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Elizabeth Moon, born Susan Elizabeth Norris, is a Texas native and a former Marine. Born in 1945, she grew up in McAllen, TX. Moon attended Rice University in Houston, where she obtained a B.A. in History in 1968; she joined the U.S. Marine Corps in that year and rose to the rank of 1st Lieutenant.
Her professional writing career was launched in 1986, with the publication of the stories "Bargains" in the Sword and Sorceress III anthology and "ABCs in Zero-G" in Analog Science Fiction. Moon published her first novel, the fantasy Sheepfarmer’s Daughter, in 1988; it won the 1989 Compton Crook Award for Best First Novel. That novel was the first entry Moon's "Paksenarrion" series, which includes 10 novels and several shorter works. The most recent work in the series was the 2014 novel Crown of Renewal.
Outside the fantasy genre, Moon has built a popular and critically acclaimed career in science fiction, particularly with her military-based science fiction and space operas. Among these are her Familias Regnant 7-novel space opera series (the first, Hunting Party, was released in 1993), and the Vatta's Universe series (7 novels so far from 2003 through 2018). Between 1990-1993, Moon co-wrote with Anne McCaffrey three novels in the Planet Pirates space opera series - Sassinak, The Death of Sleep, and Generation Warriors.
Moon's 1996 SF novel Remnant Population was nominated for the 1997 Hugo Award for Best Novel, and is unusual in the genre for featuring an elderly woman as the story's heroine. Additionally, her stand-alone novel The Speed of Dark was a finalist for the 2003 Arthur C. Clarke Award and won the 2003 Nebula Award for Best Novel; the book is notable for its inclusion of an autistic protagonist, still rare in SF. In 2007 Moon was awarded the Robert A. Heinlein Award, which honors "outstanding published works in hard science fiction or technical writings that inspire the human exploration of space.”