Sylvia Engdahl

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Sylvia Louise Engdahl (born November 24, 1933) is an American writer, known best for science fiction. Her debut novel Enchantress of the Stars, published by Atheneum Books in 1970, was a runner-up for annual Newbery Medal and she won the Phoenix Award for that work twenty years later.[1]


Engdahl was born in Los Angeles, California. The Internet Speculative Fiction Database lists 11 books by Engdahl that were published from 1970 to 1981, including two anthologies she edited and three nonfiction books. Six science fiction novels, which include her first five books, were all published by Atheneum Books.[2] From 1985 to 1995 she taught graduate courses for Connected Education, a pioneer in online education. She lives in Oregon with her two cats.

In August 2007, Engdahl published a new adult science fiction/visionary fiction novel, Stewards of the Flame, which she followed with two sequels: Promise of the Flame (September 2009) and Defender of the Flame (April 2013).

Selected works[edit]

Among 73 Library of Congress Online Catalog records of books created by Engdahl through 2014 (which may include multiple editions of some), all but the first 16 are nonfiction works as "book editor" beginning 2006.

Science fiction novels[edit]

Engdahl wrote six science fiction novels published from 1970 to 1981 by Atheneum, all of which have been republished in the 21st century. Her new novels, a trilogy published in 2007, 2009 and 2013, respectively, are adult science fiction, not YA.

  • Enchantress from the Stars (1970), illustrated by Rodney Shackell
  • Journey Between Worlds (1970), illus. James and Ruth McCrea – updated 2006
  • The Far Side of Evil (1971), illus. Richard Cuffari – updated 2003
  • This Star Shall Abide (1972), illus. Cuffari (UK title, Heritage of the Star)
  • Beyond the Tomorrow Mountains (1973), illus. Cuffari
  • The Doors of the Universe (1981)
  • Children of the Star (2000) – omnibus edition of the Star trilogy: This Star Shall Abide, Beyond the Tomorrow Mountains, and The Doors of the Universe, published as adult SF (the three books had been issued as young adult SF)
  • Stewards of the Flame (2007) – first in a new adult science fiction trilogy
  • Promise of the Flame (2009)
  • Defender of the Flame (2013)


  • Planet-girded Suns: man's view of other solar systems (1974), illus. Cuffari
  • Universe ahead: stories of the future (1975), selected and introduced by Engdahl and Rick Roberson, illus. Cuffari
  • Anywhere, Anywhen: stories of tomorrow (1976), edited by Engdahl
  • Subnuclear Zoo: new discoveries in high energy physics (1977), by Engdahl and Roberson
  • Tool for Tomorrow: new knowledge about genes (1979), by Engdahl and Roberson
  • Our World Is Earth (1979) - picture book


Engdahl has won two annual book awards, the 1973 Christopher Award[clarification needed] for This Star Shall Abide and the 1990 Phoenix Award for Enchantress from the Stars. The latter, from the Children's Literature Association, designated the best English-language children's book that did not win a major award when it was originally published twenty years earlier. It is named for the mythical bird phoenix, which is reborn from its ashes, to suggest the book's rise from obscurity.[1] Enchantress had been a runner up for the 1971 Newbery Medal, however. Stewards of the Flame won a bronze medal in the 2008 Independent Publisher (IPPY) Book Awards.

Runners-up and book lists

Enchantress from the Stars has also been runner-up for a few awards and has been named to several book lists.

  • 1970: Junior Literary Guild selection; ALA Notable Children's Books
  • 1971: Horn Book Fanfare; Newbery Honor
  • 1998: New York Public Library 100 Favorite Children's Books
  • 2001: Teen People Book Club selection
  • 2002: Book Sense Book of the Year finalist, Rediscovery category; CBC Not Just For Children Anymore, Classics category; CCBC Choices
  • 2004: ALA Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Phoenix Award Brochure 2012". Children's Literature Association. Retrieved 2012-12-12.
    See also the current homepage "Phoenix Award".
  2. ^ Sylvia Louise Engdahl at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database (ISFDB). Retrieved 2013-08-26. Select a title to see its linked publication history and general information. Select a particular edition (title) for more data at that level, such as a front cover image or linked contents.

External links[edit]