PERSONAL: Female. Education: Attended Clarion Writers Workshop, 1976.
ADDRESSES: Agent—c/o Jacob Weisman, Tachyon Publications, 518 Connecticut St., San Francisco, CA 94107-2833.
CAREER: Writer and editor. Former advertising copy writer, beginning 1969; director of advertising and sales promotion for Microsoft Corporation, c. mid-1980s; Global Automation, Mountain View, CA, director of marketing. Former managing editor for Gorp Web site; editor and publisher for The Infinite Matrix Web site. Member of board of directors, Clarion West Writers Workshop.
AWARDS, HONORS: Hugo Award nominations for short fiction, 1989 for "Stable Strategies for Middle Management" and 1990, for "Computer Friendly"; Cool Site of the Day citation, www.coolsiteoftheday. com, 1997, for "The Difference Dictionary" (part of Eileen Gunn Home Page).
Contributor of short stories to Asimov's Science Fiction, Hayakawa's SF Magazine, and The Norton Book of Science Fiction. Author of interpretive books for Digital Equipment Corporation, c. late 1970s–early 1980s.
WORK IN PROGRESS: A biography of Avram Davidson and a novel.
SIDELIGHTS: Eileen Gunn has been writing highly acclaimed short science-fiction stories since 1978, and the fact that she averages less than one story every two years makes her "surely one of SF's least-prolific good writers," as Peter D. Tillman noted on SFSite.com. Nearly all of Gunn's published stories to date are included in her 2004 collection, Stable Strategies and Others, which also contains two new pieces: "Coming to Terms," a story about coping with death and with the tiny, almost random scraps of writing that the dead leave behind; and a collaboration with Leslie What, "Nirvana High," about "the eternal themes of sex, death, and high school," as Gunn explained on her Web site.
Stable Strategies and Others takes its title from Gunn's Hugo Award-nominated "Stable Strategies for Middle Management," a story inspired by the author's experience working at Microsoft and other large, bureaucratic technology companies. The middle managers in this tale are willing to do anything to advance their careers, including radical bioengineering. "Fellow Americans" is an alternate history featuring President Barry Goldwater; "What Are Friends For?" tells of a group of teenagers who use pornography to evade a population-control plan imposed by alien invaders. In addition to the eleven short stories, Stable Strategies and Others also includes a recipe for "Ideologically Labile Fruit Crisp." "All of the stories in the collection are worthwhile," Tillman declared, "and some are brilliant." They "polymerize molecules of sf, fantasy, horror, surrealism, and satire into a weight greater than the original elements," Paula Guran commented on Cinefantastique Online, giving readers "fodder for a few Deep Thoughts as well as some wry grins."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, September 15, 2004, Regina Schroeder, review of Stable Strategies and Others, p. 215.
Seattle Times, October 10, 2004, review of Stable Strategies and Others.
Cinefantastique Online, http://www.cfq.com/ (May 27, 2005), Paula Guran, review of Stable Strategies and Others.
Eileen Gunn Home Page, http://www.eileengunn.com (May 27, 2005).
SFSite.net, http://www.sfsite.com/ (May 27, 2005), Peter D. Tillman, review of Stable Strategies and Others.