Gotlieb, Phyllis

Gotlieb, Phyllis (1926 - 2009)


Phyllis Gotlieb, born in Toronto on May 25, 1926, to parents who owned a movie theatre, received her B.A. (1948) and M.A. (1950) from the University of Toronto. She published five volumes of poetry from 1964 to 2002, one of them nominated for a Governor General's Award. In 1964 she published the first of nine novels of science fiction, Sunburst, after which the Sunburst Award for Canadian Literature of the Fantastic is named. Three sf series followed: the Dahlgren, 1976-89 (O Master Caliban! and Heart of Red Iron), the Ungrukh or Starcats, 1980-85 (A Judgment Of Dragons, Emperor, Swords and Pentacles, The Kingdom of Cats), and the GalFed, 1998-2002 (Flesh and Gold, Violent Stars, Mindworld). A Judgment Of Dragons won the Aurora award in 1982. She has also published a mainstream novel, Why Should I Have all the Grief (1969), and two volumes of short stories, notably Blue Apes (1995). Gotlieb edited Tesseracts 2 in 1987, and Transversions Poetry from 1995 to 2000. She lived in Toronto with her husband, Calvin, since their marriage in 1949, and they have three children, Leo, Margaret, and Jane. She is affectionately regarded as the mother of Canadian sf, and her husband Calvin as the father of Canadian computer science.


  • Poetry:
    • Within the Zodiac. Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1964.
    • Ordinary, Moving. Toronto: Oxford University Press, 1969.
    • Dr. Umlaut's Earthly Kingdom. Toronto: Calliope Press, 1974.
    • The Works. Toronto: Calliope Press, 1978.
    • Red Blood, Black Ink, White Paper: new and selected poems, 1961-2001. Toronto: Exile Editions, 2002.
  • Fiction:
    • Sunburst. 1964.
    • Why Should I Have all the Grief. Toronto: Macmillan of Canada, 1969.
    • O Master Caliban!. Toronto: McClelland and Stewart-Bantam, 1976.
    • A Judgment Of Dragons. New York: Berkley, 1980.
    • Son of the Morning and Other Stories. New York: Ace, 1983.
    • Emperor, Swords and Pentacles. 1982: New York: Ace, 1985.
    • The Kingdom of Cats. New York: Ace, 1985.
    • Heart of Red Iron. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1989.
    • Blue Apes. .Edmonton: Tesseract Books, 1995.
    • Flesh and Gold. New York: Tor, 1998.
    • Violent Stars. New York: Tor, 1999.
    • Mindworld. New York: Tor, 2002.
Given Name
Family Name
Birth Date
May 25, 1926
Death Date
July 14, 2009
Literary Period
Literary Movement