Joan Marie Verba (she/her) is an autistic author, publisher, and web developer. She earned a bachelor of physics degree from the University of Minnesota and attended the graduate school of astronomy at Indiana University, where she was an associate instructor of astronomy for one year. She has worked as a computer programmer and health coach. She currently works as a writer, an editor/publisher and a web developer and social media consultant.

An experienced writer, Joan is the author of the nonfiction books Voyager: Exploring the Outer Planets and Boldly Writing as well as the novels Twelve, Defying the Ghosts, Sword of Queens, The Arachne Portal, Wondry Dragon Finds a Home, Countdown to Action!, Action Alert!, Deadly Danger!, Situation: Critical!, Extreme Hazard!, and Danger Zone! plus numerous short stories and articles. She is a member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Association and The International Association of Media Tie-In Writers. She has served on the board of directors of both the Minnesota Science Fiction Society and the Mythopoeic Society.




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Joan has over 40 books to her credit. She has a number of published articles and short stories as well. She has been a frequent contributor to APAs, letterzines, and social media.

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Joan founded and has run FTL Publications since 1993. She has published her own works and has contracted with other authors to publish their works.

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Web Developer

Joan is a graduate of the Front End Engineering course at The Iron Yard and a graduate of the Full Stack Bootcamp at the University of Minnesota. She also has earned a UX certificate from Coursera.


Joan has been interested in astronomy since second grade. She received a bachelor's degree in physics from the University of Minnesota and was an associate instructor of astronomy for one year at Indiana University.

Science Fiction

Joan has been reading science fiction since elementary school. She is a member of the Minnesota Science Fiction Society, and served a term on its board of directors. She is also a member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.

Star Trek

Joan has been watching Star Trek since 1966. She was a member of the Star Trek Welcomittee for 20 years. She has been active in Star Trek fandom, contributing to a number of fan publications. Her collection has been donated to the University of Iowa.

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J. R. R. Tolkien & C. S. Lewis

Joan has been a member of the Mythopoeic Society since 1975, and a member of the Rivendell group almost as long. She served several terms on the Mythopoeic Society board of directors.

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Joan started reading comic books around 1960. For comics and TV, her favorite characters are the DC universe characters. For movies, she watches both DC universe characters and Marvel Avengers characters.

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Baseball and Football

Joan has been watching the Minnesota Twins and Minnesota Vikings for over 50 years.

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TV Bookshelf

Joan produced a public access TV show, TV Bookshelf, from 2003 to 2006, featuring author interviews. Episodes now available on YouTube.


Joan wrote and published 6 licensed novels based on the 1960s Thunderbirds TV show by Gerry and Sylvia Anderson.

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Joan has had food allergies and asthma since infancy, and is interested in health and healthy eating topics.



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These are some of Joan's books. Complete list here.



Mom's Choice Award
Mom's Choice Award

Given to Defying the Ghosts, Countdown to Action, Action Alert, Deadly Danger, Situation: Critical, Extreme Hazard, and Danger Zone

EPIC Award
EPIC Award (first place)

Given to Wondry Dragon Finds a Home

Scribe Award
Scribe Award

Given to Extreme Hazard

MIPA Award
Midwest Book Award (finalist)

Given to Sword of Queens

Best Books Award
National Best Books Award (finalist)

Given to Countdown to Action

Scribe Finalist
Scribe Award (nominee)

Given to Deadly Danger, Situation: Critical



  • Thunderbirds books featured September 4, 2010
    on Keith R.A. DeCandido's blog:  KRAD's Inaccurate Guide to Life

  • Interview of Joan Marie Verba by Henry Jenkins, Provost's Professor of Communication, Journalism, and Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California.
    Confessions of an Aca-Fan: The Official Weblog of Henry Jenkins:
    Thunderbirds are Go and Joan Marie Verba Explains Why May 19, 2010

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