Sylvia Engdahl

Biography

Sylvia Engdahl is the author of ten science fiction novels. She is best known for her six traditionally-published Young Adult novels that are also enjoyed by adults. One of them, Enchantress from the Stars, was a Newbery Honor book, winner of the 2000 Phoenix Award of the Children's Literature Association, and a finalist for the 2002 Book Sense Book of the Year in the Rediscovery category. Her Children of the Star trilogy, originally written for teens, was republished as adult SF.

Recently she has written four independently-published novels for adults, the Hidden Flame dulogy and the RIsing Flame duology. Although all her novels take place in the distant future on hypothetical worlds and thus are categorized as science fiction, they are are directed more to mainstream readers than to avid science fiction fans.

Engdahl has also issued an updated edition of her 1974 nonfiction book The Planet-Girded Suns: The Long History of Belief in Exoplanets, which is focused on original research in primary sources of the 17th through early 20th centuries. In addition she has published three collections of essays.

Now retired, she lives in Eugene, Oregon and welcomes visitors to her website at www.sylviaengdahl.com. It includes a large section on space colonization, of which she is a strong advocate, as well as detailed information about her books. She enjoys receiving email from her readers.

Where to find Sylvia Engdahl online

Where to buy in print

Series

Collected Essays
All Sylvia Engdahl's essays, including those previously published, those at her website, and new ones.
The Hidden Flame
The first of two Flame duologies, complete in itself as the second one is an independent story. Book 2 is this duology is quite different from Book 1 and contains enough backstory to be read alone.
Stewards of the Flame
Price: $2.99 USD. (Free until July 31!)
Promise of the Flame
Price: $2.99 USD. (Free until July 31!)
The Rising Flame
The second of two Flame duologies, which follows the Hidden Flame duology but is an independent story set two centuries later that does not depend on having read the previous books. It is in some repects quite different from them.
Children of the Star
A trilogy whose hardcover editions were originally published in the 1970s as Young Adult, and reissued in 2000 by a different publisher as adult science fiction.
This Star Shall Abide: aka Heritage of the Star
Price: $2.99 $1.50 USD. (50% off until July 31!)
The Doors of the Universe
Price: $2.99 USD.
Children of the Star: The Complete Trilogy
Price: $6.99 $3.50 USD. (50% off until July 31!)

Books

The Future of Being Human and Other Essays
Series: Collected Essays, Book 3. Price: Free! Words: 61,490. Language: English. Published: January 28, 2020 by Ad Stellae Books. Categories: Essay » Sociology, Essay » Technology
In this third essay collection science fiction author Sylvia Engdahl departs from the theme of space colonization on which she previously has focused, and discusses such topics as artificial intelligence, "paranormal" psi powers, healthcare policy, and the coming loss of personal privacy. Her controversial views on these subjects will inspire thought about what the future is likely to bring.
From This Green Earth: Essays on Looking Outward
Series: Collected Essays, Book 2. Price: Free! Words: 59,240. Language: English. Published: November 11, 2019 by Ad Stellae Books. Categories: Essay » Technology, Nonfiction » Science & Nature » Space Science
For the past 50 years space advocates have been frustrated by the slowness of progress in space and the failure of the public to grasp its importance not only to the future of humankind, but to the preservation of Earth's environment. But in the light of history, it's not surprising that acceptance of a new outlook on the universe is slow. All past human advances were made by visionary minorities.
Reflections on Enchantress from the Stars and Other Essays
Series: Collected Essays, Book 1. Price: Free! Words: 74,880. Language: English. Published: November 1, 2019 by Ad Stellae Books. Categories: Essay » Literature, Essay » Author profile
Here are the author's collected essays about her Newbery Honor book Enchantress from the Stars and other Young Adult and adult science fiction novels, plus two autobiographical essays. Her comments on Enchantress deal with issues she would like all its readers to be aware of. This is the first of three books that replace her book Reflections on the Future: Collected Essays, which grew too long.
The Hidden Flame: Box Set - Stewards of the Flame + Promise of the Flame
Series: The Hidden Flame. Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 332,310. Language: English. Published: April 7, 2017 by Ad Stellae Books. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » General, Fiction » Science fiction » Utopias & dystopias
When burned-out starship captain Jesse Sanders is seized by a dictatorial medical regime and detained on the colony planet Undine, he has no idea that he is about to be plunged into a bewildering new life that will involve ordeals and joys beyond anything he has ever imagined. Ultimately, he finds himself responsible for the survival of three hundred people isolated on a raw new planet.
Journey Between Worlds
Price: $2.99 USD. (Free until July 31!) Words: 63,860. Language: English. Published: October 19, 2015 by Ad Stellae Books. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Romance, Fiction » Romance » Sci-fi
Melinda has a plan for her life, and a trip to Mars isn't part of it. When she receives a ticket as a graduation gift from her dad she is dismayed, but reluctantly she agrees to go with him. After meeting Alex, a second-generation Martian colonist, she is torn between what she has always wanted and upsetting new feelings. Only a terrifying experience makes her aware of what really matters to her.
The Rising Flame: Box Set - Defender of the Flame + Herald of the Flame
Series: The Rising Flame. Price: $4.99 USD. (Free until July 31!) Words: 295,860. Language: English. Published: May 25, 2015 by Ad Stellae Books. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » General, Fiction » Visionary & metaphysical
Starship pilot Terry Radnor is elated to be among those chosen to defend the secret colony Maclairn against enemies who pose a threat to the spread of paranormal human mind powers, and commits himself wholly to its cause. He has no idea of how much grief that commitment will cost him, nor does he guess that the destiny ultimately in store for him is far stranger than anyone could have imagined.
Herald of the Flame
Series: The Rising Flame, Book 2. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 151,950. Language: English. Published: October 15, 2014 by Ad Stellae Books. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » General
After saving the secret colony Maclairn from terrorists, Terry Steward sets out to further its plan to spread advanced mind powers to the worlds of humankind. Yet Maclairn’s enemies still pose a threat, and on Earth the persecution of people with such powers is increasing. Seeking a way to defeat the conspiracy, he does not guess that he is destined to play an even greater role in human history.
Children of the Star: The Complete Trilogy
Series: Children of the Star. Price: $6.99 $3.50 USD. (50% off until July 31!) Words: 277,480. Language: English. Published: November 4, 2013 by Ad Stellae Books. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » General, Fiction » Science fiction » Utopias & dystopias
(4.00 from 1 review)
Omnibus edition (box set) of the trilogy This Star Shall Abide (aka Heritage of the Star), Beyond the Tomorrow Mountains, and The Doors of the Universe. Noren was a heretic—he defied his world’s High Law and had no faith in the Prophecy's fulfillment. But the more he learned of the grim truth about his people's situation, the less possible it seemed that their rightful heritage could be restored.
Defender of the Flame
Series: The Rising Flame, Book 1. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 144,550. Language: English. Published: April 19, 2013 by Ad Stellae Books. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » General, Fiction » Visionary & metaphysical
(4.75 from 4 reviews)
Starship pilot Terry Radnor, involved in a secret mission after training that gives him extraordinary physical and psychic capabilities, finds fulfillment in love and in commitment to a cause—until an ironic twist of fate tears him away from everything he has ever cared about. Is there any hope that he can fulfill his pledge to protect the world whose safety is crucial to the future of humankind?
The Planet-Girded Suns: The Long History of Belief in Exoplanets
Price: $4.99 USD. (Free until July 31!) Words: 89,260. Language: English. Published: May 18, 2012 by Ad Stellae Books. Categories: Nonfiction » History » Civilization, Nonfiction » Science & Nature » History of Science
From the late 17th century until the end of the 19th, almost all educated people believed that the stars are suns surrounded by inhabited planets. This book, first published by Atheneum in 1974 and now updated to include the scientific knowledge gained during the past 40 years, tells the story of the rise, fall, and eventual renewal of widespread conviction that we are not alone in the universe.
Anywhere, Anywhen: Stories of Tomorrow
Price: $2.99 USD. (Free until July 31!) Words: 111,150. Language: English. Published: November 20, 2011 by Ad Stellae Books. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Anthology, Fiction » Young adult or teen » Science Fiction
Intended not for SF fans but for teens who don’t ordinarily choose science fiction, this anthology of stories about the future focuses on the timeless aspects of being human. It aims to suggest ideas about the future in a way readers who prefer real-life settings to strangeness will enjoy. Contributors include Sylvia Engdahl, Shirley Rousseau Murphy, Carol Farley and other authors of YA books.
The Far Side of Evil
Price: $2.99 $1.50 USD. (50% off until July 31!) Words: 94,710. Language: English. Published: February 1, 2011 by Ad Stellae Books. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Science Fiction, Fiction » Science fiction » Utopias & dystopias
Assigned as a observer to a world whose people may soon destroy their civilization, Anthropological Service agent Elana expects merely to gain knowledge that may save other planets. When a young, inexperienced agent unwittingly endangers the entire world by a well-meant but ill-advised attempt to intervene, Elana finds that only she--at great cost--can prevent an immediate war of annihilation.
The Doors of the Universe
Series: Children of the Star, Book 3. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 120,170. Language: English. Published: April 5, 2010 by Ad Stellae Books. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Utopias & dystopias, Fiction » Science fiction » General
Children of the Star trilogy, Book Three. Noren had found faith in the Prophecy’s fulfillment in the face of overwhelming odds. Yet the more he learned of the grim truth about his people's situation, the less possible it seemed that their world could ever be changed. It would take more drastic steps than anyone imagined to restore their rightful heritage—and he alone could do what was needed.
Beyond the Tomorrow Mountains
Series: Children of the Star, Book 2. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 83,500. Language: English. Published: April 5, 2010 by Ad Stellae Books. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Utopias & dystopias, Fiction » Young adult or teen » Science Fiction
Children of the Star trilogy, Book Two. Once Noren gained admission to the City where technology was hidden, he thought he had discovered how to make metal and Machines available to everyone and end the rule of the Scholars. But he soon learned it was not as simple as he had believed. Was it right to let people go on believing in the promises of a Prophecy that might not come true after all?
This Star Shall Abide: aka Heritage of the Star
Series: Children of the Star, Book 1. Price: $2.99 $1.50 USD. (50% off until July 31!) Words: 79,950. Language: English. Published: April 5, 2010 by Ad Stellae Books. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Science Fiction, Fiction » Science fiction » Utopias & dystopias
Noren knew that his world was not as it should be—it was wrong that only the Scholars and Technicians could use metal and Machines. It was wrong that only they had access to the knowledge hidden in the mysterious City. He was a heretic. He defied the High Law and had no faith in the Prophecy’s promised fulfillment. But was defiance enough, or could some way be found to make it come true?
Promise of the Flame
Series: The Hidden Flame, Book 2. Price: $2.99 USD. (Free until July 31!) Words: 168,350. Language: English. Published: March 15, 2010 by Ad Stellae Books. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » General
Three hundred people, isolated on a raw new planet in the hope that their psi powers will become the foundation of a culture that can someday shape the future of humankind. If they don’t starve first or lose heart in the face of hardships beyond any they imagined--and if their kids can be raised to believe in the dream. Though a sequel to Stewards of the Flame, this novel is complete in itself.
Stewards of the Flame
Series: The Hidden Flame, Book 1. Price: $2.99 USD. (Free until July 31!) Words: 164,890. Language: English. Published: March 15, 2010 by Ad Stellae Books. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » General, Fiction » Science fiction » Utopias & dystopias
(4.00 from 1 review)
When starship captain Jesse Sanders is detained by a dictatorial medical regime on the colony planet Undine, he is plunged into a life involving ordeals and joys unlike anything he has ever imagined. This controversial novel deals with the so-called paranormal powers of the human mind and appeals to a wide range of readers who question the dominant medical philosophy of today's society.