Skip to main content

William F. Wu papers

Call Number: MS 367


William F. Wu is an award-nominated science fiction writer and scholar in the depiction of Asian Americans in American fiction and popular culture. This collection spans from his early education through his writing career and includes personal and professional correspondence with close associates and figures in the science fiction and fantasy community. The collection also includes papers associated with his academic work in studying the representation of Asian Americans (and particularly Chinese Americans) in popular culture, materials related to his published and unpublished works and broader writing career, memorabilia collected from various science fiction and fantasy conventions, and papers and publications compiled by Wu of his parents' work.


  • Creation: approximately 1954-2018


Language of Materials

Materials in Mandarin Chinese were used as reference materials for Wu's work. The majority of the collection is in English.

Conditions Governing Access

No access restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

Spencer Library staff may determine use restrictions dependent on the physical condition of manuscript materials.

Biography of William F. Wu (1951- )

Born in Kansas City, Missouri to William Q. and Cecile "Frankie" Franking Wu, William F. Wu attended the University of Michigan (U-M) where he received an AB degree in East Asian Studies and, later, an AM and then PhD in American Culture in 1979 with his doctoral dissertation, "The Yellow Peril: Chinese Americans in American Fiction, 1850-1940," a version of which would later be published in 1982 by Archon Books. During this time, Wu was actively involved in East Wind, an Asian American student organization at U-M.

While pursuing graduate studies at U-M, Wu also made his first professional sale as a writer in 1975. He became a member of the Science Fiction Writers of America (SFWA) in 1977 and later a member of the SFWA Bulletin staff in 1981.

In the years following, Wu wrote and published 15 novels, including MasterPlay (1987), Isaac Asimov's Robot City #3: Cyborg (1987), Isaac Asimov's Robot City #6: Perihelion (1988), Dr. Bones and the Cosmic Bomber (1989), Hong on the Range (1989), Robert Silverberg's Time Tours #1: Robin Hood Ambush (1990), the Isaac Asimov's Robots in Time series (1993-1994), Mutant Chronicles, Vol. 1: In Lunacy (1993), Realms of Chaos: An Enemy Reborn (1998) with Michael A. Stackpole, and A Temple of Forgotten Spirits: The Complete Series of Jack Hong (2018).

Wu also wrote and published, in collaboration and individually, over 70 works of short fiction featured in presses and publications such as Amazing Stories, Analog Science Fact/Science Fiction, Isaac Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine, Eldritch Tales, Omni, and Pulphouse: The Hardback Magazine. Wu also contributed short stories to the Wild Cards series edited by George R. R. Martin and Melinda M. Snodgrass. Two of Wu's short works, "Wong's Lost and Found Emporium" and "Hong's Bluff," were nominated for a Nebula Award in 1983 and 1985 and a Hugo Award in 1984 and 1986, respectively. "Wong's Lost and Found Emporium" was also nominated for a World Fantasy Award in 1984 and was later adapted into a Twilight Zone episode in 1985.

Wu contributed a number of nonfiction works and commentary to various publications and small presses with a particular focus on topics of Asian American and Chinese identity and representation in popular culture and American fiction, science fiction works and authors, and history and life in the Palmdale, California area.

In 1997, Wu became a copy editor at the Antelope Valley Press in Palmdale, California and received a number of promotions over the years before leaving the newspaper in 2017.


27 Linear Feet (27 boxes + 4 oversize boxes, 1 oversize folder, 9 audiovisual items)

Scope and Contents

This collection contains the personal and professional papers of science fiction writer William F. Wu. Included in the collection are creative and academic works from youth and childhood, personal and professional correspondence, papers associated with Wu's studies in Asian American representation in American culture and his doctoral dissertation, memorabilia collected from various science fiction and fantasy conventions, publications that feature or mention Wu's work as a writer and editor, material associated with book signings and other professional activities, and publications and papers compiled by Wu that feature the work of his parents, William Q. Wu and Cecile Franking Wu. The collection also includes personal and editorial notes, manuscript and typescript drafts, proof copies, and correspondence associated with published and unpublished works written by Wu as well as collaborations with other writers, artists, and personal associates.

Collection material was arranged into series and subseries based on folder titles and general order of the materials when received at the Spencer Research Library. All additions received while processing the collection were arranged and placed within the collection by Spencer Library staff based on folder titles and grouping of materials. Oversize materials, located at MS Q94 or MS Qa37, have been described at the end of each appropriate series or sub-series. Audiovisual material, located at SC AV 31, has been given its own series.


Collection organized into 11 series: Series 1. Personal papers; Series 2. Correspondence; Series 3. Asian American Studies files; Series 4. "The Yellow Peril: Chinese Americans in American Fiction, 1850-1940" dissertation files; Series 5. Miscellaneous drafts and writings; Series 6. Convention memorabilia; Series 7. Published works; Series 8. Career mentions; Series 9. William Q. Wu materials; Series 10. Cecile M. Franking Wu materials; and Series 11. Audiovisual materials.

Physical Location

MS 367

Physical Location

MS Q94

Physical Location

MS Qa37

Physical Location

SC AV 31

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift, William F. Wu, 2018 and 2021.

Related Materials

William F. Wu Comics Collection; MSS 244; Fales Library and Special Collections, New York University Libraries.

Separated Materials

Published volumes and commercially produced audiovisual materials have been removed from the collection to be cataloged individually.

Guide to the William F. Wu Collection
William F. Wu papers
Finding aid prepared by cmp, 2021. Finding aid encoded by cmp, 2021.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Finding aid written in English.
Finding aid permalink
Preferred citation
William F. Wu papers, MS 367, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas.

Repository Details

Part of the University of Kansas. Kenneth Spencer Research Library Repository

1450 Poplar Lane
Lawrence KS 66045-7616 United States