Joan's 1986 Campbell Award-winning novel A Door Into Ocean shows her command of genetics and ecological science, as well as her commitment to pacifism and feminism. It depicts the ecosystem of a planet covered entirely by water, inhabited by an exclusively female race of genetic engineers. Daughter of Elysium (1993), The Children Star (1998), and Brain Plague (2000) are loose sequels.
A serialization of The Children Star (1998) appeared in Analog Science Fiction and Fact, a magazine known for hard science fiction.
Her most recent book, Brain Plague (2000), depicts a world where intelligent microbes inhabit human brains. The microbial aliens have potential for great good as well as great evil. They evolve in the same way as pathogens such as the AIDS virus or as symbionts such as our digestive bacteria, which help keep humans healthy. Brain Plague tells of a future in which genetic engineering, combined with nanotechnology, can do everything from shaping our bodies to growing enormous buildings for us.
Still Forms on Foxfield (1980) (1988)
A Door Into Ocean (1986)
The Wall Around Eden (1989)
Daughter of Elysium (1993)
The Children Star (1998)
Brain Plague (2000)
John Campbell Memorial Award for Best Science Fiction Novel, A Door into Ocean, 1987.
Robert Tomsich Award, for outstanding achievement in research in science, Kenyon College, 2001.
Silver Medalist, National Professor of the Year program, Council for the Advancement and Support of Education, Washington DC, 1989.
Where to find Joan Slonczewski online
Where to buy in print
“In Joan Slonczewski’s Brain Plague...a starving artist on the planet Veledon agrees to let a colony of “brain enhancers” occupy her skull. These microscopic creatures live in the brain’s outer linings, causing bursts of genius—or irreparable harm. The creatures themselves are like tiny human beings; one of their greatest concerns is getting their young to breed.” — The New Yorker
The Children Star - an Elysium Cycle novel
Genetically modified children have settled Prokaryon—a world where chemistry kills unaltered adults. Now a ruthless corporation threatens to destroy Prokaryon by terraforming. But what of the alien intelligent life directing all aspects of the planet's existence?
Daughter of Elysium - An Elysium Cycle Novel
The pristine city of Elysium floats on the water world of Shora, inhabited by "immortals" who have succeeded in unlocking the secrets of life. Outsider Blackbear Windclan wants to share the secret of immortality with his own people, but can he, and the City of Elysium, survive the corruption and decadence that immortality has bred into the ageless society?
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