Kate Wilhelm’s first novel was a mystery, published in 1963. She has recently returned to writing mysteries with her Barbara Holloway novels. Over the span of her career, her writing has crossed over the genres of Science Fiction, Speculative Fiction, fantasy and magical realism; psychological suspense, mimetic, comic, and family sagas, a multimedia stage production, and radio plays. Her works have been adapted for television and movies in the United States, England, and Germany. Wilhelm’s novels and stories have been translated to more than a dozen languages. She has contributed to QuarkOrbitMagazine of Fantasy and Science FictionLocusAmazing StoriesAsimov’s Science FictionEllery Queen’s Mystery MagazineFantasticOmniAlfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine, Redbook, and Cosmopolitan.

Wilhelm and her husband, Damon Knight (1922-2002), also provided invaluable assistance to numerous other writers over the years. Their teaching careers covered a span of several decades, and hundreds of students, many of whom are famous names in the field by their own rights today. They helped to establish the Clarion Writer’s Workshop and the Milford Writer’s Conference. They have lectured together at universities in South America and Asia. They have been the guests of honor and panelists at numerous conventions around the world. Wilhelm continues to host monthly workshops, as well as teach at other events. She is an avid supporter of local libraries and participates in fundraisers when she is able to.

Kate Wilhelm currently lives in Eugene, Oregon. In her spare time she likes to garden.


13 Responses to Biography

  1. Hello, Ms. Wilhelm!

    I founded the time-shifted blog, Galactic Journey (, where I write from the perspective of a science fiction fan living 55 years ago, day by day.

    I encountered your excellent “The Mile-Long Spaceship” five years ago, and I plan to write about your upcoming stories “as they come out” over the next several years. I wonder if you might be amenable to offering commentary about them, which I might share with my readers. If so, please contact me via email, and thank you!



  2. joe ryan says:

    just finished the ‘unbidden truth’

    you have the great ability to pull off not

    expected and almost illogical

    scenes and shifts in narrative direction

    with ease.

    my wife wrote 28 under the NAN RYAN name.

    she would have enjoyed and appreciated the bold

    professional moves and elements you employ.

    strong narrative drive.

    will read all your books.

    love, and God’s Blessings,

    joe ryan

  3. Kathie says:

    I have read (mostly audio) all the Barbara Holloway novels. I was surprised to find that Heaven is High is actually a prequel. It was nice to hear Martin and Binnie’s story. I have really enjoyed all of these. I have also read some of the Charlie and Constance books. They are very entertaining as well. Thank you for the exposure to the area around Eugene. I live in NC and have not yet visited the North West, but I hope to soon.

    • admin says:

      Kathie, thanks for your comments about Barbara Holloway and Charlie & Constance mysteries. Hoping you’re able to make it to Oregon. You may not want to leave.

  4. JoAnne Turnbull says:

    I have just finished your “Death Qualified” and have read several others of your Barbara Holloway books. I just want to say thanks, I enjoy them all.

  5. My mother, 8 years your senior,was horrified to learn that her 9-10 year old daughter would henceforth be bouncing otherworldly ideas off her for class projects. mom loved Zane Grey. In those intervening 50 years, I have read lots of sci-fi. Don’t remember a lot of them, but I have “Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang.” I have remembered the book, told others about it, remembered your name as author, and the Escher cover. While I am by no means an activist, I do my small part to be cognizant of the needs of my community. Your book was the first to make me aware, for which you have my thanks. If remember a book for almost 40 years, and how it made me feel, then that book is a 5, only because that’s the highest rating available.

    Fyi, mom put a game face on it and we came up with some cracking good stories, as I recall.

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  7. peter galvin says:

    I love all your books but Juniper Time and Where Late Sweet Birds Sang stand out as 2 of the best dystopian ecological books I’ve ever read. Your writings have made my life a much richer one.

  8. Alice Hardy says:

    Dear Ms. Wilhelm: I am a native of Corvallis, and have enjoyed your books for years. I think the first one I bought was at Powell’s in Portland, in the 70s. I trained as a Paralegal, so the Barbara Holloway novels are special favorites. I have some health problems and end up spending quite a bit of time in bed, so have come to “read” audiobooks and ebooks almost exclusively. I love to read Oregon (and other NW) authors. I don’t know if you have any control over this issue, but one thing that drives me CRAZY is when place names I’ve known from childhood are mispronounced in audiobooks. “Wilmet” rather than Williamette is a very common one. Many coastal names, names of Native American origin, and some Eastern Oregon mispronounceations bother me. They grate on my ear as badly as typos grate on my eyes! If you have any control, perhaps you can say something to the performers…BUT those issues do not diminish my enjoyment of the books. Thank you for hours of entertainment and keep up the great work!

  9. Mungai Mwangi says:

    I just wonder what criteria peoples use to choose a genius if they have not declared Kate a Creative Genius. I read the

  10. William Millay says:

    I read Juniper Time, City of Cain, and Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang, when I was 14. I also recently read Storyteller. I imagine there’s no way to actually get in touch with Kate Wilhelm?

  11. sally says:

    I just finished Heaven is High, In it it appeared Barbara didn’t know Martin and Binnie 2011 In the most recent book I have, she is helping at their restaurant? dated 2007 please respond .I have just discovered your books and am a fan already…
    thanks for your answer? SJ

    • joan hersh says:

      sally, please check out the comments section. you’ll see that ‘heaven is high’ is set in 1983 and explains the back story of how she met martin and binnie, whose restaurant she uses in future books for her office.

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