Name and location of repository
Level of description
Steve Rasnic Tem and Melanie Tem Collection
- 1962 - 2021 (Creation)
Name of creator
Steve Rasnic Tem is an award-winning writer of horror, as well as fantasy, science fiction, crime, and other genres, and also (as his website notes) "a less-classifiable imaginative prose more than one critic has called "Temism"". Born in Jonesville, Virginia on September 14, 1950 as Steve Rasnic, Tem attended both Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech) and Virginia Commonwealth University, the former from which he graduated with a B.A. in English Education. Rasnic moved to Colorado in 1974, and he attained a M.A. in Creative Writing from Colorado State University. While attending a writer's workshop, Rasnic met fellow writer Melanie Kubachko; the two married in 1980 and took the joint surname "Tem". They were loving partners and collaborators for over three decades, until Melanie Tem's death in 2015. He still resides in Colorado.
Tem's writing career has spanned over four decades. His first published stories were "Hideout" and "The Painters Are Coming Today", both included in the fantasy anthology Other Worlds 1 in 1979. He has gone on to create a large and well-received, multi-faceted body of work that includes novels, chapbooks, novellas, short stories (over 450), and poetry. Some of Tem's more notable works include the 2000 novella The Man on the Ceiling (written in collaboration with Melanie Tem, inspired by the death of their son Anthony), which won the 2001 World Fantasy, Bram Stoker, and International Horror Guild Awards; the 1983 British Fantasy Award-winning story "Leaks"; the 2001 Stoker Award for Superior Achievement in Long Fiction winner "In These Final Days of Sales"; the 2002 multimedia collection Imagination Box (w/Melanie Tem), which won the Stoker Award for Superior Achievement in Alternative Forms; the 2014 Southern Gothic novel Blood Kin, which won the Stoker Award for Superior Achievement in a Novel; and the 2000 IHG winner for Best Collection City Fishing.
Tem's short stories have been assembled into 17 collections, starting with 1991's Absences: Charlie Goode's Ghosts. He has written or co-written 8 novels (the first, Excavation, appearing in 1987), 8 chapbooks, and edited two anthologies: The Umbral Anthology of Science Fiction Poetry (1982, nominated for the Philip K. Dick Award) and High Fantastic: Colorado's Fantasy, Dark Fantasy, and Science Fiction (1995, nominated for the World Fantasy Award). He co-wrote with his wife a handbook on writing, Yours to Tell: Dialogues on the Art & Practice of Fiction, published in 2017.
Name of creator
Horror and dark fantasy author Melanie Tem was born Melanie Kubachko on April 11, 1949, and grew up in Saegertown, Pennsylvania. She graduated from Allegheny College in Meadville, PA, and later obtained a Master's in Social Work from the University of Denver. She met fellow author Steve Rasnic at a writer's workshop, and the two married in 1980, taking the joint surname "Tem".
Over the course of the next few decades, Tem established a high-quality and well-received body of work, including 15 novels, 4 chapbooks, 3 collections of short fiction, a number of poems, and close to 100 short stories. She also was an enthusiastic oral storyteller as well as a writet.Her first published story (co-written with her husband) was "Prosthesis", published in Asimov's Science Fiction in 1986. Her debut horror novel Prodigal was published in 1991 and received the 1991 Bram Stoker Award for Superior Achievement in a First Novel. She would go on to win a number of other genre awards, including the 2000 Stoker, International Horror Guild, and World Fantasy Awards for the novella "The Man on the Ceiling" (co-written with Steve Rasnic Tem), the 1992 British Fantasy Icarus Award for a Newcomer, and the 2002 Stoker Award for Superior Achievement in Alternative Forms, shared with her husband for their multimedia collection Imagination Box. She was nominated for several other International Horror Guild Awards as well as the 2009 Shirley Jackson Award. Her 1996 novel Desmodus was long-listed for the James Tiptree, Jr. Award.
Melanie Tem also worked as a social worker, working with adoptive children, the disabled, and the elderly. The sensitivity and understanding required for that job played into much of her fiction. Tem contracted breast cancer in 1997; a recurrence of that cancer metastasized and resulted in her passing away on February 9, 2015, at the age of 65. Her last novel was The Yellow Moon (2015), and her final collection of stories, Singularity was published posthumously in 2017.
Content and structure elements
Scope and content
This collection contains materials relating to the lives and literary careers of horror writers Steve Rasnic Tem and Melanie Tem. Materials in the collection include manuscripts of novels, short stories, and other works by the Tems, whether written as individuals or together as co-writers; associated literary materials; correspondence; and other materials. Also included are recorded podcast interviews of Steve Rasnic Tem and readings of works by the Tems.
Also included are several literary awards won by the Tems individually and jointly.
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Conditions governing access
Files containing contracts are closed to researchers until one year following the death of Steve Rasnic Tem.
These materials are stored offsite and require additional time for retrieval.
Conditions governing reproduction
Copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.
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Rules or conventions
Collection processed by Jeremy Brett.
Finding aid created by Jeremy Brett, October 2021.