Emma Bull

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For the British art director, see Emma Bull (art director).
Emma Bull
In Bisbee, Arizona (2003)
Born (1954-12-13) December 13, 1954 (age 60)
United States
Occupation Writer
Language English
Citizenship United States
Alma mater Beloit College
Subject Science fiction
Notable works War for the Oaks
Bone Dance

Emma Bull (born December 13, 1954) is an American science fiction and fantasy author.

Early years[edit]

Emma Bull was born in Torrance, California. She attended Beloit College in Minnesota, and graduated in 1976 in English Literature and Composition.[1] After graduating, she worked for a while as a journalist and graphic designer.


Emma Bull's best-known novel is War for the Oaks, one of the pioneering works of urban fantasy.

Emma Bull at Wiscon, 2006

Her 1991 post-apocalyptic science fiction novel Bone Dance was nominated for the Hugo, Nebula, and World Fantasy Awards. She was a member of the writing group The Scribblies, which included Will Shetterly as well as Pamela Dean, Kara Dalkey, Nate Bucklin, Patricia Wrede and Steven Brust.

With Steven Brust, Bull wrote Freedom and Necessity (1997), an epistolary novel set during the 19th century United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland Chartist movement.[2]

Shared universes[edit]

Will Shetterly and Emma Bull (1994)

Bull and Will Shetterly created the shared universe of Liavek, for which they have both written stories. There are five Liavek collections extant.

Bull has also participated in Terri Windling's Borderland shared universe, which is the setting of her 1994 novel Finder.


Emma Bull and Lojo Russo at Cats Laughing reunion concert, April 2015

While living in Minneapolis, Minnesota in the late 1980s and early 1990s, Bull sang in the rock-folk band Cats Laughing, and she both sang and played guitar in the folk duo The Flash Girls.


Bull wrote a screenplay for War for the Oaks, which was made into an 11-minute mini-film designed to look like a film trailer. She made a cameo appearance as the Queen of the Seelie Court, and her husband, Will Shetterly, directed.

She is Executive Producer and one of the writers for Shadow Unit,[3] along with Elizabeth Bear, Sarah Monette, Will Shetterly and Amanda Downum.

Personal life[edit]

Bull and her husband Will Shetterly live in Minneapolis, Minnesota.



Short works[edit]

  • "Rending Dark" (1984) in Sword and Sorceress, edited by Marion Zimmer Bradley
  • "Badu's Luck" (1985) in Liavek
  • "The Well-Made Plan" (1986) in Liavek: The Players of Luck
  • "Danceland Blood" (1986, with Will Shetterly) as "Danceland" in Bordertown, edited by Terri Windling
  • "Wonders of the Invisible World" (1988 essay) in October–November issue of New North Artscape
  • "A Bird That Whistles" (1989) in Hidden Turnings, edited by Diana Wynne Jones
  • "Why I Write Fantasy" (1990 essay) in Pulphouse 6
  • "Silver or Gold" (1992) in After the King: Stories in Honor of J.R.R. Tolkien, edited by Martin H. Greenberg
  • "The Stepsister’s Story" (1995) in The Armless Maiden, edited by Terri Windling
  • "Joshua Tree" (2002) in The Green Man: Tales from the Mythic Forest, edited by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling
  • "The Black Fox" (2003) in Firebirds, edited by Sharyn November
  • "De La Tierra" (2004) in The Faery Reel, edited by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling
  • "What Used to Be Good Still Is" (2006) in Firebirds Rising, edited by Sharyn November


Double Feature (1994, collected works with Will Shetterly) from NESFA Press

  • "Visionary" (poem)
  • "Why I Write Fantasy" (essay)
  • "Rending Dark"
  • "Badu's Luck"
  • "The Well-Made Plan"
  • "A Bird That Whistles"
  • "Danceland Blood" (with Will Shetterly)
  • "Wonders of the Invisible World" (essay)

Anthology series[edit]

Award nominations[edit]


  1. ^ Double Feature, retrieved 17 October 2015 
  2. ^ Freedom and Necessity book review by Ewan Angus. 1 September 2010
  3. ^ Shadow Unit

External links[edit]