About Mary

Kowal1Hugo-award winning author, Mary Robinette Kowal is a novelist and professional puppeteer. Her debut novel Shades of Milk and Honey (Tor 2010) was nominated for the 2010 Nebula Award for Best Novel. In 2008 she won the Campbell Award for Best New Writer, while three of her short fiction works have been nominated for the Hugo Award: “Evil Robot Monkey” in 2009 and “For Want of a Nail” in 2011, which won the Hugo for short story that year. Her stories have appeared in Strange Horizons, Asimov’s, and several Year’s Best anthologies, as well as in her collection Scenting the Dark and Other Stories from Subterranean Press.

Kowal is also an award-winning puppeteer. With over twenty years of experience, she has performed for LazyTown (CBS), the Center for Puppetry Arts, Jim Henson Pictures and founded Other Hand Productions. Her designs have garnered two UNIMA-USA Citations of Excellence, the highest award an American puppeteer can achieve.

When she isn’t writing or puppeteering, Kowal brings her speech and theater background to her work as a voice actor. As the voice behind several audio books and short stories, she has recorded fiction for authors such as Kage Baker, Cory Doctorow and John Scalzi.

Mary lives in Chicago with her husband Rob and over a dozen manual typewriters. Sometimes she even writes on them.

Recent Journal Entries

Why I’m spending today swapping out the dialect in my novel

My project today is replacing all the dialogue spoken by Antiguan characters in Of Noble Family with dialogue rewritten by Antiguan and Barbudan author Joanne Hillhouse. Let me explain why I’m doing this. I grew up in the American South — specifically the Piedmont of North Carolina and East Tennessee. The reason I’m being specific about […]

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My Favorite Bit: Max Gladstone talks about FULL FATHOM FIVE

Max Gladstone is joining us today with his novel Full Fathom Five. Here’s the publisher’s description. On the island of Kavekana, Kai builds gods to order, then hands them to others to maintain. Her creations aren’t conscious and lack their own wills and voices, but they accept sacrifices, and protect their worshippers from other gods—perfect […]

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Also, my father definitely does not own a DeLorean.

I’m mean, sure, his mother’s maiden name was Walker which just happens to be the maiden name of Jane Austen’s mother. And yes, my parents live at Robin’s Roost, which is the old Walker farm that just happens to have been in our family since the mid-1800s, but that’s total coincidence. Clearly, my family has a long […]

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To answer your questions– I am not a Time Lord.

So, the Jane Austen Centre in Bath, has unveiled a forensic recreation of Jane Austen. Allow me to tell you a story, that is purely fiction. Jane Austen was very ill in 1817 and her family called for the Doctor. Though this good gentlemen did his best, there was nothing that could be done for […]

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