Book cover: blue image on a white background of what look like jellyfish with helical, DNA-like trailing tentacles. Title in blue, "The Exile Waiting." Au thor name in black "Vonda N McIntyre"

Are you a fan of Vonda McIntyre’s science fiction? Or want to know why so many people are? Then please join me, Una McCormack, and Kate Macdonald on Tuesday to talk about Vonda McIntyre’s The Exile Waiting.

The Exile Waiting was the first novel by the Hugo and Nebula award-winning novelist Vonda N McIntyre, published in 1975. It introduces the world that McIntyre later made famous with her multi-award-winning Dreamsnake: a post-apocalyptic world in which Center, an enclosed domed city, is run by slave-owning families who control the planet’s resources, and are strangling the city’s economy by their decadence.

Mischa is a thirteen-year old sneak thief, struggling to support her drug-addict elder brother Chris, and their predatory uncle who uses their telepathic link with their captive younger sister Gemmi to control them. The alien pseudosibs Subone and Subtwo have come to Earth to take over Center’s resources. Subone is attracted by the decadent living on offer and begins to unlink from his sibling’s conditioning. Subtwo has fallen unexpectedly in love with a slave.

When Mischa defends Chris from Subone’s malice, Subtwo hunts her beneath Center’s foundations, and discovers how terrible Center’s cruelty has been to its inhabitants with genetically distorted bodies and minds. They have to rescue them and leave, but how?

This is the new edition of Vonda’s first novel, and includes a wonderful Afterword by Una, and the first reprint of the original story, “Cages,” originally published in Quark 4, in which she first created the pseudosibs and their origins.

Vonda’s best-known novel is Dreamsnake (1978), which won the 1979 Hugo and Nebula awards for Best Novel. But The Exile Waiting was her first, and you can see so many of her themes and motifs emerge here. It’s going to be a wonderful hour of conversation—and a great opportunity to ask questions, whether about the publication process (Kate is the publisher), the novel (Una is an academic, a fan, and—like Vonda—a writer of Star Trek novels) or Vonda herself and her other work (I was her friend and colleague, and both Una and Kate are very well-versed in her work).

All three of us admire Vonda as a person, member of the SF community, and writer. We would dearly love to share that admiration with you. So please join us on Zoom on Tuesday (11:30 – 12:30 Pacific/14:30 – 15:30 Eastern/19:30 – 20:30 UK). Book your Eventbrite ticket (£3 + VAT) here.

Date And Time
Tues, 6 October 2020
11:30 – 12:30 PDT

About this Event
Una McCormack and Nicola Griffith talk about Vonda N McIntyre’s great science fiction novel The Exile Waiting from 1975, republished by Handheld Press in 2019. Una wrote the introduction for this new edition, and Nicola wrote a heartfelt endorsement. Una’s new Star Trek novel will be published in November, The Autobiography of Kathryn Janeway, so they’ll be talking about writing for Star Trek too. Kate Macdonald of Handheld Press will moderate the conversation. All attendees will receive a special code giving a discount on The Exile Waiting from the Handheld shop.

About Vonda
Vonda N McIntyre’s most well-known novel is Dreamsnake (1978), which won the 1979 Hugo and Nebula awards for Best Novel. She was a biologist by training, and the author of several Star Trek and Star Wars novels and many short stories. Her 1997 novel The Moon and the Sun was filmed in 2013 as The King’s Daughter. She died in 2019. More at the Encyclopedia of Science Fiction, or Wikipedia, or her website.