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Asaro, Catherine (Catherine Asaro)

Catherine Asaro, an American writer, is a name you cannot miss when exploring the cosmos of science fiction and fantasy literature. This multi-talented powerhouse— a prolific author, accomplished singer, and insightful teacher— has penned the enthralling Saga of the Skolian Empire, also known as the Tales of the Ruby Dynasty.

An intriguing fact about Asaro is her background in ballet and jazz dancing. Yes, you read it right! This author can pirouette as gracefully as she can pen a gripping space opera. From performing with dance companies and musicals on both coasts and in Ohio, to founding and serving as the artistic director for two dance groups at Harvard—The Mainly Jazz Dance Company and the Harvard University Ballet—Asaro has elegantly twirled her way through the arts.

Her leadership skills are not confined to the dance floor, either. Asaro has served two terms as president of Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA), and during her reign, established the Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy, a testament to her commitment to nurturing the genre's future talents.

In the vast, star-studded universe of Asaro's writing, the Saga of the Skolian Empire shines brightest. This series orbits around the interstellar empire known as the Skolian Empire, spinning tales of power, struggle, political intrigues, and warfare across lightyears and generations. And because Asaro doesn't do things by halves, she injects these space epics with elements of physics, bio-enhancements, virtual computer networks, and romance. It's like getting a crash course in the STEM fields while embarking on a thrilling space adventure.

The Skolian Empire, forever on the brink of war with its foe, the Eubian Concord, is the pulsating heart of Asaro's narrative universe. Although smaller and weaker than the Eubians, the Skolians' psiberweb—an ingenious faster-than-light communication network— keeps them from being entirely overrun.

The Skolian society, once a matriarchy, still carries remnants of its past, with many high-ranking positions held by women. The government consists of an elected parliament known as the Assembly and the Ruby Dynasty, a hereditary monarchy, making for a complex and intricate political landscape.

The Assembly, with its thousands of delegates, is a microcosm of the Imperialate, balancing the powers of the monarchy, and reflecting a broad spectrum of political parties and interests. A fascinating blend of progressive modernization and traditional loyalties, the government echoes the diverse perspectives of its citizenry. You can search the Nest for articles on Asaro, Catherine (Catherine Asaro) over at