Rachel Neumeier

Fantasy and Young Adult Fantasy Author

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Vonda McIntyre

Of course you’re all aware that Vonda McIntyre passed away this past April. I’ve read some of the posts and retrospectives, but I just happened upon a short but very good obituary: Science Fiction Author Vonda N. McIntyre, Official Obituary

I really didn’t know all of this about Vonda McIntyre. It’s worth a look.

Her beaded sea creatures are almost pure Vonda. When she began to develop some pain in her hands from arthritis, she decided to take her crocheting skills and create beaded shapes reminiscent of nudibranchs and fractal patterns to give her the needed exercise to keep her hands supple.

And from the comments:

What Vonda called “beaded sea creatures” were more than just amusements and lovely art … Vonda’s work was part of a discipline variously called “mathematical knitting” and “crochet topology.”

… many mathematical descriptions of topological surfaces can be transformed into a set of instructions for knitting or crocheting or doing beadwork. It’s a wonderful way to instantiate surfaces that are very difficult to visualize from their equations.

It’s a serious subset of the field of topology and Vonda’s work In this area has been cited in academic publications.

I had no idea. Here is the kind of crochet work that’s being referred to:

Dreamsnake was my favorite of her books, by the way. There are Reasons why you aren’t likely to get three sexes, so that plot element is not very believable … but the novel is compelling and I read it many times.

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