Let’s start with an introduction: Who is Kij Johnson?
My mother always told me that I was a troll changeling, and that some grabby troll mother had lucked into a quiet, well-mannered, obedient little human girl in the exchange. So one answer is that I am a smallish mountain-troll who passes as human with moderate success.
Another answer is that I am easily bored. I grew up in very small town in the midwest, at a time when climbing out your second-story window at midnight and riding a bike alone to the county park was in the acceptable range of eleven-year-old behaviors. I studied ancient history in college, which prepared me for a career in nothing, so I worked in bookstores for a few years. Then it was publishing: Tor Books, Dark Horse Comics, Wizards of the Coast/TSR. I also did stints in tech. I would move every few years to a new city, pick up some new hobbies, and cut my hair again. At some point I realized that my summer gig — teaching people how to write novels as part of the Gunn Center for the Study of Science Fiction’s SF Summer program — was more fun than any of the jobs I was doing, and I went back to school to be able to do it formally.
Is that who I am? Well, it’s what I’ve done. Now I teach creative writing at the University of Kansas and at various summer programs. Continue reading