Kij Johnson

Associate Professor
Primary office:
3021 Wescoe Hall


M.F.A. (North Carolina State University, Raleigh)

Kij Johnson focuses on writing experimental and speculative fiction. She is a three-time winner of the Nebula Award, and has won the Hugo, World Fantasy, Theodore Sturgeon, and Crawford Awards for her speculative fiction. Her short story collection, At the Mouth of the River of Bees, was published by Small Beer Press in 2012, who will be publishing her next novel, The River Bank, in late 2016. She also has two novels, The Fox Woman, and Fudoki, published by Tor Books. Prior to her academic career, she worked in New York publishing, comic books, role-playing and trading-card games, and in tech firms. 


Fiction writing, slipstream and fantastic literature, heroic fantasy, animal narratives, and other topics



Experimental and formalist fiction, early science fiction and fantasy, animal narratives, 18th-century central-Asian history and natural science, and H.P. Lovecraft

Selected Publications

Publication Spotlight

Cover of the book The Dream-Quest of Vellit Boe. The cover shoes an older woman with blond hair pulled back in a pony tail standing beneath a starry sky. She carries a walking stick and a backpack. A black cat sits on her shoulder.The Dream-Quest of Vellit Boe (Tor Books, 2016)

Nominated for the Nebula Award and one of NPR's Best Books of 2016.

Professor Vellitt Boe teaches at the prestigious Ulthar Women’s College, in the heart of the Dreamlands. When one of her most gifted students elopes with a dreamer from the waking world, Vellitt must retrieve her.

But the journey sends her across a world ruled by capricious gods and populated by the creatures of dreams and nightmares—and into her own mysterious past, where some secrets were never meant to surface…

Kij Johnson’s The Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe is both a commentary on a classic H.P. Lovecraft tale and a profound reflection on a woman’s life.

Praise for The Dream-Quest of Vellit Boe:

"Kij Johnson has an unrivalled gift for making the unreal real and the real unreal. In this spellbinding story, the intense reality of a quest through dreamland finds its goal in a here-and-now America that seems even stranger than the mountains and caverns of the dream. " —Ursula K. Le Guin

"Superb worldbuilding and gorgeous prose will hold readers rapt... Utterly irresistible." —Publisher's Weekly Starred Review


Other Selected Publications

The Apartment Dweller's Bestiary. Easthampton: Small Beer Press, 2013. Chapbook, with artist Jackie Morris.
At the Mouth of the River of Bees: Stories. Easthampton: Small Beer Press, 2012. Print. Tokyo: Tokyo Sogensha, 2013.
Las Chicas Mithicas/Myth Girls. Medellin: Proyecto Liquido, 2010.
Fudoki. New York: Tor Books, 2003.
The Fox Woman. New York: Tor Books, 1999. New York: Doubleday Science Fiction Book Club, 1999. As Das Geheimnis der Fuchsfrau. Munich: Piper Verlag, 2007

Selected Awards & Honors

Selected Honors And Awards:

Hugo Award 

  • Winner, 2012, for best novella.
  • Four-time finalist: 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012.

Nebula Award 

  • Nominated, 2016, for best novella
  • Winner, 2012, for best novella.
  • Winner, 2011, for best short story (tie with Harlan Ellison).
  • Winner, 2010, for best short story.
  • Five-time finalist: 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012.

World Fantasy Award

  • Winner, 2009, for best short story.
  • Four-time finalist: 2004, 2008, 2009, and 2011.

Theodore A. Sturgeon Memorial Award

  • Winner, 1994.
  • Shortlisted five times: 1994, 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2012.

Locus Magazine Reader's Poll

  • Six-time finalist: 2008, 2009, 2010 (for two stories), 2011, and 2012.

Asimov's Magazine Reader's Award

  • Winner, 2012, for best novella.
  • Winner, 2009, for best short story.

William L. Crawford Fantasy Award

  • Winner, 1999.

James A. Tiptree Award

  • Shortlist, 2004.
  • Longlist, 1993.

Mythopoeic Award

  • Finalist, 2004.

Creative Writing Calendar
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