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Official Author Site of
Sylvia Engdahl


Now with Improved navigation to over 80 pages of information and essays about my books, space, medical policy, and more.


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.

Duologies' omnibus editions now available in paperback

The omnibus editions of my two Flame duologies, The Hidden Flame and The RIsing Flame, are now available in paperback as well as in Kindle format. The paperbacks have been issued primarily to make these novels available in the Baker & Taylor catalog used by libraries, since the individual novels have ISBNs that for technical reasons are not eligible for inclusion -- libraries cannot easily order books that aren't in that catalog. Another benefit is that you can save a total of $10 over the individual novels' retail list prices by buying the omnibus editions instead of the separate ones. Print-on-demand books are expensive and I try to keep my prices as low as possible, so I'm happy to offer an opportunity to obtain them for less than in the past. However, the omnibus editions have smaller print than the separate ones.

Last chance to read my books via Kindle Unlimited

My two Flame duologies -- The Hidden Flame and the RIsing Flame, both the individual books and the "box set" (omnibus) editions -- are now available in Kindle Unlimited, and aso have occasional free download days. (This program allows borrowing up to 10 Kindle books at a time from Amazon.com for a fee of $9.99 per month. The author is paid according to the number of pages read.) With thousands of science fiction novels to read free in Kindle Unlimited, I have felt that for my adult novels to get new readers, it's essential that they be included.

The downside is that while enrolled in Kindle Unlimited a book cannot be for sale anywhere except at Amazon.com, not even the author's own website, and copies cannot be given away. (This applies only to digital editions; paper editions can still be sold elsewhere.) And I have found that not enough people are borrowing the books, or downloading them on "free" days, to justify withholding them from other retailers and libraries. So I am withdrawing them from Kindle Unlimited on April 5, the end of the current enrollment period. If you want to read them without paying for them, now is the time!

You don't need a Kindle to read Kindle books; there are free apps for reading them on computers, smartphones, and most other devices. And of course, you don't have to subscribe to Kindle Unlimited to get them right away. Whether you do or not, you can buy the Kindle books you want to keep. More information about ebook formats and availability can be found here.


New edition of The Planet-Girded Suns

I have reissued The Planet-Girded Suns in both paperback and Kindle editions with the new subtitle The Long History of Belief in Exoplanets -- a change I made so that the book will come up in searches for the now-popular topic "exoplanets." Its former subtitle "The History of Human Thought About Extrasolar Worlds" didn't seem to be attracting much attention. The new edition is identical to the 2012 updated edition except for the subtitle, cover, and some minor additional updating to reflect the rapid progress in discovery of exoplanets that has occurred during the past four years, plus the addition of recent books about extraterrestrial intellgence to the bibliography.

This book will be withdrawn from Kindle Unlimited on March 17. Because on their KU promotion days books are shown at Amazon in lists where they are more easily found than by browsing the entire catalog, offering it free has meant it was seen by readers who would otherwise never have heard of it. During a recent promotion, it reached #1 in the Top 100 Free Best Sellers lists for both the "Astronomy & Space Sciences" and "Science History & Philosophy" categories. Still, there have not been enough downloads to justify keeping from libraries and other retail sites.


I no longer sell sIgned copies of my books. I have given up my home and will be moving to a small assisted living apartment, 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.


My autobiography is now available at this site. 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.


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 signed copy directly from me or from Meisha Merlin 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
THE HIDDEN FLAME
Book 1: Stewards of the Flame
Book 2: Promise of the Flame
Omnibus: The Hidden Flame
THE RISING 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


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



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 February 6, 2016
Approximate number of visitors since July 1, 2000