Kate Wilhelm

Kate Wilhelm was an American writer born in 1928. Kate unfortunately passed away on March 8th, 2018.


Growing up as Kate Gertrude Meredith in Toledo Ohio, Kate Wilhelm, daughter to Jesse and Ann Meredith, attended high school in Louisville, Kentucky.

She dipped her toe into a number of fields, working as a model for a while before becoming a sales clerk, telephone operator, switchboard operator and eventually foraying into the world of insurance as an underwriter.

Kate married Joseph Wilhelm in 1947, the couple bearing two sons. They divorced in 1962, with Kate marrying Damon Knight in 1963. The couple lived in Eugene, Oregon until her husband’s death in 2002.

+Literary Career

Kate Wilhelm’s first published work ‘The Pint-Size Genie’ hit the shelves in October of 1956 in that month’s issue of Fantastic. One year later, one of her stories appeared in John W. Campbell’s Astounding Science Fiction, with nearly a dozen of her speculative stories eventually undergoing publication between 1958 and 1959.

The author’s first foray into the science fiction arena came in the form of ‘The Clone’, the story, published in 1965 and written with the assistance of Theodore L. Thomas, making waves at the Nebula Awards that year.

Over the last several decades, Kate Wilhelm’s works have appeared in publications like Orbit, The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Fantastic, Asimov’s Science Fiction, Locus, Omni and Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine to mention but a few.

Her relationship with Damon Knight might have played a notable role in the success she received later on in life, Damon Knight having gained renown not only for the authors he mentored but his efforts in the establishment of the Milford Writer’s Workshop and the Clarion Writer’s Workshop.

Kate Wilhelm has made an effort to continuing hosting monthly workshops since her husband’s death.


Kate Wilhelm has won many awards during her many years as an author, this not taking into account her induction into the Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame in 2003.

She received the Solstice Award from the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America in 2009, the purpose of which was to recognize the significant impact she had had upon the science fiction arena.

She has also won the Nebula Award for Best Short Story (1968), the Hugo Award for Best Novel (1977) and the Locus Award for Best Novel (1977) to mention but a few.

Kate Wilhelm’s works are diverse, ranging from mysteries to courtroom dramas and science fiction stories.

+Huysman’s Pet

Stanley Huysman is a Nobel Prize-winning scientist. He has spent the last few years of his life pursuing far-out experiments that have never attracted much interest from the scientific community.

It isn’t until Huysman finally dies that his visionary genius becomes clear, this after Irma, his window contracts the services of Drew Lancaster to write Stanley’s Biography.

Upon exploring Stanley’s files and notes, Drew comes to learn of the extent of Huysman’s success, that he had actually induced telepathy in his subjects via genetic manipulation.

More than that, Clyde Dohemy, Stanley’s assistant, had taken over the project with the purpose of attracting lucrative funding.

Driven to act, Drew seeks out the assistance of his ex-wife along with Irma and a collection of young individuals that knew about Huysman’s experiments with the purpose of trapping Dohemy. Instead, the group is drawn into a web of secrets involving gambling casinos, senate files, and the secret service.

Huysman’s pet is an irresistible read especially for science fiction fans, painting images of mad scientists, experimental primates, and devious conspiracies; one of Kate Wilhelm’s more notable science fiction stories, the book centers upon Drew Lancaster, a biographer that begins poking around Stanley Husyman’s life, the secrets he stumbles upon changing his life forever.

The subplots that weave through the story are shockingly entertaining, this including the secret service agent determined to bring Drew to justice for counterfeiting.

Drew’s numerous attempts to seduce and sleep with a beautiful researcher make for many lighthearted and almost humorous chapters; the drama surrounding his relationship with his wife, their amicable divorce and the forces that keep pulling them back together provides the meat of the story in many cases.

Most readers will find Drew’s twelve-year-old daughter particularly likable, the young lady written to resemble the sort of character whose company you would thoroughly enjoy.

While the novel is filled to the brim with clues about the true nature of Husyman’s experiments, Huysman’s pet doesn’t particularly emphasize the mystery aspects of the story, at least not in a manner that would satisfy mystery fans.

More than that, though, the novel is a little light on the science. However, while the plot is, for the most part, unbelievable, hardly suspenseful, scary or even original, Huysman’s Pet is none the less worth the read, funny, well-written and highly engaging.

+Welcome, Chaos

Lyle Taney chose to abandon her teaching job to live high in the mountains not only because she wanted to research the ways of eagles but because of her intention to begin writing her next book.

Lasater is an unscrupulous character, a skilled operative that always thought he could maneuver Lyle as he pleased, certain that women simply lacked the ability to make moral or ethical decisions.

He comes learns how wrong his assumptions are. When the obscure government agent from a mysterious department attempts to force Lyle to spy on her mysterious neighbors, she makes every effort to resist him.

She is unaware of the role she is about to play in a life and death struggle.

‘Welcome, Chaos’ is one of Kate Wilhelm’s earliest works. Exploring science fiction long before Kate had begun blending her science fiction stories with mystery elements, the story of ‘Welcome, Chaos’ revolves around a suspicious serum capable of stopping the aging process and over which various cold war factions are fighting.

Kate Wilhelm emphasizes the natural landscape in this novel even while exploring the psychological aspects of her characters and their plots in great detail.

The book can be referred to as being highly descriptive, representing the thoughtfulness of the writer author behind it. Admittedly, as a result, the plot takes a while to progress, the meat of the novel only coming into play several chapters down the line.

While hardly Kate Wilhelm’s best or most entertaining novel, ‘Welcome, Chaos’ is none the less worth reading, Kate’s characters making for some interesting chapters.


Books in order of publication by series:

Constance and Charlie Books

The Hamlet Trap(1987) 
The Dark Door(1988) 
Smart House(1989) 
Sweet, Sweet Poison(1990) 
Seven Kinds of Death(1992) 
A Flush of Shadows(1995) 
The Gorgon Field(2012) 
All For One(2012) 
Sister Angel(2012) 
Torch Song(2012) 
With Thimbles, With Forks, And Hope(2012) 
Whisper Her Name(2012) 

Barbara Holloway Books

Death Qualified: A Mystery of Chaos(1991) 
The Best Defense(1994) 
For the Defense(1996) 
Defense for the Devil(1999) 
No Defense(2000) 
Desperate Measures(2001) 
Clear and Convicing Proof(2003) 
The Unbidden Truth(2004) 
Sleight of Hand(2006) 
A Wrongful Death(2007) 
Cold Case(2008) 
Heaven is High(2011) 
By Stone By Blade By Fire(2012) 
Mirror, Mirror(2017) 

Standalone Novels

More Bitter Than Death(1962) 
The Mile-Long Spaceship(1963) 
The Clone(1965) 
Andover and the Android(1966) 
The Nevermore Affair(1966) 
The Killer Thing(1967) 
Let the Fire Fall(1969) 
The Year of the Cloud(1970) 
Margaret and I(1971) 
City of Cain(1974) 
The Infinity Box(1975) 
Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang(1975) 
The Clewiston Test(1976) 
Fault Lines(1977) 
Juniper Time(1979) 
A Sense of Shadow(1981) 
The Winter Beach(1981) 
Oh, Susannah!(1982) 
Welcome, Chaos(1983) 
Huysman’s Pets(1985) 
Crazy Time(1988) 
Cambio Bay(1990) 
Justice for Some(1993) 
The Good Children(1998) 
The Deepest Water(2000) 
The Price of Silence(2005) 
Death of an Artist(2012) 
In Between(2014) 

Short Stories

The Girl Who Fell Into the Sky(1991) 
Naming the Flowers(1992) 

Short Story Collections

The Downstairs Room(1968) 
Nebula Award Stories 9(1974) 
Somerset Dreams and Other Fictions(1978) 
Better Than One(1980) 
Listen, Listen(1981) 
Children of the Wind(1989) 
And the Angels Sing(1992) 
Fear is a Cold Black(2010) 
The Bird Cage(2012) 
Music Makers(2012) 

Non-Fiction Books

The Hills Are Dancing(1986)
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