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Joan D. Vinge Papers

Identifier: MS-0604

Scope and Contents

The Joan D. Vinge Papers date from 1974 to 2013 and document Vinge's career as a science fiction writer, inlcuding here writing process and business affairs, as well as her professional associations and personal interests. Materials include manuscripts, correspondence, fanzines, phorographs, and a small amount of material from Vinge's husband Jim Frenkel. The collection is divided into three series: Manuscripts, Personal Files, and Jim Frenkel Files.

Series I Manuscripts is divided into eight subseries: Heaven Chronicles, The Snow Queen Cycle, Cat Books, Short Stories, Media Novelizations, Anthologies, The Random House Book of Greek Myths, and At Light: a Teleplay

Subseries 1 The Heaven Chronicles 1978-1980 consists of the manuscripts The Outcasts of Heaven Belt, Legacy, and the working title Fool's Gold, which was later changed to Legacy. In addition, the collection includes synopsis, outlines, maps, and afterword essays.

Subseries 2 The Snow Queen Cycle 1980-2000 consists of the manuscripts The Snow Queen, World's End, working title Fire Lake which was later changed to World's End, The Summer Queen, and Tangled Up In Blue. The series includes correspondence, notebooks, screenplays, a screenwriter's agreement for The Snow Queen, and galleys.

Subseries 3 The Cat 1982-1996 consists of the manuscripts Psion, the working title Blue Stone Planet which was later changed to Psion, Catspaw, Dreamfall, and the working title Refuge, which was later changed to Dreamall. In addition to the manuscripts, the series includes correspondence, outlines, Refuge synopsis and proposal, and notebooks.

Subseries 4 Short stories 1974-1982 subseries consists of the manuscripts Tin Soldier, To Bell The Cat, The Storm King, Voices From The Dust, The Hunt of the Unicorn, and Exorcycle. It also contains a magazine article for the setting in Voices From The Dust, a synopsis, photos, and a notebook.

Subseries 5 Media novelizations 1983-2013 subseries is the largest and consists of the novelizations Star Wars: Return Of The Jedi-The Storybook based on the movie, Tarzan, King of The Apes, The Dune Storybook, Return To Oz, Mad Max Beyond The Thunderdome, Santa Claus: The Movie Storybook, Ladyhawke, Willow, Lost In Space, Cowboys and Aliens, and 47 Ronin. The series also contains notebooks, screenplays, correspondence, Star Wars origin radio script, galleys, Tarzan of the Apes book, stills, movie photos, storyboards, publicity, plot outlines, notes, style sheets, synopsis, an article interviewing George Lucas, scripts, and Lost In Space comic strip and dust jackets.

Subseries 6 Anthologies 1988-1992consists of manuscripts The Year's Best Fantasy First Annual Collection, The Year's Best Fantasy Second Annual Collection, and The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror Fifth Annual Collection.

Subseries 7 The Random House Book of Greek Myths dates to 1999 consists of the manuscript, illustrations, and correspondence.

Subseries 8 At Light: a Teleplay

Series II Personal Files documents Vinge’s business affairs, contacts within the science fiction fandom community, and interests outside of writing. Materials include business and personal correspondence, financial records, a personal experience note. Also included is a copy of The Faces of Science Fiction: Intimate Portraits of the Men and Women Who Shape the Way We Look at the Future, which contains photos of authors with a statement from each, including Joan Vinge. The bulk of this series documents Vinge's involvement in professional associations and the many science fiction and writers conventions and workshops that she attended and includes correspondence, convention programs, and ephemera. The conferences include ArmadilloCon21, Boskone, ConFiction, ConFlu, ConFrancisco, ConFusion, ConTradiction, CremeCon, I-Con 9, LunaCon, MagiCon, MidAmeriCon, MiniCon, NoreasCon, Not Just Another ConCommittee, Oasis 3 Con, ReaderCon, ReinConation, Science Fiction Association, Science Fiction Convention, Science Fiction Society, SiliCon, an Unidentified Convention Workshop, WindyCon, WisCon, and World Fantasy Con, as well as The Midnight Writer's and The Writer's Edge conferences. Additional materials include maps, itineraries, book markers, programs, schedules, and writer's magazines. In addition the series includes twenty APA (Amateur Press Association) fan magazines - Turbo-Charged party animal APA and Remember: Lindisfarne APA (1987).

Series III Jim Frenkel Files consists of Joan Vinge's husband Jim Frenkel's biography and Make More Money Writing Fiction manuscript.


  • Creation: 1974 - 2017


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

The copyright interests in these materials have not been transferred to San Diego State University. Copyright resides with the creators of materials contained in the collection or their heirs. The nature of historical archival and manuscript collections is such that copyright status may be difficult or even impossible to determine. Requests for permission to publish must be submitted to the Head of Special Collections, San Diego State University, Library and Information Access. When granted, permission is given on behalf of Special Collections as the owner of the physical item and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder(s), which must also be obtained in order to publish. Materials from our collections are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials.

Biographical Note

Joan D. Vinge was born in Baltimore, Maryland, on April 2, 1948. Vinge’s first interest was in art, but she later majored in Anthropology and graduated from San Diego State University in 1971. Vinge said she “ finds a background in anthropology very helpful in writing science fiction because it offers fresh viewpoints into looking at ‘human’behavior.” Vinge published her first novel, Tin Soldier, in 1974. She is most known for her novel series, such as The Snow Queen series, Cat series, and Heaven Chronicles series. Her novels and stories have appeared in major science fiction magazines such as Orbit 14 and 16, Millennial Women, Analog, Binary Star, and several “Best of the Year” anthologies. Her novel The Snow Queen won the Hugo Award for best science fiction novel in 1981, and her novel Psion was named Best Book for Young Adults by the American Library Association. Vinge has been nominated for several other Hugo and Nebula awards and the John W. Campbell New Writer Award. In addition to her original novels, Vinge has also written novelizations of other science fiction properties, including Return of the Jedi, Willow, and Tarzan King of the Apes. Vinge now resides in Wisconsin with her husband, the science fiction editor Jim Frenkel, with whom she has two children, Jessica and Joshua.


21 Linear Feet (50 Hollinger boxes)

Language of Materials



I. Manuscripts, 1974-2013

1. Heaven Chronicles, 1978-1980

2. Snow Queen Cycle, 1980-2000

3. Cat Manuscripts, 1982-1996

4. Short Stories, 1974-1982

5. Media Novelizations, 1983-2013

6. Anthologies, 1988-1992

7. The Random House Book of Greek Myths, 1999

8. At Light Teleplay

II. Personal Files, 1980-2017

III. Jim Frenkel Files, 1984

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of James Frenkel


2019-024, 2020-009, 2021-014, 2021-023

Joan D. Vinge Papers
Amanda Kent
December 2023
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections & University Archives Repository

5500 Campanile Dr. MC 8050
San Diego CA 92182-8050 US