Vanna Bonta

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Vanna Bonta
Vanna Bonta 2009.sept15.jpg
Bonta at Poetry Society conference Florence, Italy; September 2009
Born 3 April 1958
United States
Died 8 July 2014[1] (aged 56)
Occupation Writer, actor, voice artist
Language English, Italian
Genre Fiction, poetry, essay, philosophical literature, social commentary, teleplay
Literary movement Quantum fiction
Notable works Beauty and the Beast (Disney), coined quantum fiction, Flight: a quantum fiction novel[2]
Relatives Luigi Ugolini (grandfather), Maria Luisa Ugolini (mother), Lydia Ugolini (aunt)

Vanna Bonta (3 April 1958 – 8 July 2014) was an Italian-American writer, actress, and inventor. She wrote Flight: a quantum fiction novel. As an actress, Bonta played "Zed's Queen" in The Beastmaster. She performed primarily as a voice talent on a roster of feature films, such as Disney's Beauty and the Beast, as well as on television.

On 13 November 2013, a haiku by Bonta was one of 1,100 haiku launched from Cape Canaveral on the NASA spacecraft MAVEN to Mars.[3]

Bonta invented the 2suit, a flight garment designed to facilitate human intimacy and stability in microgravity environments of outerspace. The spacesuit was featured on The Universe television series, which followed Bonta into zero gravity to film an episode titled Sex in Space that aired in 2009 on the History Channel.[4]

Early life and family[edit]

Bonta was born in the United States to Maria Luisa Bonta (née Ugolini; 1918–1997), an artist from Florence, Italy, and James Cecil Bonta (1918–1992), a military officer from Kentucky. Her mother's elder sister was Italian children's author Lydia Ugolini.[citation needed]

While taking college classes in journalism, drama, music and photography, Bonta was hired as a staff feature writer for The Unicorn Times, a Washington, D.C. underground newspaper. Bonta wrote about art, dance, and music, and her article archives include an interview with celebrated American jazz singer Eddie Jefferson, inventor of vocalese. As a result of incoming mail from readers, she soon had her own column titled "Near Vanna", in parody of the Dear Abby column, in which she publicly answered questions that had started coming in from readers about the arts. The column's banner was "Ask me, I'm not afraid to know", and ran for four issues.[5][better source needed]



Bonta had several small on-screen roles, including a nonspeaking part as Zed's queen in The Beastmaster and the part of a laboratory student in Time Walker. As a voice actor, she had small and often uncredited roles in several productions, including An American Tail: Feivel Goes West, Hocus Pocus, Demolition Man, What Dreams May Come and various television shows.[citation needed]


Bonta pitched three screenplays for Star Trek: The Next Generation, and her story "Somewhen" was picked up for the series, although it was not produced.[6][7]


In 1995, Bonta's first novel, Flight: A Quantum Fiction Novel was published. Flight has been characterized as "inter-genre" (belonging to more than one genre simultaneously) by the American Library Association, which reviewed it an "auspicious, genre-bending parable".[8] Publishers Weekly described the debut work as running the gamut of particularly moving to quirky and hilarious satire, with "asides about bathtub books, self-doubt tapes and other foibles."[9]

With the publication of Flight, Bonta claimed that she introduced the term "quantum fiction" to the literary world.[citation needed]

MAVEN Haiku[edit]

In 2013, a haiku Bonta wrote was one of over 1100 that was launched to Mars on the NASA spacecraft MAVEN.[10] The haikus for the Mars trip were chosen by popular vote from a total 12,530 submissions. Bonta's submission was ranked in the top five.[3][11][12][13]


The 2Suit[edit]

In 2006, Bonta gave talks about an invention she called the 2suit, a flight garment that can be attached to another 2suit to allow two or more people to stay in proximity to one another in low-gravity environments. Although it had several other potential applications, its primary purpose was to enable sex in space. Producers of the History Channel television series The Universe approached Bonta in 2008, offering to manufacture a prototype of the 2suit and send Bonta into zero gravity to test it. She accepted. On the 2suit's segment of the episode, Bonta and her husband demonstrated how the suit works by kissing while installed in it.[14] The documentary concluded that the "2Suit is one small step for humankind colonizing the universe."[15] The 2suit received significant media attention after the episode, titled Sex in Space, aired in 2009.[16][17][18][19][20][21][22][23]

Lunar Lander Challenge[edit]

From 2007-09, she participated in the annual Lunar Lander Challenge, a competition sponsored by NASA and Northrop Grumman to commercially build a lightweight spacecraft for landing on the moon. Bonta was a team member of BonNovA.[24] As creative director, Bonta designed a pressure-release device for high-combustion engines.[25]

Personal life[edit]

Bonta first married in 1987;[26] the union was dissolved after five years. In 2002, she remarried, to rocket engineer Allen Newcomb.[citation needed]


  1. ^ HEaven Bound: Notice of death of Vanna Bonta; accessed 13 February 2015.
  2. ^ "Fiction review – Flight: a quantum fiction novel, by Vanna Bonta". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved May 28, 2014. 
  3. ^ a b "Going to Mars with Maven contest winners". University of Colorado Boulder Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics. Retrieved 26 April 2014. 
  4. ^ Scaturro, Giorgia (27 April 2009). "Lo spazio, mai stato così sexy". Wired Magazine. Retrieved 19 May 2014. 
  5. ^ Harrington, Richard. "Limelight." Washington Post, section D, p. 3, 29 August 1982; retrieved via Lexis Nexis Academic Universe.[verification needed]
  6. ^ "Bonta". The Free Lance-Star. 19 February 1992. Retrieved 12 May 2014. 
  7. ^ Robb, Brian J. (2012). A brief guide to Star Trek. Constable and Robinson. 
  8. ^ "Flight, by Vanna Bonta". BookList. June 1995. Retrieved 28 April 2014. 
  9. ^ "Flight: A Quantum Fiction Novel". Publishers Weekly. 2 January 1995. Retrieved 26 April 2014. 
  10. ^ Steinmetz, Katy (9 August 2013). "NASA is sending these poems to Mars". Time. Retrieved 27 May 2014. 
  11. ^ "MAVEN Haiku Selected For Travel to Mars". National Aeronautics and Space Administration. 8 August 2013. Retrieved 12 May 2014. 
  12. ^ Martin, Rachel (11 August 2013). "Sending Poetry To Mars". National Public Radio. Retrieved 12 May 2014. 
  13. ^ "1,100 Haiku Headed To Mars Aboard NASA's MAVEN Spacecraft". Huffington Post. 9 August 2013. Retrieved 26 April 2014. 
  14. ^ Friedman, Uri (26 January 2012). "Is Newt's zero-gravity sex idea any good?". Retrieved 19 May 2014. 
  15. ^ "The Universe: Sex in space". History Channel. Retrieved 12 May 2014. 
  16. ^ Scaturro, Giorgia (30 April 2009). "A two-seater suit for space-lovers". Retrieved 12 May 2014. 
  17. ^ Boyle, Alan (27 July 2006). "Outer-space sex carries complications". NBC Retrieved 12 May 2014. 
  18. ^ "Haben Astronauten eigentlich Sex im All?". 7 March 2010. Retrieved 12 May 2014. 
  19. ^ "Sexo no espaço intriga pesquisadores". 24 July 2006. Retrieved 12 May 2014. 
  20. ^ "The Complications of Sex in Space". From quarks to quasars. 9 October 2013. Retrieved 12 May 2014. 
  21. ^ Ambruš-Kiš, Miroslav (10 October 2009). "Seks u svemiru? Nema prepreke koju čovjek ne bi svladao za seks". Retrieved 12 May 2014. 
  22. ^ Život na Marsu—Bestežinski sekshomo sapiensa (life on Mars), by Miroslav Ambruš-Kiš; Technologija magazine. November 17, 2011
  23. ^ Bowie, Soren (15 November 2010). "7 Real Suits That Will Soon Make the World A Cooler Place". Retrieved 12 May 2014. 
  24. ^ "Lunar lander liftoff". 31 Jan 2007. Retrieved 27 May 2014. 
  25. ^ Adkins, Jennifer (May 2009). "The 2Suit Adds New Meaning to the Term 'Mother of Invention'". Inventor's Digest. Retrieved 12 May 2014. [non-primary source needed]
  26. ^ [The Los Angeles Blue Book] Social Register, 1990[verification needed]