Allen Mulherin Steele, Jr. became a full-time science fiction writer in 1988, following publication of his first short story, "Live From The Mars Hotel" (Asimov's, mid-Dec. `88). Since then he has become a prolific author of novels, short stories, and essays, with his work translated into more than a dozen languages worldwide.
Steele was born in Nashville, Tennessee. He received his B.A. in Communications from New England College in Henniker, New Hampshire, and his M.A. in Journalism from the University of Missouri in Columbia, Missouri. Before turning to SF, he worked for as a staff writer for daily and weekly newspapers in Tennessee, Missouri, and Massachusetts, freelanced for business and general-interest magazines in the Northeast, and spent a short tenure as a Washington correspondent, covering politics on Capitol Hill.
His novels include Orbital Decay, Clarke County, Space, Lunar Descent, Labyrinth of Night, The Jericho Iteration, The Tranquillity Alternative, A King of Infinite Space, Oceanspace, Times Loves A Hero (originally titled Chronospace), the Coyote Trilogy -- Coyote, Coyote Rising, and Coyote Frontier – the Coyote Chronicles – Coyote Horizon and Coyote Destiny -- Spindrift, Galaxy Blues, Hex, Apollo’s Outcast, V-S Day, and Arkwright. He has also published six collections of short fiction: Rude Astronauts, All-American Alien Boy, Sex and Violence in Zero-G, American Beauty, The Last Science Fiction Writer, and Tales of Time and Space. His work has appeared in most major American SF magazines, including Asimov's Science Fiction, Analog, and Fantasy & Science Fiction, as well as in dozens of anthologies.
His novella "The Death Of Captain Future" (Asimov's, Oct.`95) received the 1996 Hugo Award for Best Novella, won a 1996 Science Fiction Weekly Reader Appreciation Award, and received the 1998 Seiun Award for Best Foreign Short Story from Japan’s National Science Fiction Convention. It was also a finalist for a 1997 Nebula Award by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.
His novella "`...Where Angels Fear to Tread'" (Asimov's, Oct./Nov. `97), upon which Chronospace is based, received the Hugo Award, the Locus Award, the Asimov's Readers Award, and the Science Fiction Chronicle Readers Award in 1998, and was also a finalist for the Nebula, Sturgeon, and Seiun awards.
His novelette, “The Emperor of Mars” (Asimov’s, June 2010) won the 2011 Hugo Award for Best Novelette and also the Asimov’s Readers Award.
His novella “The Legion of Tomorrow”, which was expanded as Part One of Arkwright, won the Asimov’s Readers Award in 2015.
His novelette "The Good Rat" (Analog, mid-Dec.`95) was a Hugo finalist in 1996, and his novelette "Zwarte Piet's Tale" (Analog, 12/98) won an AnLab Award from Analog and was a Hugo finalist in 1999. His novelette “Agape Among the Robots” (Analog, 5/00) was a finalist for the Hugo in 2001. His novella “Stealing Alabama” (Asimov’s 1/01) was a Hugo finalist in 2002 and won the Asimov’s Readers’ Award for that year. His novelette “The Days Between” (Asimov’s 3/01) was a Hugo finalist in 2002 and a Nebula finalist in 2003. His novella “Liberation Day” and novelette “The Garcia Narrows Bridge” both won the Asimov’s Readers Awards in 2005. Orbital Decay received the 1990 Locus Award for Best First Novel, and Clarke County, Space was a finalist for the 1991 Philip K. Dick Award.
Steele was First Runner-Up for the 1990 John W. Campbell Award, received the Donald A. Wollheim Award in 1993, and the Phoenix Award in 2002. In 2013, he received the Robert A. Heinlein Award in recognition of his long career in writing space fiction.
Steele is a former member of both the Board of Directors and the Board of Advisors for the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, and is also a former advisor for the Space Frontier Foundation. In April, 2001, he testified before the Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics of the U.S. House of Representatives, in hearings regarding space exploration in the 21st century. “Live from the Mars Hotel” is among the many stories and novels included on the “Visions of Mars” disk aboard NASA’s Phoenix lander, which landed on Mars in 2008.
He lives in western Massachusetts with his wife Linda and their dogs.