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bios of varying length
Lawrence M. Schoen holds a Ph.D. in cognitive psychology, been nominated for the Campbell, Hugo, and Nebula, awards, won the Cóyotl award for best novel of 2015, is a world authority on the Klingon language, operates the small press Paper Golem, is a hypnotherapist specializing in authors’ issues, and writes science fiction and fantasy about life, death, and the continua between the two.
Lawrence M. Schoen holds a Ph.D. in cognitive psychology, has been nominated for the Campbell, Hugo, Nebula, and Cóyotl awards, is a world authority on the Klingon language, operates the small press Paper Golem, and is a practicing hypnotherapist specializing in authors’ issues.
His previous science fiction includes many light and humorous adventures of a space-faring stage hypnotist and his alien animal companion. His most recent book, Barsk, takes a very different tone, exploring issues of intolerance, friendship, conspiracy, and loyalty, and redefines the continua between life and death. He lives near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania with his wife and their dog.
Lawrence M. Schoen holds a Ph.D. in cognitive psychology and psycholinguistics. He spent ten years as a college professor, and has done extensive research in the areas of human memory and language. This background provides a principal metaphor for his fiction. He currently works as the director of research and analytics for a series of mental health and addiction recovery facilities in Philadelphia.
He’s also one of the world’s foremost authorities on the Klingon language, and since 1992 has championed the exploration and use of this constructed tongue throughout the world. In addition, he’s the publisher behind a speculative fiction small press, Paper Golem, aimed at showcasing up-and-coming new writers as well as providing a market for novellas. And too, he performs occasionally as a hypnotherapist specializing in authors’ issues.
In 2007, he was a finalist for the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer. He received a Hugo Award nomination for Best Short Story in 2010 and Nebula Award nominations for Best Novella in 2013, 2014, and 2015, and for Best Novel in 2016. Some of his most popular writing deals with the ongoing adventures of a space-faring stage hypnotist named the Amazing Conroy and his animal companion Reggie, an alien buffalito that can eat anything and farts oxygen. His latest work is a very different kind of book, an anthropomorphic SF novel that explores prophecy, intolerance, political betrayal, and a drug that lets you talk to the dead.
Lawrence lives near Philadelphia with his wife, Valerie, who is neither a psychologist nor a Klingon speaker.
long form bio
Though born in Chicago, Lawrence M. Schoen grew up in the endless sunshine of southern California. From age five until his eighteenth birthday, he worked every weekend with his father at various swap meets, selling everything from black Santa Claus dolls to melon ballers to women’s underwear. This provided him the opportunity to watch the full range of humanity pass by (and sell the occasional melon baller), and probably marks the start of his interest in human behavior. His writing career also began at those swap meets, and when business was slow, as it often was, he filled spiral notebooks with endless tales for his own amusement.
Eventually he left the swap meet behind and went off to college where the fascination with people won out and he put fiction aside. He first studied psychology, then linguistics, and then psycholinguistics, before ending up doing graduate work in Kansas on the nature of semantic representation and human memory. Many conference presentations and a few journal publications later, and with doctoral degree in hand, he moved on to the teaching and research side of academia, working at schools in Florida, Illinois, and Pennsylvania.
In 1992, Lawrence’s interests in science fiction and language found common ground and he established, and began his tenure as director of, the Klingon Language Institute, an organization dedicated to the study of the world’s most popular fictional language. This included an ongoing career of lectures at conventions and museums across three continents, and the development of a loose affiliation of language scholars and amateurs throughout fifty countries.
After ten years as a professor of psycholinguistics and cognitive psychology, Lawrence left academia to work in the private sector as a Research Director for a series of mental health and substance abuse recovery facilities providing treatment for the poor and indigent in Philadelphia.
He also found time to return to his first love, crafting fiction. His stories have appeared in variety of print and electronic magazines and anthologies, in English, Chinese, Dutch, Finnish, German, Greek, Hebrew, Portuguese, Spanish, and Klingon.
Not content merely to write, in November of 2006 he created his own speculative fiction small press, Paper Golem, charged with the mission to “pay it forward” by showcasing up-and-coming new writers, and to create a home for the oft-neglected novella-length works of fiction through a series of anthologies he named Alembical.
In 2007, he was a finalist for the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer. He received a Hugo Award nomination for Best Short Story in 2010 and Nebula Award nominations for Best Novella in 2013, 2014, and 2015, and Best Novel in 2016. Most notable of his fiction are the short stories and novels about a space-faring stage hypnotist, the Amazing Conroy, and his alien animal traveling companion, a buffalito named Reggie who can eat anything and converts all he eats into oxygen flatulence. In 2013, he took a page from his fictional creation and became certified as a hypnotherapist, focusing his efforts on using trance as a tool to assist other writers. His website, www.lawrencemschoen.com, features lessons in the Klingon language, free podcasts and electronic downloads of his fiction, interviews with other authors discussing their favorite meals, photos of his dog, and commentary on such topics as catch his fancy.
Lawrence and his wife, Valerie, live just outside Philadelphia in scenic Blue Bell, PA, along with two dogs and rooms dedicated to books.