Katherine MacLean's picture

Katherine MacLean

(Katherine Anne MacLean)
USA flag (b.1925)
Wife of David Mason

Katherine Anne MacLean (born January 22, 1925) is an American science fiction author best known for her short stories of the 1950s which examined the impact of technological advances on individuals and society.

Brian Aldiss noted that she could "do the hard stuff magnificently," while Theodore Sturgeon observed that she "generally starts from a base of hard science, or rationalizes psi phenomena with beautifully finished logic." Although her stories have been included in numerous anthologies and a few have had radio and television adaptations, The Diploids and Other Flights of Fancy (1962) is her only collection of short fiction.

Born in Glen Ridge, New Jersey, MacLean concentrated on mathematics and science in high school. At the time her earliest stories were being published in 1949-50, she received a B.A. in economics from Barnard College (1950), followed by postgraduate studies in psychology at various universities. Her 1951 marriage to Charles Dye ended in divorce a year later. She married David Mason in 1956. Their son, Christopher Dennis Mason, was born in 1957, and they divorced in 1962.

MacLean taught literature at the University of Maine and creative writing at the Free University of Portland. Over decades, she has continued to write while employed in a wide variety of jobs -- as book reviewer, economic graphanalyst, editor, EKG technician, food analyst, laboratory technician in penicillin research, nurse's aide, office manager and payroll bookkeeper. photographer, pollster, public relations, publicist and store detective.

It was while she worked as a laboratory technician in 1947 that she began writing science fiction. Strongly influenced by Ludwig von Bertalanffy's General Systems Theory, her fiction has often demonstrated a remarkable foresight in scientific advancements.
Anthologies containing stories by Katherine MacLean
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Short stories
And Be Merry (1950)
Feedback (1951)
Second Game [short story] (1958) (with Charles V Devet)Hugo (nominee)
Unhuman Sacrifice (1958)
The Other (1966)
Perchance to Dream (1970)
The Missing Man [short story] (1971)Nebula Awards
Night-Rise (1978)
Isaac My Son (1994) (with Carl West)
Kiss Me (1997)

Hugo Best Novellette nominee (1959) : Second Game [short story]
Nebula Awards Best Novella winner (1972) : The Missing Man [short story]
Nebula Awards Best Novel nominee (1976) : Missing Man