Murphy was born on March 9, 1955 in Washington state.
Murphy has used the ideas of the absurdist pseudophilosophy pataphysics in some of her writings. Along with Lisa Goldstein and Michaela Roessner, she has formed The Brazen Hussies to promote their work. Together with Karen Joy Fowler, Murphy co-founded the James Tiptree, Jr. Award in 1991.
With her second novel, The Falling Woman (1986), she won the Nebula Award, and another Nebula Award in the same year for her novelette, “Rachel in Love.” Her short story collection, Points of Departure (1990) won the Philip K. Dick Award, and her 1990 novella, Bones, won the World Fantasy Award in 1991.
From 1998 through 2018, Pat Murphy and Paul Doherty (a scientist and educator) jointly wrote the recurring ‘Science’ column in the Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction that typically appeared twice each year. Their last column was in the May/June 2018 issue; Doherty died in August 2017.
She lives in Nevada and, for more than 20 years, when she was not writing science fiction, she worked at the Exploratorium, San Francisco’s museum of science, art, and human perception. There, she published non-fiction as part of the museum staff.
Since 2014, Murphy has worked at Mystery Science creating science curriculum for elementary school teachers.
Books in order of publication: