John Crowley, Guest of Honor at Readercon 3 and 2006 winner of the World Fantasy Lifetime Achievement Award, was born in the appropriately liminal town of Presque Isle, Maine, in 1942, his father then an officer in the US Army Air Corps. He grew up in Vermont, northeastern Kentucky, and (for the longest stretch) Indiana, where he went to high school and college.

His first three novels constitute the omnibus Otherwise: Three Novels (Harper Perennial, 2002): The Deep (Doubleday, 1975), Beasts (Doubleday, 1976), and Engine Summer (Doubleday, 1979), a Campbell Memorial runner-up and British SF finalist which was selected by David Pringle for Science Fiction: The 100 Best Novels. Little, Big (Bantam, 1981) was a World Fantasy and Mythopoeic winner, Hugo, Nebula, Locus, Balrog, and British SF Finalist, and was selected by Pringle for Modern Fantasy: The 100 Best Novels; a 25th [sic] Anniversary Edition with illustrations by Peter Milton which is forthcoming from Incunabula. The four volumes of Ægypt consist of World Fantasy and Arthur C. Clarke finalist The Solitudes (as Ægypt, Bantam, 1987, and selected by Pringle for Modern Fantasy: The 100 Best Novels), World Fantasy finalist Love and Sleep (Bantam, 1994), Daemonomania (Bantam, 2000), and Locus finalist Endless Things (Small Beer, 2007); all four appear in a uniform edition from Overlook. More recent novels are The Translator (William Morrow, 2002), Lord Byron's Novel: The Evening Land (William Morrow, 2005), and Four Freedoms (William Morrow, 2009). Lifetime Achievement or no, the latter is about workers building a bomber during World War II and is without nameable fantasy content.

Novelties and Souvenirs: Collected Short Fiction (Perennial, 2004) incorporates his earlier collections Novelty (Bantam, 1989) and Antiquities (Incunabula, 2004) and includes 1983 British SF short story finalist "Novelty," 1985 Hugo, Nebula, and Locus short story finalist "Snow," 1996 Locus winner and Hugo and SF Chronicle short story and Sturgeon finalist "Gone," and 1989 World Fantasy winner and Nebula and SF Chronicle novella finalist Great Work of Time (also Bantam, 1991); as well as "In Blue" from Nebula Awards 25 (Bishop, ed.), and "Missolonghi 1824," "Exogamy," and An Earthly Mother Sits and Sings (Dreamhaven, 2000) from the 4th, 7th, and 14th The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror (Datlow and Windling, eds.). The Girlhood of Shakespeare's Heroines (2005) and Conversation Hearts (2008) are chapbooks from Subterranean. Other uncollected short fiction appears in Shadows II (Grant, ed.) and Naked City (Datlow, ed.).

In addition to fiction, Crowley has issued a volume of nonfiction mostly about books, In Other Words (Subterranean, 2007), and for many years he worked as a writer of films, mainly historical documentaries. These include The World of Tomorrow (the 1939 World's Fair) and FIT: Episodes in the History of the Body (produced and directed by his wife Laurie Block). In 1992, he received the Award in Literature from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters. Since 1993, he has taught creative writing at Yale University. He lives in Massachusetts.