PERSONAL: Female. Hobbies and other interests: Running, walking half-marathons, puppies, reading, writing.
CAREER: Writer and information scientist. City of Kirkland, Kirkland, WA, chief information officer; host of the Science Fiction and Space and Science sections, Futurist.com; lecturer.
Author of short stories (some with Niven) and poetry appearing several publications, including Analog Science Fiction and Fact, Asimov's Science Fiction, and Sala Review. Also contributor to Valdemar anthology Sun in Glory, DAW Books, and to Tekno Books anthology edited by Kerrie Hughes.
SIDELIGHTS: Brenda Cooper writes science fiction, sometimes in collaboration with Larry Niven. In their first full-length novel, Building Harlequin's Moon, Cooper and Niven tell the story of the spaceship John Glenn and its crew and of the colonists they are transporting to Ymir, a pristine planet they hope to terraform into another Earth. Unfortunately, the ship has a problem and they find themselves stranded near the gaseous planet of Harlequin. In an effort to get the antimatter power that they need, they decide to combine the planet's many moons into one moon called Selene. However, this is no short-term project. The colonists' work draws out over many years; and they ultimately turn their own children, referred to as Moon Borns, into virtual slaves who are not allowed to enter the John Glenn. Only Rachel, a Moon Born who has been trained in terraforming, is eventually allowed on board the ship, where she realizes that the ship's council are consumed with getting to their original destination and have given little thought to her and her kind. When it is finally time to leave, the fate of the Moon Borns is in jeopardy.
Critical response to Building Harlequin's Moon was predominantly positive. A Publishers Weekly contributor recommended the book for "fans of both hard and softer, psychological" science fiction. Regina Schroeder, writing in Booklist, commented that the authors "craft an entertaining epic … concerning cultural obsessiveness and the fear and worship of science."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, June 1, 2005, Regina Schroeder, review of Building Harlequin's Moon, p. 1769.
Entertainment Weekly, July 8, 2005, Noah Robischon, review of Building Harlequin's Moon, p. 73.
Kirkus Reviews, May 1, 2005, review of Building Harlequin's Moon, p. 518.
Library Journal, June 15, 2005, Jackie Cassada, review of Building Harlequin's Moon, p. 66.
Publishers Weekly, May 16, 2005, review of Building Harlequin's Moon, p. 45.
Brenda Cooper Home Page, http://www.brendacooper.com (June 10, 2005).
Futurist.com, http://www.futurist.com/ (June 10, 2005), includes writings by author.