WINGER, CLAIRE HARRIS (January 18th, 1891-October 26th, 1968) was an American science fiction author who primarily wrote during the early to mid-20th century. Born in Freeport, Illinois, Claire was the eldest child of Mary Porter Stover and Frank Stover Winger. She graduated from Lake View High School in Chicago in 1910 and went on to attend Smith College in Massachusetts, but dropped out in order to marry Frank Clyde Harris. After being married in 1912, Winger and Harris would travel to Europe and remain there while the latter completed his education in architectural engineering. By 1925, Winger and her family were back in the U.S., residing in Iowa, but they later moved to Cleveland, Ohio. It was during this period of time that Winger began her literary career.
Winger published her first work in 1923, a historical fiction novel titled Persephone of Eleusis: A Romance of Ancient Greece. Her following works would differ greatly from her first work in both length and genre, starting with A Runaway World, a short science fiction story published in Weird Tales Magazine in 1926. She then went on to write several more science fiction short stories, including A Certain Soldier (1927), The Miracle of the Lily (!928), The Diabolical Drug (1929), The Ape Cycle (1930), and many more. Of particular note is The Fate of Poseidonia (1927), which Winger entered into a competition held by the magazine Amazing Stories and won third place. Following the release of The Vibrometer in 1933, Claire basically stopped writing, with her only notable literary work in later years being Away from the Here and Now (1947), which was a collection of several of the short stories she had written earlier. Winger’s short stories have also been featured in several other collections released over the years, including The Artificial Man and Other Stories (1929) and The Miracle of the Lily: Three Novelettes (2020).
Claire Winger Harris is notable for being the first female science fiction author to use her own name when publishing rather than using a pseudonym. Her stories often included strong feminine characters who are educated and clever, with one of her stories, The Fifth Dimension (1928), having a female narrator. In this way, Winger managed to distinguish herself from many other contemporary authors writing about science fiction.
Winger had three children with Harris, Clyde Winger, Donald Stover, and Lynn Thakery. After their children had grown up, Winger and Harris divorced, and Winger moved to Pasadena, California. She remained there until her death.