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Snodgrass, Melinda M

Entry updated 13 February 2024. Tagged: Author.

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(1951-    ) US lawyer, television screenwriter and author who was strongly associated with Star Trek in her early career, her first novel being Star Trek: The Tears of the Singers (1984); she also served as Executive Script Consultant for the first two seasons of Star Trek: The Next Generation. Of greater sf interest is the Circuit TrilogyCircuit (1986), Circuit Breaker (1987) and Final Circuit (1988) – which takes a handsome Federal Court judge and his extremely clever female sidekick into space, where they become involved in defending a batch of individualistic Space Stations and settlements against the hidebound bureaucracies of Earth (see Libertarian SF). This point of view is not, of course, newly minted in Genre SF terms, and a sense that Snodgrass was not perhaps concentrating fully on the richer implications of her setting is strengthened by a plot structure which eventually relegates the tough female sidekick to the sidelines – in strict accordance with the Robert A Heinlein guidelines on such matters – as soon as she becomes pregnant. Runespear (1987) with Victor Milán is fantasy, as is Queen's Gambit Declined (1989). The Edge, comprising The Edge of Reason (2008), The Edge of Ruin (2010) and The Edge of Dawn (2015), is an Equipoisal sequence in which a police officer, after rescuing a sorceress from a bad fate, becomes involved in the long war between the forces of reason and (crudely) the forces of Religion (as created to imprison Homo sapiens by the Old Ones, who are Alien Secret Masters); in the second volume, a Dimensional gate gives the Old Ones a chance to plunge twenty-first century earth ever deeper into suicidal fanaticism, which intensifies in the third volume. The Linnet Ellery sequence beginning with This Case Is Gonna Kill Me (2012) as by Phillipa Bornikova is an Urban Fantasy [see The Encyclopedia of Fantasy under links below] set in a New York governed, both as regards the world above and the world below, by Vampires, Werewolves; the protagonist is a kick-ass attorney.

Snodgrass contributed stories to the Wild Cards Shared World series of Braids, sometimes closely woven, from volume one, Wild Cards (anth 1987); her editorial involvement with the series began early, and she has served as designated assistant editor to the series creator and main editor, George R R Martin, on later volumes, her first credited stint beginning with Wild Cards #6: Ace in the Hole: A Wild Cards Mosaic Novel (anth 1990), and ending with Wild Cards #9: Jokertown Shuffle: A Wild Cards Mosaic Novel (anth 1991). The next title in the sequence, the next title, Wild Cards #10: Double Solitaire: A Wild Cards Mosaic Novel (1992), was by Snodgrass solo, with Martin as editor.

A Very Large Array: New Mexico Science Fiction and Fantasy (anth 1987) embodies Snodgrass's theory that the urgent New Mexico landscape might serve to unify in some sense the work of writers there resident; in the event, though the theory still proves difficult to assess, the stories assembled are of admirable quality. [JC]

see also: Skylark Award; Trapped in Space.

Melinda Marilyn Snodgrass

born Los Angeles, California: 27 November 1951



Star Trek

Circuit Trilogy

The Edge

Linnet Ellery

The Imperials

individual titles

works as editor


Wild Cards

We list the entire sequence created and edited or co-edited throughout by George R R Martin, as Snodgrass has had some involvement from the beginning. Those titles in which she is acknowledged are so clocked below. Retroactive divisions of individual titles into subseries are so indicated. As subtitles may or may not exist, they are indicated only when confirmed.

individual titles as editor


previous versions of this entry

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