Profile of Mary Robinette Kowal

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This profile moderated by Mary Robinette Kowal.


Mary Robinette Kowal is a professional puppeteer who moonlights as a writer.  She has performed for LazyTown (CBS), the Center for Puppetry Arts, Jim Henson Pictures and founded Other Hand Productions. Her design work has garnered two UNIMA-USA Citations of Excellence, the highest award an American puppeteer can achieve.

Mrs. Kowal's short fiction appears in Strange Horizons, Apex Digest and All-Star Stories: Presents Twenty Epics.  She is the art director of Shimmer and a graduate of Orson Scott Card's Literary BootCamp.

In 2008, she received the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer.




Short Fiction

Evil Robot Monkey - Solaris Book of New Science Fiction Volume 2, January 2008
Tomorrow and Tomorrow - Gratia Placentia, 2008
Some other Day - All Possible Worlds, 2008
Rampion - Prime Codex Anthology, 2007
Death Comes but Twice - Talebones, 2007
For Solo Cello, op. 12 - Cosmos, February 2007
Strings of Love - Dr. Who: Destination Prague, May 2007
Locked In - Apex Digest #9
Chrysalis -
Aoife's Kiss, December, 2007
This Little Pig
  - Cicada, January/February, 2007
Bound Man  - All-Star Stories: Twenty Epics, May 2006
Cerbo in Vitra ujo  - Apex Digest Issue 6, June 2006
Portrait of Ari - Strange Horizons, January 30, 2006
Rampion- The First Line, Spring 2005
The Shocking Affair of the Dutch Steamship Friesland - The First Line, Fall 2004
Just RightThe First Line, Summer 2004

Audio Fiction

Rampion - Recorded for The First Line on Tape, September 2005.
Murder of Crows -  Written and recorded for Willamette Radio Workshop, October 2003


For Solo Cello, op. 12 - Rich Horton's Science-Fiction Best of the Year anthology


Orson Scott Card
on "Rampion"

Wonderful story. And a good, low-key, but chilling reading.

Rich Horton
on "For Solo Cello, op. 12"

"[Cosmos's] fiction is consistently interesting -- always SF, often fairly near future focussed, as befits a popular science magazine in many ways. I really liked one of the 2007 stories, Mary Robinette Kowal's "For Solo Cello, Op. 12" (February/March), about a cellist who loses an arm, then gets offered a wrenching choice for a way to replace the arm. "

Michele Lee, Tangent Online
on "Death Comes But Twice"

Death Comes But Twice by Mary Robinette Kowal is a style of horror (with a spike of science fiction) not seen often today. Obviously rooted in classics like Robert Louis Stevenson's The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and Bram Stoker's Dracula, this tale of a medical experiment to ward off death addresses the reader directly and has a dark finale and the fine writing that readers have come to expect from Kowal.

SF Observer
on "Death Comes But Twice"

Kowal does a nice job with this story its short, to the point and elegant. It doesnt stray from the base idea and its implications and its results. The story is clearly based in works like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and other such period pieces, but its only vaguely a pastiche of such works. ... This was probably my favorite of the issue, even above the Nolan and Glass pieces.

Strange Horizons
on "Bound Man"

Most successful is "Bound Man," Mary Robinette Kowal's stark re-humanization of the hero archetype. When the soldier-priest Halldhard-pressed by foes, chants the spell to summon the legendary warrior Li Reiko, he has no idea that he is in fact bringing her out of the past, separating her from her children and the life she knows and setting in motion the chain of events that leads to the development of his own culture. As she struggles to adapt to her new reality, Reiko's grief and anger stand in sharp contrast to the usual devil-may-care attitude of mythical heroes

Tangent Online
on "Cerbo en Vitra ujo"

...Kowal does know how to tell a gripping tale, blending sex and violence to an exciting conclusion.

Internet Review of Science Fiction
on "Portrait of Ari"

For all its brevity and apparent simplicity, this story packs a strong emotional punch. Beautifully, quietly done.

on "Tomorrow and Tomorrow"

The final story in [Gratia Placenti], Mary Robinette Kowals 'Tomorrow And Tomorrow' is yet another strong tale, concerning both a mothers love and a husbands hate. It is also a timely look at the idea of class systems and those who come from elsewhere; where, though being well educated and even well respected in their places or countries of origin, are forced to take menial jobs and face constant ridicule to survive in their new environment.