|A graduate of San Diego State University with highest honors in anthropology, Joan Carol Dennison married science fiction writer Vernor Vinge in 1972, changing her name to Joan D. Vinge. Greatly influenced by Andre Norton, Vinge's first published science fiction was a short story in 1974, her debut novel, THE OUTCASTS OF HEAVEN BELT, coming four years later. Forming the first book in a duology, (the second part being 1980's LEGACY), OUTCASTS... was an elaborate tale of collapsing patriarchy among the stars. That same year, 1978, Vinge won her first Hugo Award for a story called "Eyes of Amber". In 1980 she published her second novel, THE SNOW QUEEN, to great acclaim, winning another Hugo, a Locus Award, and receiving numerous other nominations. THE SNOW QUEEN, about political machinations, cloning, and a planet with very long years, remains her most well-known book. Followed by two sequels, this series is undoubtedly her most successful work. Apart from the Cat books, a series that was expanded from a shorter piece written in her teenage years, much of the rest of her writing consists of movie novelizations--which include MAD MAX BEYOND THUNDERDOME, LADYHAWKE, WILLOW, and LOST IN SPACE. Though not terrifically prolific, Vinge is clearly capable of great writing. Following a cross-country move, raising two children with her second husband, and an extended illness--she produced the third in the Cat series, 1996's DREAMFALL. The book garnered Vinge her 13th nomination in the annual Locus Reader's Poll, seeming proof that she will always have an audience.