Lee Killough)
USA flag (b.1942)

Lee Killough has been storytelling almost as long as she can remember, starting somewhere around the age of four or five with making up her own bedtime stories. In grade school the stories became episodes of her favorite radio and TV shows: Straight Arrow, Wild Bill Hickock, Sergeant Preston of the Yukon, and Dragnet. Beating the episode-writing practice of Trek fans by almost two decades.

Then, in keeping with wisdom that says the golden age of science fiction is about age eleven, a pre-teen Lee discovered science fiction. Having read every horse book in the school and city libraries, and repelled by the "teenager" novels that seemed to be about nothing but high school and boyfriends, she was desperately hunting for something new to read. The science fiction being shelved next to the horse stories, she start leafing through these future/space stories and decided to try one. The books was Leigh Brackett's The Starmen of Llyrdis and...lightning struck. Love at first sight. But along with the pleasure of devouring this marvelous literature came fear. She lived in a small Kansas town with a small library and she could see that as with the horse books, all too soon the section would be read dry.

Lee sometimes tells people that of course she writes SF; she deals with non-human species every day in her day job radiographing animals in the Kansas State University Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital. But she really began writing SF to make sure she never ran out of science fiction to read. And because the mystery section adjoined the SF section, leading her to discover mysteries about the same time as SF, her stories tended to combine SF with mystery.

They still do...with a noticeable fondness for cops (the influence of Dragnet, Joseph Wambaugh's books, and TV shows like Hill Street Blues). A ghost cop in "The Existential Man", a vampire cop in Blood Hunt and Bloodlinks, published together in the trade edition BloodWalk, space-going cops, werewolf cops. And the future cops Janna Brill and Mama Maxwell of Dopplegänger Gambit, Spider Play, and Dragon's Teeth, published together in the trade edition Bridling Chaos.

Lee lives and writes in Manhattan, Kansas (notice how Kansas and plains/prairie settings do turn up in her books), where she lives with a non-human-a Miniature Schnauzer-and enjoys a committed relationship with, fittingly, a book dealer.

Genres: Science Fiction, Horror
Brill and Maxwell
   0. Dragon's Teeth (1990)
   1. The Doppelganger Gambit (1979)
   2. Spider Play (1986)
   3. Shadow Maze (2020)
Blood Hunt
   1. Blood Hunt (1987)
   2. Bloodlinks (1988)
   3. Blood Games (2001)
   A Voice Out of Ramah (1978)
   The Monitor, the Miners and the Shree (1980)
   Deadly Silents (1981)
   Liberty's World (1985)
   The Leopard's Daughter (1987)
   Wilding Nights (2004)
   Killer Karma (2005)
   Ancient Enemy (2013)
   Aventine (1981)
Anthologies edited
   Seeds of Vision (2000) (with Jonathan Fesmire)
Novellas and Short Stories
   Aftershock (2010)
Non fiction
   Checking On Culture (2007)
Anthologies containing stories by Lee Killough
Short stories
Tropic of Eden (1977)
A Cup of Hemlock (1978)
Bete et Noir (1980)
The Existential Man (1982)
The Leopard's Daughter [short story] (1984)
Symphony for a Lost Traveler (1984)Hugo (nominee)

Hugo Best Short Story nominee (1985) : Symphony for a Lost Traveler

Lee Killough recommends
The Licking Valley Coon Hunters Club (2000)
Brian A Hopkins
"This is a very entertaining book. It has everything a P.I. book should... a hard-boiled but chivalrous P.I., lovely ladies in distress, quirky villains who repeatedly beat the hero to a pulp, and a plot that cracks along at the speed of a bullet. PLUS vampires and a science-fiction twist. Who could ask for anything more?"

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