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Official Author Site of
Sylvia Engdahl

Now with Improved navigation to over 90 pages of information and essays about my books, space, medical policy, and more.

Now Available!
Reflections on the Future: Collected Essays

I've just published an ebook containing 27 of my essays, including two autobiographies illustrated with photos--the one from Contemporary Authors plus a newer one. Most but not all of these essays are also at this website, but as some are quite long, you may prefer to read them in Kindle or epub format. Here's a list of the contents.

$2.99 at these retailers: Amazon
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Google Play


1. Space and Human Survival (1994)
2. Confronting the Universe in the Twenty-First Century (2012)
3. Update on the Critical Stage: The Far Side of Evil's Relevance Today (2017)
4. Reflections on Enchantress from the Stars (2017)
5. A Response to Some Reactions to Journey Between Worlds (2015)
6. Faith as the Focus of Children of the Star (1972, 2017)
7. Space Colonization, Faith, and Pascal's Wager (2017)
8. From the Journal of an Alien Observer (1970)
9. Tragedy in Space (1986)

Google Play PDF edition is in paperback format

If you don't already read ebooks and don't want to try reading them on your computer with the free software available, you may prefer the PDF edition, which is formatted with pages just like a print edition. In fact, the PDF editions of my books that have paperback editions are the actual files from which those editions were printed, and you can print the pages yourself if you want to. These digital editons can be obtained only at Google Play, where their format is called "original pages" rather than PDF. (Smashwords also sells PDF versions, which are produced by automation and are formatted as manuscript pages instead of books.)

10. The Mythic Role of Space Fiction (1990)
11. Space Age Mythology Revisited (2017)
12. Religious Aspects of Popular Science Fiction Films (1995)
13. The Mythopoeic Nature of Speculation About ETs (1974, 2017)
14. The Significance of Belief in UFOs (1995)
15. The Meaning of Gaia in Space Age Mythology (1995)


16. Perspective on the Future: The Quest of Space Age Young People (1971)
17. The Relevance of Roots (1990)
18. The Worship of Medical Authority (1995)
19. The Role of Psi in Human Affairs (2017)
20. Transhumanism Is a Dead End (2003, 2017)
21. Christianity as Metaphor (1969)
22. The Shape of the Distant Future (2017)


23. Why My Flame Novels Aren't Suitable for Kids (2017)
24. The Curse of Categorization (2010, 2011)
25. What It Takes to Write a Novel (2003)
26. My Autobiography from Contemporary Authors (1988, 2001)
27. Looking Back from My Eighties (2017)

Please help get my ebooks into libraries

Libraries don't often buy paper editions of indie books -- not only are print-on-demand books expensive and often unavailable through their regular disributors, but they are not reviewed by the major publications that librarians read. They don't have the staff to internally review them, so most won't accept them even as donations. However, indie ebook editions including mine can now be obtained from OverDrive, which from which many libraries get their ebooks, and several other library distributors. Mine are FREE to libraries except for the small processing fee OverDrive charges. This includes my YA books (except Enchantress from the Stars) as well as my adult novels. But libraries aren't ordering them, because there are several hundred thousand indie ebooks available and they have no way of knowing any particular one exists unless a patron asks for it. So please do ask your library to get them.

Which book should I read first?

My novels are very different from each other and people sometimes don't realize that they might not have begun with the one they would be most likely to enjoy. Here are some suggestions for choosing where to start.

If you are in 5th or 6th grade you should start with Enchantress from the Stars, and you probably won't like any of the others until you are older.

If you are in 7th or 8th grade you should start with Enchantress from the Stars, This Star Shall Abide, or -- if you are a girl who likes romance -- Journey Between Worlds. (I don't recommend The Far Side of Evil to readers below high school age.)

If you are in 9th or 10th grade, you will want to read Enchantress from the Stars if you enjoy stories told in the style of fantasy, but you don't have to read it first. And if you prefer books that aren't at all like fantasy, you should start with This Star Shall Abide, The Far Side of Evil, or Journey Beween Worlds.

If you an adult or a high school junior or senior, you can start with any of the above, but may prefer to read Children of the Star or Defender of the Flame first.

If you are an adult and the controversial medical theme of Stewards of the Flame appeals to you, then read it before the other "Flame" books. If it doesn't, then Promise of the Flame can be read first. Neither of these is suitable for YA readers, and neither needs to be read before Defender of the Flame if you prefer to skip them. Some adult readers like Defender much better.

Titles not mentioned above are sequels and shouldn't be read until after the books that precede them.

An update has been added to my autobiography. My autobiography, which was published in Contemporary Authors, Vol. 195 (Gale, 2001), Something About the Author, Vol. 122 (Gale, 2001), and originally in Something About the Author Autobiography Series, Vol. 5 (Gale, 1988), is now here at this site, with many pictures. (In the past it has been available only in large libraries or in online databases that require a library card to access.) I have added an update section that does not appear in the published version, telling about the many important changes in my life since 2001. This autobiography also appears in my ebook Reflections on the Future, without the update but accompanied by a new essay that's not online, "Looking Back from My Eighties."

I no longer sell sIgned copies of my books. I have given up my home and now reside in an assisted living facility, so I no longer have room to keep any extra copies of my books. All my extras have been given away or donated to the Friends of the Library. Of course, new paperback copies of most can still be obtained from Amazon.com. They can also be ordered from other bookstores, although I receive very little royalty from such sales because of the distribution cost. The Far Side of Evil and Journey Between Worlds are out of print, but used copies are widely available in addition to the ebook editions.

Free ebooks to owners of paper editions. If you ever bought a new hardcover or paperback copy of one of my books (except Enchantress from the Stars) at Amazon.com you are entitled a free copy of its Kindle edition through the Matchbook program. The Kindle price will automatically show as zero on your account. If you bought a copy directly from me or from another store and would like an ebook copy, let me know and I will send you one.

Explore My Site

Here's what you'll find with the navigation tabs at the top of the pages:

ABOUT ME: My bio, awards, links to interviews and profiles, plus a complete bibilography of my published work.

MY BOOKS: The books I have written, with their covers and links to their description pages.

FAQ: Answers to frequently asked questions about my books and my personal life.

REVIEWS: Short quotes from the editorial reviews of all my books.

ESSAYS, ETC.: Links to all my essays, guest posts, and the commentary at this site, including the background articles on psi and medical issues for Stewards of the Flame, which are of wider interest than the novel itself. Some things are also linked under other headings, while others are accessible only from this page. I will be adding new essays to it from time to time.

SPACE: Main gateway to my space advocacy section. (Its individual pages are also listed on the ESSAYS page.)

MISCELLANY: Pages that don't fit under other headings, including one about my cats, a memorial to my mother who wrote YA books under the name Mildred Allen Butler, an explanation of ebook formats, and more.

CONTACT: How to reach me by email, plus a form for sending me a message and/or signing up to be notified when I add material to this site. I love hearing from readers -- please say hello!
My Novels

Children of the Star trilogy
Book 1: This Star Shall Abide
Book 2: Beyond the Tomorrow Mountains
Book 3: The Doors of the Universe
Omnibus: Children of the Star

Flame duologies
Book 1: Stewards of the Flame
Book 2: Promise of the Flame
Omnibus: The Hidden Flame
Book 1: Defender of the Flame
Book 2: Herald of the Flame
Omnibus: The Rising Flame

Stand-alone novels
Enchantress from the Stars
The Far Side of Evil
Journey Between Worlds

The Planet-Girded Suns: The Long
History of Belief in Exoplanets

Reflections on the Future: Collected

Watch for news about my books and announcements of special promotions on my
Amazon Author Central Page and Facebook Author Page.

Stewards of the Flame and The Planet-Girded Suns are on the Awesome Indies list of quality independent fiction.

I welcome email!
See the CONTACT tab for my address.

Visionary Fiction Alliance

Children of the Star was selected as Book of the Week by BookWorks.

Entire site copyright 1997-2016 by Sylvia Engdahl (except where earlier text copyright indicated).
Last updated September 28, 2017
Approximate number of visitors since July 1, 2000