Mitchell, Syne 1970-
MITCHELL, Syne 1970-
Born 1970, in Jackson, MS; daughter of Robert David (a college professor) and Bryce Jeanne (a college professor and psychologist; maiden name Mahoney) Mitchell; married Eric Stephen Nylund, June 21, 1997; children: Kai Mitchell. Education: St. Leo's College, B.S. (business administration), 1985; Florida State University, M.S. (solid-state physics), 1992. Hobbies and other interests: Spinning, weaving, dyeing, kayaking, kung fu.
Novelist and technical writer. Mulberry Senior High School, Clarion, WA, former physics teacher; Internet Gaming Zone, Web developer; Microsoft Corp., member of editorial staff, programmer-writer for Windows Software Development Kit, then Web Developer for. NET SDK team, until 2002.
Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, Sisters in Crime.
Baltimore Science-Fiction Society Compton Crook/Stephen Tall Memorial Award, 2002, for Murphy's Gambit.
Murphy's Gambit, Roc (New York, NY), 2000. Technogenesis, Roc (New York, NY), 2002. The Changeling Plague, Roc (New York, NY), 2003.
WORK IN PROGRESS:
A novel, tentatively titled End in Fire.
Science-fiction novelist Syne Mitchell combines her love of science with her experiences growing up in the southern United States during the civil rights era. Raised in Mississippi and earning a master's degree in physics at Florida State University, Mitchell eventually got serious about her first love—writing—and enrolled in the Clarion West six-week writer's workshop in Seattle, Washington. Spurred by her experience at Clarion, Mitchell wrote her first novel, Murphy's Gambit, which was published by Roc in 2001 and won the Compton Crook/Stephen Tall Memorial Award of the Baltimore Science Fiction Society.
In Murphy's Gambit, readers met Thiadora Murphy, a military pilot on Earth. Accepting a test mission aboard a prototype spacecraft, Murphy soon realizes that the motives for her mission are not what she has been led to believe, and that the future of the planet is at stake. Reviewing the novel for Library Journal, Jackie Cassada noted that "Mitchell combines first-rate hard-sf storytelling with a strong female protagonist in a fast-paced space adventure."
In addition to writing, Mitchell was employed for several years as a computer writer and programmer, working for both Microsoft and the Internet Gaming Zone. Her interest in computer science inspired her second novel, 2002's Technogenesis. This thriller is set in the future where most people are interconnected by the worldwide net. Mitchell's protagonist, Jasmine Reese, discovers an intelligence called Gestalt, a self-aware entity generated from the collected consciousness of eight billion networked people that threatens to take control of the entire planet. Harriet Klausner wrote in an online review for Books 'n' Bytes that "Mitchell has written an absorbing and creative science fiction tale that is fine entertainment for those fans that like a futuristic drama."
In the spring of 2002 Mitchell retired from Microsoft to write full time, and her third novel, The Changeling Plague was published the following spring. In this book Mitchell used her knowledge of physics to create a medical thriller where an illegal genetic therapy goes awry, threatening a worldwide plague. Regina Schroeder, writing for Booklist, called The Changeling Plague "Cloaked in fast-paced entertainment," and added that "Mitchell's futurist medical thriller and cyberpunk meditation is at heart a very human story of the desire to become more than we are."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, February 15, 2003, Regina Schroeder, review of The Changeling Plague, p. 1060.
Library Journal, November 15, 2000, Jackie Cassada, review of Murphy's Gambit, p. 101.
Books 'n' Bytes,http://www.booksnbytes.com/ (July 9, 2003), Harriet Klausner, review of Technogenesis.
Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of American Web site,http://www.sfwa.org/ (October 3, 2002), "Syne Mitchell."